It’s the moment every cook dreads: realising they’ve forgotten the most crucial ingredient.

Now there is a solution for forgetful chefs – delivering the missing flavour in a fork instead.

Inventors in Canada have unveiled the bizarre gadget, which emits smells to make people think they are tasting flavours such as ginger, coffee or banana as they eat their meal.

The metal Aromafork comes with 21 different flavours, including chocolate, vanilla, litchi, passion fruit, strawberry, basil, cilantro (coriander), mint and almond. Inventive eaters can also plump for coconut, peanut, cinnamon, ginger, jalapeno, wasabi, butter, olive oil, smoke or truffle.

It works by having a capsule of “liquid aroma” under the fork’s handle, which is soaked through a small circle of blotting paper and released gradually as the person eats. The user has to apply the “taste each time, using a dropper and put a piece of blotting paper in place”.

Jonathan Coutu, the president of Molecule-R Flavors, said: “The idea was to reinvent the traditional fork into an improved utensil that would trick people’s mind by liberating an intense flow of aromas.” He claimed it could become “the perfect educational tool to learn how to better appreciate food”.

However, forgetting to add ginger, for example, will set you back – a pack of four forks, a full set of “tastes” and 50 diffusing papers costs £36 (R645). – Daily Mail