Innovative kitchen scales company Drop has made being an accurate into an art, all via your iPad.
Recipes vary slightly with people's interpretation of them, bringing their own touches and ideas. But up till now taking gastronomy to the high-tech accuracy has never been the most elegant process.
I remember getting annoyed with my old scales for many years, many more than I'd care to admit. Deciding instead that I would master this plastic, wobbly contraption covered in age-old flour - the result was and is, I have a distaste for the accurate and well measured.
So when Drop asked me to review this product, I saw this not only as an interesting article for my site, but a good chance to see how far things had come since about 2005.
As it turns out technology has moved on a very long way, indeed.
2012 saw Drop founded in Dublin, Ireland and is now also has an office in sunny San Francisco.
At the core of our approach is an innovative recipe platform which intuitively guides home cooks step-by-step through finding, making and sharing their delicious dishes and other flavorful creations.
With baking at it's heart (where accuracy really matters) Drop has found itself becoming more of a mainstay for other recipes too. Drinks, soups and a whole host of other recipes are now featured on their recipe page, linked in with the interactive measurement steps on the ipad.
Being someone that usually measures things by eye, I decided to put Drop's new bluetooth enabled kitchen scales to the test with one of my favourite recipes to see if I could use it to hone the subtleties of taste.
Pico de Gallo has been a staple of my BBQ season for years, but the recipe always ends up fairly different in either lime, sugar or spice.
So, here is my setup. Ingredients, iPad connected Drop scales and some spare time for faffing around taking product photos. All hail my carbon manfrotto tripod! The iPad's range is very good, I usually have it in a stand on the windowsill, leaving it out of harms way from sticky fingers and hot pans, but for the photos I moved it down so you could see.
Next up, make sure you've got a decent drink - this is exactly 88 grams of a very good and much overlooked sherry.
The recipe calls for all sorts of ingredients, so I thought what happens if I could accurately adjust the flavours to change the subtle taste each time. So, we start off with tomato:
Then the coriander.
As the grams increased, as did the make-up of the plates, promising either extra onion, chilli or tomato.
Feeling spicy? Add an exact amount of chilli, or go wild and expect a decent burn later.
Some had more lime, salt etc too.
I tried various different amounts of each, ended up with all sorts of different salsas. What do to with all this food? Stick it in fish tacos of course!!! (Seen here with coley)
So in conclusion would I buy a Drop? More to the point should you? Well, so much fun was had faffing about with all the measurements, technology and photos, I forgot that adding a measurable amount of salt to a small amount of salsa blows all taste left-field into the depths of hell. For goodness sake, these ingredients should really go with a vast amount more tomato.
Still, I guess it proves that should you wish to get down and dirty with the grams and specifics you can, and seeing as many people have their iPads on a stand in the kitchen already, it's great to follow the recipes provided in the app.
The scales themselves are a very tactile product, rubberised top and grippy bottom means no scooting along the counter, and everything is easy to wipe clean. It comes with a hard dust cover too. Easy to set up, and I ended up using them without needing a manual as the step by step process extends right through all the menus too. The box it came in was worthy of a gift as it looked impressive and is certainly something that'll get people's attention.
The recipes are provided by Drop, but there's also a large community section where people have uploaded their own. It's a great ecosystem of ideas and with drinks there too, it's especially good for Margarita Day! (today)
My recommendation buy it and don't look back. Why not upgrade that humble old dirty kitchen scale with one more suiting to your kitchen style. That is, unless you're like me and get far too into the specifics and forget to use my own brain; something not even Drop can solve.
For more info check out Drop online