Put in your dollar, and you’re good to go.
You may have noticed we haven’t heard much from Fork in the Road San Francisco correspondent Tracy Van Dyk lately. That’s because she’s driving from San Francisco to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina with a companion known only as “A”. But she paused a moment somewhere south of Ixtapa, Mexico, to send us a link to Incredible Things that featured a picture of a mashed potato machine taken in a 7-Eleven. But where?
Well, the trail was still warm as our computer sleuths followed the thread through over a dozen sources, including thatsnerdilicious.com and theclearlydope.tumblr.com, finally ending up at a recent piece in Huffington Post, tracking down the machine to Singapore.
Apparently, servings of mashed potatoes exturded extruded from the machine cost $1, and a 7-Eleven spokesperson reports that the product is “quite popular” (though the company has no plans to introduce the machine here).
A button on the machine allows you to squirt a Maggi-based gravy over the spuds, which are doubtlessly concocted from the kind of mashed potato flakes we thought we left behind us in the ’80s.
Of course, using this gussied-up Slurpee technology, there are many more food substances that could be effectively vended this way, and the line of food trucks you now see at places like Union Square West could someday be replaced by a line of food vending machines on wheels — with no human attendants.
Following are five things that might be effectively vended that way.
1. Creamed corn from the farmers’ market, pureed and squirted into a corn-husk eco-friendly cone
2. Chocolate pudding, and an extra button sprays it with colorful sprinkles
3. Steak tartare, ground to order, and a separate charge gets you a quail egg on top — which you have to crack yourself
4. A fruit smoothie made from a series of fruits you select yourself
5. With enhanced technology — a meatball shaped like a human head, made via a MakerBot-type device that takes your picture and then makes a meatball likeness of you! The technology is already available, brothers and sisters.