Peculiar combos to pique your taste buds for a summer of daring deliciousness.
Call them food hybrids, mashups, fusion or alchemy. Just when you thought life couldn’t get more awesome than noshing pretzel buns and cronuts, yet more ingenious, quirky flavor pairings grab headlines and catch the attention of foodies everywhere. So, are you in?
Black Charcoal Ice Cream
The trend of adding activated charcoal to face masks and juice cleanses has leapfrogged over to desserts. Food-grade charcoal (or coconut shell ash) mixes with creamy, indulgent ice cream, but it’s the head-turning jet black hue that’s the real wow factor. After the glut of rainbow-saturated Unicorn frappuccinos, this gothic treat stormed social media as a gutsy, noir-ish antidote. Customers flock to New York’s Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream, Little Damage in Los Angeles, or Milkjam Creamery in Minneapolis. Bloggers recommend going dark at home by suffusing with charcoal from health food stores, ikasumi squid ink, black licorice, black sesame paste, black cocoa or black food coloring. Check out amusedblog.com’s recipe or thefauxmartha.com’s vegan version. FYI: Charcoal is neither helpful at detoxifying nor poses health concerns unless in high doses. It can, however, lessen medication’s effects.
Exploding Chocolate Bars
Remember Pop Rocks from yesteryear? The Venezualan chocolatier brothers of Chuao blend the raucous antics of juvenile novelty candy with the uptown gentility of fine chocolates. This July, as you ooh and ahh over fireworks, enjoy a pleasantly explosive bite of their Firecracker Dark Chocolate Bar containing spicy chipotle, salt and popping candy. Continue the fizzing excitement with Pop Corn Pop Bar, which cunningly crafts popping candy with puffed whole grains, toasted corn chips, sea salt and creamy milk chocolate. Craved by A-listers like actress Blake Lively and Chef Bobby Flay, this fair trade-certified and ethically sourced company out of San Diego also rolls out boutique flavors like Cheeky Cheeky Churro, Oh My S’mores, Baconluxious and Cinnamon Cereal Smooch. ($6/bar, chuaochocolatier.com; also at Target, CVS and Bed Bath & Beyond)
The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops
Hot outside temps call for staying inherently cool with an accessible stash of hip frozen treats. The Hyppo Café in St. Augustine concocts dreamy, eclectic medleys, including Avocado Coconut, Watermelon Hibiscus, Pineapple Cilantro, Granny’s Apple Pie and Dark Roast Espresso. The seven-year-old company stresses all-natural, hormone-free artisan recipes made fresh. Amble over to Marley Mae Market & Paperie and Earth Origins, both in Ocala, or Kentucky Bill’s Store of Many Items in Weirsdale for a lick or two. (thehyppo.com)