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Researchers in Japan Accidentally Created Melt-Resistant Ice Cream

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Researchers in Japan have reportedly invented the ultimate summer treat: ice cream popsicles that don't melt.

As Quartz reports, scientists from the Biotherapy Development Research Center Co. in Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, asked a pastry chef to make them a new dessert using polyphenol liquid extracted from strawberries. They were trying to find a use for berries harvested in Miyagi Prefecture, which is still recovering from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The berries aren’t in good enough shape to be sold, hence the scientists' desire to repurpose them, but the pastry chef complained that the polyphenol liquid solidified cream on contact, making it difficult to work with. Intrigued, the research center realized it might be on to something, and it began experimenting with different milks, creams, and polyphenol concentrations to make a melt-resistant ice cream popsicle, Japanese daily newspaper The Asahi Shimbun reports.

“Polyphenol liquid has properties to make it difficult for water and oil to separate so that a popsicle containing it will be able to retain the original shape of the cream for a longer time than usual and be hard to melt,” Tomihisa Ota, a professor emeritus of pharmacy at Kanazawa University who helped develop the dessert, explained.

The Biotherapy Development Research Center officially began marketing their finished product in April 2017. The popsicles—which are now sold in shops in Kanazawa, Tokyo, and Osaka—can reportedly retain a solid shape even when blasted with a hair dryer for five minutes, and will still taste cool to boot. Now, if the scientists could only make the sweet treats available in the U.S.

Check out the new, melt-resistant popsicles below:

[h/t Quartz]

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This Game About Soup Highlights How Tricky Language Is
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Something Something Soup Something

Soup, defined by Merriam-Webster as "a liquid food especially with a meat, fish, or vegetable stock as a base and often containing pieces of solid food," is the ultimate simple comfort food. But if you look closer at the definition, you'll notice it's surprisingly vague. Is ramen soup? What about gumbo? Is a soy vanilla latte actually a type of three-bean soup? The subjectivity of language makes this simple food category a lot more complicated than it seems.

That’s the inspiration behind Something Something Soup Something, a new video game that has players label dishes as either soup or not soup. According to Waypoint, Italian philosopher, architect, and game designer Stefano Gualeni created the game after traveling the world asking people what constitutes soup. After interviewing candidates of 23 different nationalities, he concluded that the definition of soup "depends on the region, historical period, and the person with whom you're speaking."

Gualeni took this real-life confusion and applied it to a sci-fi setting. In Something Something Soup Something, you play as a low-wage extra-terrestrial worker in the year 2078 preparing meals for human clientele. Your job is to determine which dishes pass as "soup" and can be served to the hungry guests while avoiding any items that may end up poisoning them. Options might include "rocks with celery and batteries in a cup served with chopsticks" or a "foamy liquid with a candy cane and a cooked egg served in a bowl with a fork."

The five-minute game is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but Gualeni also hopes to get people thinking about real philosophical questions. According to its description page, the game is meant to reveal "that even a familiar, ordinary concept like 'soup' is vague, shifting, and impossible to define exhaustively."

You can try out Something Something Soup Something for free on your browser.

[h/t Waypoint]

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