Belated this probably is, but anyway…Happy New Year to all our lovely readers here on WAN!

So what’s your resolution? Could it be to have quieter, etiquette-conscious meals? Not this year — sorry.

the talking fork EsTheremine

It’s not because of your chatty, overly attached significant other, or the voices in your head. It’s your “Made in Japan” EsTheremine, otherwise simply referred to as the Talking Fork that’s doing the…talking.

First, our prolific Japanese scientists created the talking toilet. Now they have also pushed the power of speech to another common item — that ironically spends much of its lifetime in your mouth.

The EsTheremine contains a micro-controller, a speaker, an amplifier, and a battery within its handle, and generates any one of a variety of sounds depending on the type of food being eaten. In a completely weird show of sentience, this fork produces sounds almost similar to the material being eaten, such as a chicken’s cluck when the user is pecking at a chicken nugget.

It also comes equipped with a concise yet impressive vocabulary. When a young lady tucks into a piece of tempura, the fork proclaims, “garigori” and “shori,” while a stick of cheese produces the word “paku.” Apparently, longer pieces of food will cause the fork to produce multiple sounds and words while they are being consumed.

This magic fork can also distinguish between different kinds of eating, from a gentle lick off its tip to a full-mouthed chomping. The noisier you get, the noisier it gets.

The crazy crew behind this culinary project is a research group from Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, whose objective was to inspire people to try different kinds of food and encourage a more varied diet.

The manufacturers of the EsTheremine also suggest that the fork be exploited as a communication tool for couples, with a promotional video showing a grinning twosome: the woman feeding her beau a mouthful of something obviously tasty, while the uncultured fork chimes in with “pakupaku.” There is a lot of unspoken gesturing going on, and the couple appears to be holding hands during the whole process.

While we’re not exactly sure how useful this is as a quality relationship sweetener, it’s certain to create a colorful experience during chow-time.

There goes all of Mother’s advice about “closing your mouth while chewing” in 2013.


Albert Alou

Albert Alou

Albert Alou is a freelance writer, aspiring author, newbie webmaster... and a dozen other things. He hails from the "mother" continent, Africa, and has been to every one of the 193 countries and territories under the UN -- though, strictly within the confines of his vivid imagination. He's madly in love with the three P's of literature: plays, poetry, and prose. He's into music (particularly metal), video games (all of them, please), anime and manga (Rurouni Kenshin), football (AC Milan), and destroying whole alien planets with the Force. He's an ailurophile and an animal lover in general, and still thinks sporting a pair of mutton chops is pretty cool. He's weird like that.