Tasting fear

Cohen Van Balen has designed an installation that attempts to capture the flavour of fear.

Combining design with biology, technology, science and curiosity, design duo Revital Cohen and Tuur van Balen created a site-specific installation titled "Rusty Knives" that explores and investigates the taste of fear.

We were inspired by studies into the way stress hormones expressed in animals’ bodies before and during slaughter changes the taste of their meat, says Cohen.  

When an animal is slaughtered, it produces stress hormones that influence the meat’s flavour. These stress hormones were added to berries in a system specifically designed for the project. The duo created a slow dripping mechanism equipped with IV needles and infused the berries with hormones extracted from animals.

The installation attempts to distil the taste of fear by infusing berries with stress hormones, says Cohen.

"Rusty Knives" formed part of the interactive exhibition in the Future Foodhouse at the Rotterdam World Food Festival that asked the question: "What will we be eating in the future?" Based on the predication that the choices we make today about what we eat will determine what our food is going to be like in the future, participating Dutch and international designers and scientists were invited by the Dutch food designer, and curator of the event, Marije Vogelzang, to predict a number of "bizarre future scenarios" with regards to culinary trends and developments. The result was an Expo featuring the possibilities offered by 3D printing, food you can inhale but not eat (that gives you the taste sensation but none of the calories), Cohen van Balen’s fear-flavoured berries and Martin Guixe’s Tonic Death Diet among them.

Watch Cohen at Design Indaba Conference here

Watch the Talk with Revital Cohen