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Matters of taste: the next microwave

I gave my mother a “sous vide” machine for her birthday because I’ve wanted to play with one for ages—Heston Blumenthal has said they “have the potential to be the biggest change in domestic kitchens since the microwave.” Until recently, these machines were cumbersome and expensive, strictly the preserve of commercial kitchens. But now you can buy smaller, cheaper versions and modernist foodies are adding them to their gadget collections. John Lewis reports almost tripling sales over the last two years.

Sous vide cooking involves compressing food in a vacuum-sealed bag (“sous vide,” “under vacuum”) and cooking it in a…

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