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A cookbook helped me understand Dragon Age’s origins

Food, fine dwarven food straight from Orzammar!

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Blue Apron’s new owner starts making changes as the delivery meal kit era fades out.

Wonder, a delivery service that licenses recipes from restaurants, bought Blue Apron for $103 million and, where available, will now use its couriers to deliver BA kits.

Of the five meal subscription services we reviewed in 2016, Plated and Peach Dish are out of business, Blue Apron and Purple Carrot have been acquired, and the winner, Hello Fresh, has seen its stock value drop by 55 percent in the last three years. This Washington Post article from last year has more info on what’s happened.

AI chatbots are coming to a takeout app near you.

Just Eat is trialling a new AI-powered chatbot that’s designed to add items to your shopping basket in response to a query like “egg and cheese mcmuffin from mcdonalds.” It plans to pilot the assistant with UK users in the next few weeks, with a wider rollout to follow. Coincidentally, rival Uber Eats also plans to launch a similar chatbot this year.

Interface with Just Eat chatbot asking how it can help with order.


The chatbot’s opening line.
Image: Just Eat
Instacart’s upgraded smart grocery cart now carries 65 percent more food.

The company’s been experimenting with its “Caper Cart” at limited Kroger and other food market locations — which automatically recognizes and rings up items as you put them in the cart — but now new versions are available at a Spotswood, New Jersey ShopRite, and are coming soon to a Fairway Market in NYC.

Instacart’s VP of connected stores David McIntosh tells The Verge the updated carts have “software upgrades such as advanced computer vision AI,” and also support stacked charging.

grocery cart with a tablet build onto it as a person lowers a bag of produce that will be weighed automatically by the cart
Customers can load their Instacart grocery list into Caper Cart, add items into the basket, and then check out right from the cart.
Image: Instacart
The Meater smart meat thermometer now supports the iPhone Dynamic Island and Live Activities.

This is why we started this website in 2011. This exact sentence, as tipped by reader Dave Lee. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em (meats).

The Meater smart thermometer showing temperatures in an iOS Live Activity.
We stand on the smoked pork shoulders of giants.
Bard will show you food pics now if you ask about places to eat.

Google announced at IO that Bard would include images where relevant in its responses, and that change is live. Below, a tweet shows what that looks like. The images come from sites like Pinterest. I wish they were AI-generated for extra fun, but alas.

Still, I tried asking it for the best food in Austin, TX, and it failed to highlight Casino El Camino.

Garlic lovers, unite!

We recently published a roundup of some of our best-loved kitchen tools, but what it didn’t include was my absolute favorite: a garlic rocker that not only dices garlic easily, but looks like it belongs in the Museum of Modern Art.

That was listed in last year’s roundup, and because my partner and I use it constantly (and because I just recommended it to another Verge staffer), I thought I’d sneak a mention in.

Garlic rocker / mincer / crusher
Dicing garlic with a piece of design art.
Photo: Joseph Joseph
Mario’s limited edition hot sauce probably won’t give you fire powers.

TRUFF’s truffle-infused condiments might not rank all that high on the Scoville scale, but what their new, limited edition Super Mario Bros. Movie collection of hot sauces lacks in heat, it more than makes up for in style and on-brand-ness.

Three bottles of hot sauce that are topped with caps resembling the mushrooms in the Mario games.
Super Mario Bros Movie Hot Sauce Collectible by TRUFF.
April Fools’ 2023: Nothing Beer (5.1%).

Fresh off of releasing the Ear 2 earbuds and ahead of its second phone, Nothing claims its latest product is not a joke. On the company’s website, it says they’ve made a beer that’s due to be released in summer 2023 and ask people to sign up for updates.

Making beautiful tech is thirsty work. 

So we created Beer (5.1%). A crisp, unfiltered rice lager. Brewed independently at Freetime Beer Co in Wales, UK.

The Verge’s 13 favorite kitchen tools

A few of our staff’s favorite gadgets for grinding coffee, making smoothies, and countertop cooking.

The Verge
Ahhhh, fresh meat!

The Diablo IV early access beta opens tomorrow at 9AM PT / 12PM ET for those that preordered the game. However, if you’re like me and prefer eating some fast food to get your early access to Sanctuary instead of preordering, the KFC beta code promotion runs until March 18th.

Frankly, the Double Down sandwich wasn’t as bad as my colleagues made it seem. I was actually still hungry after.

Now see you all in hell!

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Don’t trust Bill Gates’ taste in fake meat.

Loved this Bloomberg review of how the fake meat market went awry.

Here’s some free advice for all you VCs: the “crunchy set” is the actual market for meat replacement, so make black bean burgers with sweet potatoes and quinoa if you want to succeed. Good talk!

What the future of lab-grown meat could look like

You could have your pig and eat it, too!