Vending Machine Victuals

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Following up on yesterday's post about absurdly caloric foods you can make for yourself at home, today I wanted to explore food that comes from vending machines. Almost everyone's bought a soda or a bag of chips from a machine at one time or another, but vending machine companies are always trying to expand our gastro-vendonomic horizons -- sometimes to some very strange, and seemingly unappetizing, places. This is definitely not service with a smile.

For instance, there's an Italian company that makes a pizza vending machine. With the push of a button, you can be chowing down on a Wonder Pizza in just 90 seconds! Check out this hi-tech demo:

If you have trouble getting a bartender's attention (and you happen to live in the Czech Republic), thirst no more! Now you can get beer from vending machines.

If you think that's cool, check out this draft beer vending machine in (where else?) Tokyo.

Also in Japan, you'll soon be able to get your hands on a machine-vended steak, and people have been working on getting hamburger vending machines going for years -- though why we'd need them when fast-food burger joints are so ubiquitous is a mystery to me. (Here's a patent for a burger machine that serves up piping hot reconstituted steak portions. Yummm.)

The Hot Beef Sundae
Apparently, it's a Nebraska thing. Color me morbidly curious. (Photo by Matt Stoller.)

A natural companion to the Hot Beef Sundae is the somewhat easier-to-find gravy dispenser at Bob Evans. The great thing about this gravy is that it's totally under your control; it doesn't have to go on things that gravy is "supposed" to go on. (Like ice cream. Think about it.)
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What's the weirdest vending machine food you've ever seen -- or, dare we ask, eaten?

February 18, 2009 - 2:30am
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