The product on the left of the photo makes a miraculous froth of milk. In discrete letters, it states Bonjour, Primo Latte on the side, so we can assume that it is French. It requires two AA batteries and does its job beautifully on fat free milk, low fat milk, and other healthy versions that my wife prefers on top of her coffee. I am fascinated by it because it doesn’t require cream, does its job so fast, and is so easy to clean. It is also extremely attractive. Its only downside seems to be that one must be very careful, or the plastic case breaks when changing batteries.
The product on the right creates whipped cream rapidly in large quantities. No batteries, not breakable, and far from beautiful, but surprisingly enough, containing few worrisome chemicals. The propellant is nitrous oxide which is often called laughing gas, and can react with oxygen and form nitric oxide, which is a pollutant (both a green house gas and a reactant with ozone). But pressure cans are a tiny source of this compared with industrial and agricultural processes, to say nothing of automobile emissions.
The pressurized whipped cream (or topping, as it says on the can), is particularly miraculous if you happen to like whipped cream (which most people do) and have experienced making it from fresh cream, an activity which occupies quite a bit of time, and requires cleaning a bowl and the complex device used to whip it and figuring out how to store that which is left over. Perhaps the pressure can variety it is not quite as good as “real” whipped cream. And I suppose its health benefits can be questioned from the standpoint of consumption. But it is certainly convenient.
My rather large family was over for Thanksgiving dinner, and several of the members are justly proud of their pie-making abilities. The adults in the family are usually careful to restrict themselves to healthy foods and caloric intake. I equipped the table with a couple of pressure cans of whipped cream, and like everyone else, happily partook of the pleasure of dolloping huge quantities of it on the many pieces of pie needing sampling. Several of the younger guests could be seen surreptitiously squirting it on their hands and licking it off. As a result of these pressure cans, I have developed a need for whipped cream on an amazing number of foods that I did not used to know required it.
Perhaps a sin, but a mild one—not even a jailable offence.