The most pervasive food trend of 2017 was inspired by a mythical animal. Rainbows gave way to a stampede of unicorns, which left devastation (and millions of colorful Instagram pictures) in its wake. It affected (infected?) everything from bagels to wedding cakes, hot chocolate, Froot Loops, and booze, but the trend reached its zenith (or nadir?) when Starbucks jumped on the bandwagon in April and introduced its Unicorn Frappuccino: “a sweet dusting of pink powder, blended into a crème Frappuccino with mango syrup and layered with a pleasantly sour blue drizzle. It is finished with vanilla whipped cream and a sprinkle of sweet pink and sour blue powder topping.” We’ll pass.
For some reason, some people think that replacing a burger bun with an entire halved avocado is a good idea. Fine, it’s low carb. But seriously, an entire avocado? First of all, it’s impossible to eat; just try picking that slippery sucker up. Second, that’s way too much avocado. We shouldn’t have to tell you this, but replacing a burger bun with something else is just dumb. If you don’t want a bun, just don’t eat it.
You know why nobody thought to turn wine into a slushie before now? Because if you actually care about the flavor of wine, you’ll know that freezing it completely kills it. Drinking a cold glass of rosé on a hot day is one of summer’s great pleasures. Walking around with a plastic cup, drinking frozen wine through a straw? That’s just sad.
Milkshakes are just about the unhealthiest foods on earth, but Black Tap in New York (and plenty of imitators) gild the lily by serving them in gigantic vessels, strewn with cookies, marshmallows, hot fudge, and other varieties of junk food. We wonder how many people who bought one of their so-called “freakshakes” just to Instagram it actually ate the whole thing. Maybe two?
A thin slice of beautifully fresh fish, drizzled with some high-quality olive oil and topped with a sprinkle of salt is unquestionably delicious. But we’ve gotten pretty tired of seeing crudo (usually of the hamachi variety, usually shoehorned into the appetizer section for no apparent reason) on the menu at seemingly every new restaurant.
LaCroix has been around for decades, but for some reason within the past few years it’s become the de rigeur hipster accessory. It’s just flavored seltzer water, folks.
‘Nduja is a spicy, spreadable pork salami that originated in the Italian region of Calabria. It’s bold, versatile, and was relatively obscure in the States until a couple years ago, when (like hamachi crudo) it suddenly began appearing on seemingly every new restaurant’s menu. Unless you can do something truly original with it (or unless you’re serving it at a truly authentic Italian restaurant), leave it off.
This trend has barely begun to take off, but it’s already time for it to go away for good. The logical next step in the earthy-crunchy, from-the-source, “as Mother Nature intended” trend, “raw” water is groundwater, river water, and water from non-municipal sources that has been bottled without any treatment and marked up in price. Sure, there’s an off-chance that river water might contain some additional minerals or nutrients, but getting a nasty case of diarrhea (or worse) from waterborne pathogens just because you’ve convinced yourself that plain old drinking water isn’t “natural” enough — well, that’s nothing short of absurd.
Keep it in a cup where it belongs. Putting your smoothie into a bowl doesn’t do anything except make it look better on Instagram. But then again, that might be the whole point.
Tiger nuts are actually the edible tuber of a plant called the yellow nut sedge, and they’re pretty healthy and are popular in West Africa. They also have the flavor and texture of cardboard, and if you eat too many of them in one sitting without thoroughly rehydrating them first, you risk fecal impaction. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate tiger nuts into your cooking, don’t.