Last year when we launched MOLD and then had to describe it to people, we got a lot of confused reactions. Was it not enough to simply say our area of interest was “food design” and call it day? No, it was not. “What, like plates?” well-meaning friends would ask. “Oh, wait I know, like the way a chef puts food on a plate?” Sure, we would respond. But a lot more, too.

Since then, outlets like Wired and the New York Times have heralded the dawn of entomophagy and the growing industry of lab-made meat and computer-generated recipes, which means a lot more people are talking about the stuff that used to draw blank looks even just a few months ago. In an effort to share the best bites from that growing conversation, we’re delivering a weekly serving of off-the-menu items—one or two popular favorites from the week as well as a few morsels that may have slipped your notice. Everything from plant-derived proteins to plates and what chefs put on them. —Perrin Drumm

This week we…

…have a Veruca Salt moment while reading New York Magazine’s round up the best candies to eat now  (though you can eat them whenever you want, it’s cool, we checked).

…suffer from major food envy as we anticipate updates from the 4th annual MAD Symposium, founded by Noma’s Rene Redzepi as “an interdisciplinary conference conceived by chefs for chefs.” After last year’s very focused theme, “Guts,” this year’s “What Is Cooking?” took a much broader look at how the profession of chefs has evolved over the years. If Redzepi wants to get specific again next year, might we suggest “Mold?” (We’ll block off the week in our 2015 calendars just in case Rene calls.)

…ooh and ahh over this white porcelain, leather, wood, and marble tableware designed by ceramic Belgium studio Fou de Feu. Inspired by a droplet of water, when you stack the set it creates a rippling effect, which has, according to Minimallissimo, just “the right amount of minimalism.”

…wonder how these collapsable water bottles will wear over time. The concept is great, as is the corresponding “Find a Fountain” app, but I’d imagine the plastic will start to crack in the creases, no?

…watch latest Kickstarter sensation ButterUp continue to exceed its funding goal by hundreds of thousands of Australian dollars, and wonder if maybe the mousetrap really can be reinvented after all.

…groan over the big freaking deal the Internet won’t stop making over Kate Moss’ boobie-shaped champagne glass.

…are shocked to learn that not only does actual cow’s milk go into Nestle candy bars, but that for years the company has been lopping off the tails of those cows in what turns out is an incredibly painful procedure (shocker) called docking, because it helps keep udders clean. But since it also enrages animal welfare groups they’re gong to stop.

…book a trip on Japan Airlines so we can sample no less than nine different Japanese delicacies—and that’s just the appetizer course. Your seat then conveniently converts into a bed so you can sleep it off.


Lead photo by Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine