Weird and wacky food trends

19 Jan

I’m always fascinated by the new, weird, wacky and wonderful foods I see being created all the time. You would think that food would get boring, would reach its limits, would somehow just keep going round in circles like fashion trends do. There is, of course, some circularity, with old-fashioned recipes, especially baking, coming back into vogue with the neo-Vintage/mend and make do scene. But there are always crazily wonderful new ideas as well.

As you will know, I can be a bit obsessive with food. So, it’s no surprise that I follow various baking and cooking blogs and Facebook pages and Instagram feeds and constantly see them scrolling down my screen every day. And I’m starting to notice some trends. Here are a few of those trends and some of my favourite examples of each. Be aware that (unless I’ve said so), I haven’t tried making or eating any of these, so I cannot be held responsible for either bitter disappointment or unexpected deliciousness.

Mash-ups

It now seems to be a thing to take two different sweet (or savoury) treats and combine them: cheesecake brownies, Margarita cupcakes, cookie pies, cookie cupcakes … you name it, it’s probably been mashed. Here are some of the weirdest combinations I’ve ever heard of.

Chocolate cake pizza

Ok, so I was hoping that this one would be a strange savoury-sweet melange, but really, it’s a cake with a mixture of toppings that make it look like a sweet pizza. I still like the concept, so I’ve included it here. Could I eat it? In several sessions, perhaps…

Potato chip caramel brownie pie

This one looks pretty disgusting. But I’m sure there will be people out there who will love it. Try this at your peril!

Chocolate chip cookie brownie pie (could they add any more words here?)

Cookie pies have been seen at certain fast food outlets, but these are next level and recipes can be found all over the internet. They look delish, but have got to have a shite-tonne of sugar in them. I guess that’s the point.

Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookie Pie. Image from https://www.chocolatemoosey.com/

Doughnut chips

 Well, that’s weekend breakfasts sorted!

Strawberry Pie Cake

Say whaaaat?? This looks very moreish indeed. Now, I just need an excuse to make it. There must be a public holiday coming up soon… and it IS strawberry season in New Zealand… :).

S’more croissants

This is one I’d like to give a go. I’m sure all the Frenchies and Francophiles I know would gasp in horror at this Americanised gastro-abomination, but it combines two delicious things in one heart-attack-snack! I’d do mine with vegan marshmallows, of course.

I could go on and on… but I won’t. For more mash-up inspiration, check out the following links:

Food 52’s best mash-up recipes

Better Homes & Gardens Mash-up recipes

Dessert Mash-ups from Pure Wow

 

Purposely weird or gross

Featuring such gems as Ham and Bananas Hollandaise and Tuna and Jello Pie, this collection of Vintage recipes may not be a new trend, but it is a hilarious rediscovery and will have you gagging… but not for more.

For some reason, lots of food products now seem to have a unicorn equivalent: unicorn cookies, unicorn toast, unicorn everything. But unicorn mac and cheese? Just. why?!?!

Matcha ice cream. Image from http://www.hungryforever.com

Matcha everything. Matcha latte, matcha ice cream, matcha cookies. Matcha overload! It’s not necessarily gross, but it is very … green. But also good, if you like that kind of thing.

I don’t drink coffee, so this is under the gross heading for me, but I’m sure these new coffee trends will delight some.

After the fad of adding butter to coffee, I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone started serving cheese tea. Think I’ll pass on this one.

Techno-cuisine

These kinds of things blow my mind, and would definitely blow my budget. When I lived in England, I once visited a nearby town, Bray, and realised it’s the location of Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, The Fat Duck. I walked up to the door to peruse the menu and noticed that nothing, bar one example of wine by the glass, had a price next to it. That told me that I couldn’t afford anything on that menu. But what a menu! I don’t have the foggiest what was on it now, but some of Blumenthal’s most well-known dishes include snail porridge, triple cooked chips (simmered, cooled, deep fried, cooled and deep fried again) and bacon and egg ice cream. He is also known for using dry ice in his culinary creations.

Blumenthal wasn’t the first to dream up new-age, multi-sensory, techno-cuisine. Here is an article about the rise of molecular gastronomy.

Healthier versions of favourite foods

I quite like these because they make me feel virtuous. And, you know, they still might not be what you can really call healthy, but at least they are healthiER than the alternative.

My favourite site, as many of you will know, is Chocolate Covered Katie. This brilliant woman has dreamed up healthier alternatives to all your favourite treats. Examples include Healthy Oreos, Healthy Brownies (even Chocolate Workout Brownies! Got to balance out all that Boot Camp, right?), ice cream, breakfasts, pizza… you name it, she probably has a healthy alternative. Katie has also published two books of her recipes: Chocolate Covered Katie: Over 80 Delicious Recipes That Are Secretly Good for you and Hello Breakfast! Both are currently on my wishlist and would be on my shelves if only there wasn’t a self-enforced recipe book ban at the moment. There are only so many recipe books one house can contain!

My other go to place for healthy versions is Wholefood Simply. The latest recipes I’d like to try from this site include Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, Four Ingredient Chocolate Fudge Cake and 2 Minute Baked Caramel Brownie Balls (pictured below), none of which sound remotely healthy.

two-minute-baked-caramel-brownie-balls-1-of-1

Mend and Bake Do

Vintage recipes are all the rage, as can be seen in books such as Ladies a plate. This genius book contains recipes like the ones grandma used to make… if you live in New Zealand anyway. Some of the culinary delights on offer are custard squares (the ubiquitous kiwi treat), sponges, pikelets (like little pancakes), scones and more.

Carbs on sugar on carbs on fat, or what I like to call Carbolicious! (though I’m not sure I could face eating them myself…)

Loaded desserts such as bubble or egg waffles. These. look. amazeballs! I wish I’d had a chance to try them on my last trip to Auckland. Sigh. They are available at Nitro Cow and now also at EGGLOO.

Ice cream stuffed doughnuts. Need I say more??!!

And finally, Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches. Looks like a combo made in heaven to me.

Imagination gone wild cakes

Massive kudos to the cake decorators out there. I am only an amateur one and I have mad respect for the real artistry of cake decorating. I can appreciate it all the more after having made a few decorated cakes now, not all of which were a success. I’ve also been to lessons with the amazing Paula Jane Cakes (I talk about the lessons here) and to cake decorating shows where I saw some wildly impressive cakes. It seems that you can make anything out of cake these days. Here are some impressive, amazing and just plain weird ones.

Kitty litter cake, anyone? I also found steak cake, Scrabble cake, even an Ed Sheeran cake!

kitty litter cake

Kitty Litter Cake

For more bizarre cake inspiration, head here. Number one is scarily life-like, number two… she can’t even look at the cake! Can you imagine cutting into that?! Number ten just freaks me out. Why would you want to eat that?

Secret gems

I stumbled across this list and would like to share it with you. It looks like a collection I’d like to delve into (after a bit of vegetarianising of the savoury ones, of course). Strange, little heard of combinations of flavours but, seemingly, delicious.

I’ve also discovered Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheese Cakes. Light and fluffy, unlike your traditional cheese cake, they look simply delicious! Anyone in Auckland fancy posting me one?

I’d also love to hear from anyone who has tried making or eating any of the above. I wish I could try them all, but there is so much food, so little time! Please tell me about your experiences with weird food trends. Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

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