Food fads to leave behind in 2019

The month of January offers a time after the busy holiday season to plan for the coming year. It also provides an opportunity to say goodbye to those questionable culinary food fads of 2018 that hopefully will be consigned to the dust bin of history, including…

Broccoli Coffee

ACF 2018 Goodbye Food Fads 1 Coffee

Yes, that’s right — broccoli coffee. Created in Australia by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization and Hort Innovation, it was a response to an increased interest in healthy eating and an effort to also diversify the island’s crops. It was hoped that the new beverage would inspire Australia’s meat-loving population to consume more vegetables — this time in an easy-to-drink liquid form.

To make broccoli coffee, the vegetable had to be dried, ground into a fine powder, and added into one’s favorite latte or espresso. Two tablespoons of the green nutrient-rich powder equaled approximately one serving of fresh vegetables.

Science Alert Magazine reported that despite its health benefits, Melbourne coffee drinkers were not wild about “green coffee.” Oh well, there’s always St. Patrick’s Day.

Doughnut Burgers

ACF 2018 Goodbye Food Fads 2 Donut Burger

Over a year ago on the first Friday in June, the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square joined with New York’s Entenmann’s Bakery to create the “Donut Burger,” a dish designed to honor National Doughnut Day.

The first dish offered to diners was the “Glazed Donut Breakfast Burger,” which featured a six-ounce burger patty, eggs, bacon and cheddar cheese stuffed between two glazed donuts. The second burger was the “Sweet and Spicy Donut Burger,” which consisted of a chocolate donut stuffed with a four-ounce burger patty, grilled pineapple, jalapeño salsa and bacon.

Innovative, different, perfect for breakfast or lunch — there’s one question, however, that may block its fate as an enduring trend: what about the donut hole?

Unicorn Everything

ACF 2018 Goodbye Food Fads 3 Unicorn Toast

Any food item that has been embellished with brightly colored food dye or colorful accessories just for the sake of “cuteness” can be said to have joined this food fad which has thundered across the culinary scene for several years now. Toast, cupcakes and even coffee have fallen under the spell of colored sprinkles and rainbow-hued food additives.

A Miami based Internet blogger and food stylist, Adeline Waugh, is credited with launching this oh-so-colorful trend on her website while experimenting with natural food dyes to create more attractive healthier foods. Beet juice led to her first hot pink success with an eye-popping array of colors that followed.

Chefs from coast to coast can now heave a sigh of relief as this tie-dye culinary color trend is fading. Without the excessive use of “funfetti” sprinkles, “mermaid toast” can thankfully return to the bottom of the sea and colored “unicorn marshmallows” to the daydreams of childhood.

Carrot Hot Dogs

ACF 2018 Goodby Food Fads 4 Carrot Hot Dog

Vegetables are enjoying a renaissance on menus today and with good reason. Our planet can no longer support an ever-expanding meat-based menu. Vegetables, well cooked, can provide a much more earth friendly source of protein. Vegetables like kale and cauliflower are appearing with increased regularity in everything from school lunches to pizza crusts.

Innovative food companies are also working hard to produce meat-tasting substitutes for those who still long for the flavor of meat. Mushrooms, soy, oatmeal, and pinto beans are just a few of the ingredients in their creative blends.

But sometimes, well, a carrot is just a carrot, and not a hot dog. Boiled carrots as a substitute for America’s ball park favorite calls for more creativity and innovation. No matter the condiments, it pales to comparison to America’s beloved Fourth of July hot dogs. So please, respect the true dog!

Each year food fads like these come and go in and out of style. ACF Chefs have a definite professional advantage though. They can spot emerging trends easily and be ahead of the curve by following the new We Are Chefs website as well as by attending their local ACF chapter meetings and going to the National Convention. Being an ACF member will keep trend-setting Chefs in the know this new year and beyond.

Ana Kinkaid is the editor of the culinary magazine CONNECT.