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Le Meat Locker

A new vending machine in Paris dispenses raw meat 24/7
Boucherie Basque
Photo: Courtesy of Boucherie Basque

This March, we're taking you on a tour of the Old World, with a focus on how traditional European dishes are influencing modern cuisine.

First came the food trucks. Then came the suggestion of doggie bags. And now a new food trend is threatening to undermine the French way of life: vending machines.

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Paris is now home to a vending machine that dispense raw meat. Located outside a Basque butcher shop in the 11th arrondissement called L'ami Txulette, the machine dispenses pork chops, beef carpaccio and Basque Country Bayonne ham to customers 24/7. It also sells chicken and eggs.

A vending machine that sells raw meat may sound like something that belongs in Tokyo, land of the banana and toilet paper machines. But Paris is actually already home to a baguette dispenser, which opened in 2011, and according to The Telegraph, "Since then, hundreds more have been installed across the country." Not only that, but four other meat vending machines already exist in France outside of Paris. The meat lockers were apparently inspired by Germany, which has some 500 of its own.

Though the unsurprisingly controversial dispensers may limit social interaction between customers and shopkeepers, they are a reaction to certain admirable aspects of Parisian culture: the desire for fresh food every day and the resistance to operating stores seven days a week, The Telegraph says. In this way, the machines are actually meant to preserve, not undermine, French eating habits. Whether or not Parisians see it that way is still up for debate. Just imagine what the skeptics might think of New York City's cupcake vending machine.

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