Made for Gaggenau

Food and Time: Melting


13 September 2016

This year, Gaggenau turns 333 years old. From its origins as a small iron foundry in Germany’s Black Forest, Gaggenau has always prized slow and considered product design and development. The brand’s contemporary products – design-led, highly engineered domestic appliances – are the result of 333 years of hard earned experience and expertise.

To mark the brand’s anniversary, Gaggenau and Disegno partnered on a project that would celebrate the working method for which Gaggenau has become known: elegant product design, borne out of meticulous process and deliberation.

The result was Food and Time, a project examining how the relationship between duration and food culture. From the length of the growing process, through to deliberation about when to harvest and choices as to preparation, everything that we eat is shaped by time. A food’s colour, shape, texture and structure may all fundamentally change over time. During those transformations, what remains?

To create the project, Disegno and Gaggenau turned to Arabeschi di Latte, an Italian food design studio founded by Francesca Sarti in 2001. Sarti responded with a series of five recipes that reveal the intricate and beautiful ways in which duration shapes the dishes that we eat, as well as the way that we prepare and think about food.

None of the ideas that Sarti developed represent fixed, immutable recipes, but rather they prioritise the processes involved in their creation. The Food and Time recipes will adapt as time moves on, but they still pay homage to where they have come from. All five are living entities that stand in tribute to the impact of time upon the creative process.

Food and Time is a tribute to the creative approach that Gaggenau has fostered from its inception. Gaggenau’s products are not disposable objects or the result of quick, reactionary thinking. Instead, they are the product of 333 years of history and ongoing processes of experimentation, innovation and progression.

Sarti responded to this with a project that shows this same ethos to be alive within wider food culture. Working with the photographer Michael Bodiam, she created five recipes that examine food processes to which the passage of time is essential. Accompanied by still-life images and GIFs shot by Bodiam, Sarti’s recipes encourage us to reflect on the depth of the connection between food and time.

Below, Sarti shares her recipe for a liquorice ice lolly.


This dish is an ice lolly in which I’ve used a strip of hard liquorice in place of the stick so that the entire thing can be eaten. In doing so, the snack becomes wholly ephemeral.

I chose to make an ice lolly because I wanted to construct a dish that exhibited a transition between physical states, which is particularly fascinating in this case because ice has a greater volume than water, causing the entire substance to change dramatically.

In order to eat an ice lolly you first have to let it melt in your mouth, but the speed of melting is influenced by the size of an object’s base material, as well as the temperature of the surrounding environment.

We captured the action of the ice lolly melting in a sequence of photographs. The melting process was an interesting one – some parts melted quicker than others because the liquorice cannot be distributed evenly amongst the mixture. But it is through the melting process that we come to perceive time.

Liquorice ice lolly

70g liquorice from Calabria
240ml full-fat milk
120ml heavy cream
2 egg yolks
80g dark Muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon sambuca

– Put the liquorice in a saucepan with three tablespoons of water. Place over a low heat and stir occasionally until the liquorice has melted.

– Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan and heat gently until the mixture begins to steam. Whisk the egg yolks, add the sugar and sambuca, and whisk further until fluffy.

– While stirring continuously, add the hot milk to the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan, place on a low heat and add the melted liquorice.

– Heat until the custard slightly coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not let the mixture boil.

– Pour back into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Pour into a round disposable box or cup, place a liquorice stick in the middle, and freeze.