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David Edwards is an academic to be taken seriously, a Professor at Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, highly successful in medical research, active in the non-profit medical field with his organization Medicine in Need /MEND, holder of numerous honors and awards. He is specialized in aerosols and the inhalation of medicines and holds numerous patents. Put simply, when it comes to medicines, Edwards backs inhalation as opposed to swallowing, and with this approach he is developing new antibiotic therapies against tuberculosis as well as needle-free vaccines for children. Yet David Edwards is also somebody happy to look beyond borders. With Le Laboratoire in Paris, in 2007 he created an interdisciplinary and humanistic centre of innovation for art and industrial design enabling artists and scientists to meet and work alongside each other.
It was from there that he started on his world tour to promote Le Whif. This consists of a mixture of minor culinary masterpieces and aerosol technology that he developed at Harvard with his students. The core of this is a narrow plastic cylinder, filled with an extremely fine aromatized powder that is sprayed into the mouth. To be exact, what is involved is not inhalation: other than with breathing, the substance does not reach the lungs. Yet for an intense, precious moment it fills the mouth with the full taste – and this without a single calorie. Le Whif is already available in three flavors – raspberry chocolate, mint chocolate or plain chocolate. Further variants are planned, with chocolate being seen as just the beginning. Cooperating with Thierry Marx, holder of two Michelin stars, the team behind Le Whif is hoping for further culinary surprises – one of the possibilities, for example, being a mint Whif for consumption with lamb dishes.
Behind Le Whif, however, lies some ethnological research into foods. Our eating habits have changed considerably down the centuries. Instead of a few large meals, today more and more portions of small quantities are being consumed at ever shorter intervals. According to Edwards, eating is actually tending towards breathing; yet whether “Whiffing“ will give fresh impetus to our eating habits and enjoyment of food remains to be seen. Having commenced with the world premiere in April, the world tour will take Le Whif to Paris in October, to London in November and to Hong Kong in December. This pleasure-without-shame is naturally available to everybody – and you can already buy your own favorite variety from the laboratory’s Internet store.