As food trends come and go, this one’s pretty enticing and moreover, mysterious. We all know how beneficial it is to eat green foods, but these magical food items are a different ball game altogether and have become a trend on social media. While you could opt for black food colouring to achieve the same effect, plenty of food options exist in this dark hue. Why black-hued foods have caught on is due to the sudden emergence of bitter, charred ingredients and the elevation of activated charcoal as a health food. There are plenty of ingredients that happen to be black, such as black garlic or black truffle, but it isn’t just the flavour that is attractive to chefs. Many admit that the visual statement black ingredients make on the platter is a major part of the appeal. Sensationally coloured foods are an exception to the rule though.
Earlier, black ice cream was a massive social media sensation, thanks especially to the glossy, black coconut ash ice cream, followed up by goth soft serves. In a tradition which started in the early 2000s, April 14 is celebrated as Black Day, the antithesis of Valentine’s Day, wherein single women and men wear black clothes and eat black bean noodles. Chef Dipu Thomas, Executive Chef, Elior India says how black food is lighting up the culinary world.
This is the very ingredient that started the whole black food trend. Activated charcoal was formerly praised for its innumerable health benefits but is now mostly used to colour food items.
Another naturally occurring black ingredient that is used in Japanese cooking is black seaweed. If you’re looking to add some umami flavour to your dishes but still want them to be pitch black, try adding this ingredient.
Coconut ash is yet another ingredient that took the world by storm after being used in ice cream and sorbets. You can purchase this in bulk to colour your food or buy it for snacking in the form of sweet treats.
Coffee is one of those few things we’ve been having black for ages, so of course, espresso had to be on this list. When used in larger amounts, coffee can be used to colour your desserts in a dark hue. One example would be coffee jelly.
Who could forget these childhood favourites? Oreo cookie crumbles are a go-to for coating desserts and turning them black. Also, they are easily available in speciality food stores or chains, thus making it a favoured choice.
When used in large amounts, the use of raw cocoa has the power to help you create mesmerising black food. Try using this ingredient in black bean brownies for a dark coloured treat.
For savoury dishes that want to have a special look, squid ink is a great choice. Squid ink used in pasta and paella is very popular in Mediterranean cuisine as well as in many Asian dishes. This imparts a very unique flavour and gives your food a dark hue. If there is one ingredient driving the black food trend, it has to be squid ink. Chefs all over the world are making use of this ingredient to rethink notable dishes.