VIDEO: Chinese popcorn cannon

Don’t have 5 minutes (cooking times may vary, wait until you hear 2-3 seconds between pops) to wait for microwave popcorn? Perhaps this Chinese popcorn cannon from the streets of Shanghai is fast enough for you – it just takes a few seconds, provided you have a serious pressure cooker. This ingenious contraption can also be used for puffed rice or other grains, though we wonder how clean the bag is which holds the resulting treat. China isn’t the only place with popped street snacks: here in my city of Istanbul, you can get fresh popcorn made over hot coals from many wandering street vendors.

Have you seen this popcorn maker in action? Leave us your theories (and taste impressions) in the comments!

Photo of the Day (7.11.10)

Does all this sweltering Summer weather have you feeling sweaty this week? Why not cool off for a second with today’s refreshing Gelato photo, courtesy of Flickr user Leslie at The L-List. Taking photos of your food while you travel can be a fun way to remember a particularly great meal or a special ingredient you just don’t want to forget. In the case of today’s photo, there’s also plenty of interesting visual elements that catch the viewer’s eye. The Macro technique does a great job of making you feel like the viewer is about to take a big old bite. I can almost taste that Gelato now…

Have any great food photos from your own travels? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of your delectable shots as our Photo of the Day. Food-loving photographers should also check out Gadling’s Food Photography Contest ending tomorrow. We’re giving away over $400 in photo gear.

Air Canada ordered to offer a no-nuts option for allergic flyers

The Canadian Transportation Authority has ruled that Air Canada needs to create a “nut-free” zone on all of its flights, to accommodate those passengers who are severely allergic to nuts. The order came after two passengers complained that the airline had failed to properly accommodate their allergies, which the CTA ruled should be treated as a disability.

According to Toronto’s National Post, the airline has “30 days to come up with a plan to create a ‘buffer zone'” to separate those who have nut allergies from the rest of the passengers, who may receive a snack with nuts in it.

I feel for people who have severe nut allergies, really I do. The constant worry that something you eat may contain nuts, the fear that someone may eat a nut near you and cause you to have a bad reaction, the pain of not being able to enjoy all the delicious nuts out there in the world. I mean, have you ever had a macadamia nut? Those things are pure heaven.

Should passengers be denied the right to eat something delicious because there is a chance that another person on the plane might be allergic to it? It’s tempting to say no, but really, when you think about it, is offering a peanut-based snack so important that it is worth risking someone’s life? Some allergies really are that severe and there are plenty of other snack options out there that don’t involve nuts. I actually have to side with one of the complaining passengers on this one – it just makes more sense to get ride of nut-based snacks altogether.

[via USA Today]

Buffalo Jerky – Better than Beef or Turkey?

We recently compared and contrasted some some beef and turkey jerky from Were our cravings satisfied? Yes. Well, for the afternoon.

What about Buffalo Jerky? Is that chewier, meatier, more healthy than turkey or beef? We tried some Black Pepper Buffalo Jerky to find out.

Firstly, we loved the Black Pepper flavoring. It was spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. We could still taste the meat — and we think the bold flavor actually helped us salivate more. And to take down buffalo jerky? You’re gonna have to salivate.

We found the Buffalo Jerky chewier than the beef or even the turkey jerky, and think that the extra salivating from the spices may have been part of the reason. But we don’t really care why; it was just plain easier to eat.

The buffalo meat tasted lighter than beef, but definitely much heavier than turkey. Most importantly, check this out: A 4 oz package of Black Pepper Buffalo Jerky (no preservatives, MSG, or nitrites, and made from grass-fed buffalo) contains all the iron of Beef Jerky (32% of your daily recommended value), but has half the fat like Turkey Jerky (2 grams). Better still? It has more protein than either! 60 grams, folks. Bring it.

Buffalo Jerky is available from for $9.99 per 2 oz package.