At best, cooking from a recipe involves lots of running back and forth from the stove to the countertop where you've laid your cookbook. At worst, it involves periodically prodding your mouse to dispel your computer’s screensaver, washing your hands to rid them of your computer’s germs, and repeating once you're ready to move onto the next step. Of course, you can jot ingredients lists and measurements on your forearm or palm to keep them handy, but then you have unsightly penmarks to explain to your coworkers the next day. Unless you commit to memorizing a recipe before you start cooking it, the process is bound to be a minor hassle.
Which makes it astounding that no one has come up with the idea of printing recipes on temporary tattoos until now. NPR’s The Salt draws our attention to I Tradizionali, the creation of Italian designers Marina Cinciripini and Sarah Richiuso. I Tradizionali is a series of temporary tattoos sized to fit the inside of your forearm; each tattoo is an illustration of the ingredients and techniques you’ll need to make a specific recipe. And unlike notes you scrawl on your hand with a Sharpie, I Tradizionali tattoos look good. Perhaps too good: Judging from the promotional photos on I Tradizionali's website and Facebook page, each tattoo is long on aesthetic appeal and short on recipe details. But regardless of the tattoos’ practical limitations, Cinciripini and Richiuso have found a solution to a near-universal headache, and for this they deserve the gratitude of home cooks everywhere.
Because there’s no justice in the world, I Tradizionali failed to meet its funding goal earlier this month on the Kickstarter-like Italian crowdfunding site Eppela, which means that Cinciripini and Richiuso's invention won’t be available for purchase anytime soon. But if you want to dream, you can still watch their Italian-language promotional video to get a preview of the tattoos in action.