Cooking is a messy endeavor, and few recipe books escape drips, spills and splatters. But help is at hand.
Two young Italian designers have come up with I Tradizionali, a collection of beautiful and temporary tattoos of Italian recipes that fit on your forearm.
Do the shallots go in before or after the peppers? How many eggs make the perfect frittata? Not to worry, and don't reach for the cookbook — just glance at your arm.
The creative solution is the brainchild of Marina Cinciripini and Sarah Richiuso, a designing duo that first conceived of tattoo recipes in 2013 for a design competition called the Premio Lissone and won second place in the "Rituals" category.
"The project is a combination of our two biggest passions, cooking and illustration," says Richiuso. "The goal is to help people approach good food in a fun way."
I Tradizionali come in seasonally themed packages that cost about $14 and contain four illustrated, step-by-step recipes for traditional Italian dishes and a list of ingredients in both Italian and English.
Dishes range from simple appetizers like "Grandmother Artichokes" and date balls, summer starters such as fresh fennel and orange salad, and main courses like spaghetti with sun-dried tomatoes and anchovies.
Using the product is as easy as selecting what you want to make, positioning the tattoo on your forearm and dampening it with a towel. The tattoos last two or three days, but can be easily washed off with soap and water.
The creators hope people will start trading tattoos as part of a recipe exchange, and also plan to create special collections for holidays like Christmas and Easter, and for people with dietary restrictions.
Because of the tattoo's dimensions — about the shape of an iPhone — the recipes can't be too elaborate. But the designers say that feature has the advantage of helping promote simple, healthy eating and back-to-basics cooking.
Chefs eager to try on this culinary wearable will have to wait a while. Cinciripini and Richiuso just finalized their first pre-order crowdfunding campaign and are now looking for ways to distribute I Tradizionali more widely.
Meanwhile, forgetful cooks with a taste for the creative can put away their battered cookbooks and start rolling up their sleeves.