Years from now, we'll remember 2014 as the year that toasting changed forever.
Italy's Bugatti—no relation to the high-end car company—just debuted a glass-walled toaster that puts all others to shame, and it does so with advanced technology that's never before been used on a small appliance.
Called the Noun, it not only toasts bread, but can cook everything from steak to shrimp. According to Clemente Bugatti, the fourth generation Bugatti to lead the company, the secret is a layer of semiconductor heating elements—technology that took the company over two years to develop.
It's the first toaster we've seen that takes a radically different approach to browning bread and other items, and it even makes a high-end Dualit or Breville look dreadfully old-fashioned.
There are physical controls on the toaster to get your food cooking, but you can also use a smartphone app to search for recipes and send the proper time and temperature directly to the Noun via Bluetooth connection. For a quick piece of toast, that's probably overkill, but if you're doing some less orthodox toasting, the app will come in handy.
Just how do you cook a steak in a toaster? As long as you put your food item in a heat-resistant bag, then follow the recipe, the Noun will prepare your food as advertised. Best of all, when your food is done, it doesn't simply pop up: A motorized lift gently brings it to the surface.
We got the chance to try out the Noun on the show floor at Milan's EuroCucina, and were blown away by slice after slice of consistently-browned toast and shrimp that took only a few minutes to cook.
Luckily, there are definite plans to bring the Noun to the U.S. by 2015. It's currently awaiting regulatory approval.
It won't be cheap... Expect to pay upwards of $1,000—more than twice the cost of even the most expensive toasters currently on the market.
Sure, it might sound crazy to spend that much on a toaster, but there's simply nothing else on the market that can compare. And frankly, we'd be willing to bet that folks with enough cash would gladly pay a grand for perfectly toasted bread every morning.