Sometimes it’s quite easy to see how a food trend came to be when you look back over the previous year. The Hawaiian specialty Poke became big, so it ushered an increased interest over other popular items like spam musubi. Asian cuisine has always been popular, so people try new things on the menu like takoyaki and pho. The demand for Mexican food has boosted awareness of other favorite Latin American dishes like ternera and patacones. Increased interest in vegetarian diets has boosted the popularity of quinoa.
But then you also look back and wonder at some of the would-be “food trends” that somehow defied all reason. So let’s review the crazy food trends that occurred all over the world.
Los Angeles – Entomophagy
The people in other parts of the US have always looked a little bit askance at the residents of LA, because they’re just so unique. It’s true that the city has often been the source of fads that has become popular all over the world. After all, it’s Hollywood. But sometimes they’re just so strange.
Take the entomophagy trend in 2016, for example. It’s strange because it’s just a rather more innocuous term for eating bugs. In fact, Aly Moore of LA actually tried to educate Angelinos on how to properly pair insects with fine wine.
Her dishes include scorpions (match it with Sauvignon Blanc) and silk worms (Zinfadel). Other examples included tacos with crickets and donuts with ants.
Moscow – Nutria Burger
The Muscovites are doing their best to compete in the strange food niche, and the nutria burger is featured in the new Krasnodar Bistro in Moscow. It’s strange because nutria is actually a giant river rat with prominent orange teeth. If you don’t like burgers, you can also try nutria dumplings and hotdogs.
Nutria meat has long been served in the Krasnodar region in southern Russia, and that’s where the bistro got its name. There is plenty of the meat available, because trappers go after nutria rats because their fur can be made into affordable fur coats. They’re not endangered since they multiply very quickly.
Sydney – Pokémon Burgers
Everyone was roaming in the streets in 2016 because of Pokémon Go, so a Sydney Down N’ Out restaurant began offering Pokémon burgers.
There are several versions. With the Charmander burger, you get a hot taste because of the volcanic cheese and extra spice. The Pikachu burger tastes even stranger, and you can get those with tiger fries. If you want something more familiar, then you can try the grassier-tasting Bulbasaur burger, which is similar to a Big Mac.
You couldn’t get the version you want, as they’re all randomly distributed. In any case, the promo ended in September.
Melbourne – Sushi Donuts
These Australians really are something else, aren’t they? There must be an effect on their psyche when they spend their whole lives upside down. That’s why they can imagine something like sushi donuts. It’s made of rice with lots of toppings like wasabi, avocado, seeds, peppers, and gingers. Another version has avocado, cashew mayonnaise, wasabi, ginger, and black sesame.
Soon people in all parts of the world, from Ireland to Japan, were posting their own versions on social media.
Amsterdam – Avocado Bun
So you want a healthy version of the bun burger? Instead of using the traditional bread bun, you can use avocado instead. It’s going to be tricky to eat by hand, though, so you need a knife and fork and you eat it like a salad.
The idea is part of the overall trend of turning junk food into something much healthier. While you can use the classic cheeseburger ingredients in between the avocado, you can also try putting in a chickpea burger with grilled baby sweetcorn.
Hong Kong – Rainbow Cheese Toasties
In the most recent Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival, it wasn’t just about the taste of the dishes. It was also about how they looked. That’s why the traditional orange cheese was replaced with cheese toasties in many different colors. The rainbow cheese toasties craze even reached London.
There was also purple grilled cheese and colored soup dumplings too. Bland looks may lead to bland tastes, and the creators of these dishes certainly didn’t want that.
Minnesota – Candied Bacon Donut Sliders
There were 32 new food items introduced in the latest Minnesota Trade Fair, but among the most interesting was the candied bacon donut slider. You have thick candied bacon, which you then place inside the sliced glazed donut holes. For best results, you have to try it with chocolate red wine ganache.
New York – Brooklyn Blackout Cake Shake
One of the more popular eateries in NY is Black Tap, as they’ve enjoyed a reputation for their insane milkshakes. To greet the 2016 summer, they launched the limited edition Brooklyn Blackout Cake Shake.
The restaurant has been selling about a thousand shakes a day at $15 each, and some even line up for 2 hours. That’s the kind of behavior that’s certainly crazy.
So what kind of weird food trend have you heard about recently? More importantly, tell us if you’ve tried it and if you found it delicious!