Summer is a time for experimentation in fashion, recreation, and travel — and the food world often follows the same impulse. From music festival monstrosities to beach boardwalk indulgences, the places summer takes us can sometimes inspire some fairly wild ideas about cuisine. As summer comes to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the top 10 craziest foods that we saw this summer.
Some of these bizarre concoctions reflected sudden trends — boldly colored foods in rainbow and jet black seemed to be everywhere this summer — while others were just especially absurd iterations of longstanding patterns in cuisine — like the ever-evolving quest to be healthy and the instinctual yearning to eat all of the chocolate.
In the current cultural moment, even if a particularly outrageous dish is only available in one place, its fame can spread around the world at the speed of a teenager’s texting thumbs. Some of these creations hail from places around the globe, but most of them became Instagram stars or at least garnered a great deal of online hype. Read on to find out if you have sampled any of these 10 craziest foods of summer.
Avocado Macaroni and Cheese
The Internet went absolutely insane over this “healthy” macaroni and cheese recipe that substituted avocado for a majority of the dairy in this childhood favorite dish. Twitter exploded with memes posted in response to the account @TheFitFood, which posted the controversial video showing viewers how to make the green noodle bake.
This might not even count as food — some of these avocado art creations are too pretty to eat. The intricate avocado carvings went viral on places like Instagram and Reddit.
What a sight for sore eyes! After being rainbow-ed to death by the unicorn trend, Japanese ramen brand Nissin Cup Noodle released a jet-black squid ink instant ramen. The obsidian-toned noodles and broth warmed the hearts of many goths and fit right into the aesthetic of anyone who was just over multi-colored everything.
Cough Drop Kit Kats
The unexpected chocolate bar flavor was actually made with soccer fans in mind. The throat-soothing Kit Kats were released to honor Japan’s participation in the 2018 World Cup and feature Yasutaro Matsuki, a Japanese soccer commentator.
French Fry Fork
Released in a McDonald’s infomercial parody, the “frork” uses French fries as edible prongs to scoop up sweet and sour sauce, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, or McFlurry. There was even an infomercial hotline number to call. If only it was real!
If you did indulge in anything rainbow or sparkly (or even pastel), then you definitely lusted after the galaxy bagel. It was the sparkly younger sister of last year’s rainbow bagel, this time covered in edible sequins and glitter. Both of these vibrant creations have issued forth from the attention-grabbing Bagel Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Glow-in-the-Dark Cotton Candy
Disney found a way to light up the night with more than just fireworks. This light-up cotton candy quickly became a Disneyland favorite and a social media darling. No, the candy isn’t radioactive; it has a glowstick stem.
2-Pound Nutella Doughnut
Named “Donutella Versace,” this two-pound Nutella doughnut from Australian doughnut shop Doughnut Time is a hefty treat. The Kit Kat-, Oreo-, brownie-, and gold flake-topped creation even comes with a mini jar of Nutella in the middle. Death by chocolate seems almost possible!
Rainbow Grilled Cheese
This rainbow grilled cheese made us want to play with our food. The gorgeous Roy G. Biv-inspired sandwich was created by a Thai pop-up named Happy Cheese Toast and quickly inspired jealousy in everyone who could not get to Thailand ASAP for one of these mesmerizing childhood favorites.
Watermelon Soft Serve
This Dominique Ansel dessert was just as pretty as it was delicious. The “What-a-Melon” soft serve, served in a slice of fresh watermelon, became an immediate Instagram hit and a summer must-have during the four days that it was sold in New York City.
Some of these mobile kitchen food creations are also pretty crazy, check out the 101 best food trucks in America.