Mark Wilson, a writer who started Philanthroper.com, recently had some BBQ sauce sent to him, free of charge. Normally, this wouldn’t be all that noteworthy. Except this time, the delicious BBQ sauce sent to Wilson came from the most unlikely of sources: Watson.
Yes, THE Watson. The same computer that decimated Ken Jennings in Jeopardy has taken on an even greater challenge–what IBM calls cognitive computing, or put more simply, creativity. And what better arena to test creativity than the kitchen? After all, computers are good at math or whatever, but they can’t invent the next cronut or conceptualize the snack chip that will become a taco shell. They can’t stick a toilet plunger in a melted pile of brown birthday fondant like those bakers on reality TV–right?
BM shared Watson’s cooking methodology and first public recipe with Co.Design. They quickly opened a food truck at SXSW. And they also sent a lucky few journalists a beautiful bottle of Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce, a golden, algorithmic elixir born from the silicon mind of Watson himself.
MMM, Barbecue sauce.
IF THE FUTURE OF FOOD IS DESIGNED BY ROBOTS, THAT’S FINE BY ME.
## Here is part of Wilson’s lavish first account of his Watson BBQ experience:
“When I unwrapped the brightly colored box and found the bottle inside, I immediately flipped to the back label. Most BBQ sauces start with ingredients like vinegar, tomatoes, or even water, but IBM’s stands out from the get go. Ingredient one: White wine. Ingredient two: Butternut squash. The list contains more Eastern influences, such as rice vinegar, dates, cilantro, tamarind (a sour fruit you may know best from Pad Thai), cardamom (a floral seed integral to South Asian cuisine) and turmeric (the yellow powder that stained the skull-laden sets of True Detective) alongside American BBQ sauce mainstays molasses, garlic, and mustard.
I pour a bit of the bottle onto a plate of roasted tofu and broccoli–even a pork lover has gotta watch his cholesterol–and tentatively took a bite. Watson’s golden sauce may have the pulpy consistency of baby food, but it packs a surprising amount of unique flavor. Immediately, you can taste the sweet warmth of the wine and the squash. The tamarind blends seamlessly, backed by a duo of vinegars, to tickle your tongue with just the right amount of tartness. The other flavors combine to leave an indefinable, warm aftertaste that, as you have a few more bites, actually heats your mouth–thanks to Thai chiles. I test it again and again. Finally I just slather my plate in the stuff. It’s delicious–the best way I can describe it is as a Thai mustard sauce, or maybe the middle point between a BBQ sauce and a curry. Does that sound gross? I assure you that it isn’t.”[Read the whole story here.](http://www.fastcodesign.com/3027687/i-tasted-bbq-sauce-made-by-ibms-watson-and-loved-it)