The summer of 2013 brought us the cronut, and even though the two-hour lines haven’t died down at Dominique Ansel’s bakery, other bakeries and even fast food chains are jumping on the bandwagon this year with Endless Doughnut Hybrid Creations like the donnoli (doughnut/cannoli creation) and the wonut (same — but with waffles).
Speaking of cronuts, Dominique Ansel has moved on to other creative (and some would say, tasty) concepts this year, like the highly-anticipated cookie shot. If you still haven’t had one yet, we highly recommend taking the trip to taste this fudge-lined cookie shot glass filled with organic milk. Shortly thereafter, his bakery was shut down due to a rat infestation, but that didn’t stop the buzz from surrounding his other creations this year like the waffo-gato.
The cookie shot is definitely not low-fat, and in case you want to start your high-calorie habits early in the day, we are in the midst of the Fast Food Breakfast Wars. For a long time, McDonald’s was the only game in town with the McCafe and beloved Egg McMuffin, but this year, Burger King amped up its own breakfast menu by offering burgers all day long, and Taco Bell launched its very first line of breakfast items like the Quesarito, the A.M. Crunchwrap, and the Waffle Taco.
We may have exceeded any real or imagined expectations of insane fast food in America, but when it comes to weird fast food, they almost have us beat overseas. Quirky International Fast Food is almost an art form, from the marmite-stuffed crust pizza in New Zealand, and cheeseburger-stuffed pizza available in Australian Pizza Huts, to the Kit Kat pizza in Japan, and the McChurro at Japanese McDonald’s locations. Hmmm… We’re a little bit jealous, state-side.
Even though fast food chains are amping up their foreign menus, 2014 is most assuredly The Year of Fast Casual over fast food. Chipotle, Panera, and Starbucks are all spreading their wings and offering more tasty (and organic) options than ever, like the Sofritas vegan protein option at Chipotle. Speaking of organic, Panera and Chipotle have both pledged this year to cut out artificial foods and GMOs from their ingredient list. That also goes for familiar companies like Kraft Singles, which now uses all-natural cheese.
We’re definitely becoming more aware as a society of the consequences behind worshipping the golden arches, and that’s why 2014 is also shaping up to be The Year of the Paleo Diet. Last year was all about going gluten-free, and mixing it up with a juicing or vegan-friendly diet, but in 2014, cookbooks like The Civilized Caveman have taught us how to live an all-natural, primitive eating lifestyle, and we don’t even have to deprive ourselves of sweets! There’s even Paleo cookie dough.
Sweet treats are being jazzed up across the country (hello Godiva Trufflelata!), but nowhere has the word “sugar high” taken on such a literal meaning as in Colorado. The legalization of marijuana in Colorado earlier this year has led to an influx of Marijuana Bakeries and a new trend of “baked” goods. It’s not just about brownies anymore.
For the latest happenings in the food and drink world, visit our Food News page.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi