Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pancakes in a Spray Can

Could this be the ultimate in laziness or just the right remedy for a 3am breakfast after a few Mojito's at Mango MIke's.

Here's Michelle Locke's fair and balanced Associated Press story with the light and fluffy details.

Pressurized Batter Blaster cans provide streams of pancake mix
You want pancakes, but the idea of adding water to powder and stirring it around just seems like too much effort. Enter Batter Blaster, the pancake you just point and spray.

Gastronomic genius? Or sign of the apocalypse? It all depends on how you feel about really fast food.

For Nate Steck, part of the two-man team that developed Batter Blaster, the product is a way to put something hot and tasty on the table of people who have lost touch with the most important meal of the day.

"If you sit down with your family in the morning, you can cook these pancakes so quick,"€ he said in an interview in Batter Blaster'€™s new offices in a south-of-Market alley in San Francisco.

"You can actually give the house that smell of home cooking," Steck said. "You'€™re not burning the frozen waffles in the toaster. This heats up the house. The kids like it; they feel like they'€™re spending some time with the family."€

The contents are pressurized, and the can has a nozzle similar to a whipped cream can, which can unleash artistic aspirations in the way of animal, geometric and letter-shaped pancakes.

Preparation: Shake the can firmly before spraying. Cleanup: Rinse the nozzle under running water after using.

The product, which is organic, comes more than a century after the launch of the first convenience pancake product, a powdered mix that eventually would be called Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix.

And Batter Blaster begs comparison to other ultra-convenience foods, such as Easy Cheese, that staple of dorm room soirees, and Reddi-Wip, the ubiquitous canned whipped cream.

Some flip for the pray-and-bake breakfasts.

"They'€™re fantastic,"€ says Keith Bussell, a Los Angeles software developer who picked up a can of Batter Blaster on a lark and was won over by the ease of making just one or two pancakes sans stirring. "€œIt'€™s not an approximation of pancakes. They'€™re really good pancakes,"€ he said.

Others don'€™t.

"€œThat is just wrong on SO MANY LEVELS!"€ Oakland accountant Beth Terry wrote in her blog review of the Batter Blaster.

In a phone interview, Terry said her big issue with the product, which she has no plans to try, is that it comes in a can, which she said takes an energy and resource toll even though it is recyclable. "€œIt'€™s not even necessarily about slow food," she said. "€œPancakes are not slow."

Steck says the idea is to provide convenience "€œbut it'€™s also about being with a group, being with family. It'€™s not the end of the world. It'€™s just a better world, I think."€

Batter Blaster is available at a number of grocers, including Albertsons. A single can, which makes more than two dozen 4-inch pancakes, sells for around $5 to $6.

So far, more than 400,000 cans have sold. Some of those buyers appear to have been new to the kitchen. One complaint that came in through customer feedback was that the pancakes were sticking to the pan.

Apparently they didn'€™t know about that other kitchen corner-cutter, canned cooking spray.



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