By Brenna O’Dea
First of all, this barely even count as a “food trend” because, well, it’s not food. I just cannot help myself. I must address the Croix Craze. The product is not new. The brewing began back in 1981 in a state that I certainly have a soft spot for, Wisconsin. I wish I could say that as a Badger I am proud of this origin…but honestly…I do not understand the hype. I am certainly bias as I tend to steer clear of all carbonation (thank you acid reflux), but I did make a small effort to hop on the bandwagon this summer. Cases of the beverage lined the walls of the office where I spent most days, and when I found myself craving those afternoon naps, a bit of bubbly sounded pretty perfect. WRONG. The flavor lacks, the fizz fades, and studies show that sipping on that seltzer might not be the best choice for those pearly whites. So enjoy the occasional can, but for all the hype out there, this one falls flat (literally).
Savory yogurt & Sweet hummus
The tables have turned. You can now dip your chips into something sweet and your spoon into something savory…and it’s just plain weird. Let’s begin with the chocolate hummus by Hope. The brand offers plenty of varieties that sound great: thai coconut curry, lemon peppercorn, and kale pesto to name a few. However, the most recent addition to the flavor family made me raise an eyebrow (or two). Chocolate should be a food group all its own, I could say the same about hummus, but when you put the two together…sparks do NOT fly. Nor does magic happen when you flavor yogurt with squash…or tomatoes. Blue Hill Yogurt brings us beautiful dairy from the beautiful Berkshires, from 100% grass fed cows. Unfortunately, the flavors are not quite as lovely. The beet and carrot flavor sound a bit more tolerable, but I recommend that we rein it in and keep coffee as our craziest yogurt flavor.
Bone broth pops
NEED I SAY MORE?? I mean…seriously people…but just in case you are not convinced that the words meat and popsicle should never be paired together…I am here to make my case. This crazy cooky concoction was born out of the bone broth boom. Now, in itself, bone broth can be great…the problem came when people thought it would be a good idea to freeze the broth. Some things were just not meant to be frozen. Mac and cheese, oatmeal, clam chowder…any chowder. Of course, sometimes freezing a hot beverage is the best idea in town…that frozen hot chocolate stuff sounds pretty damn delicious. But when something meaty is on the menu, I certainly hope the word popsicle is not.
Burgers, burritos, even DONUTS. The sushi-fying frenzy was almost too much to handle. I honestly do not know when this all took off…or why…but I am glad that it faded fast. Sushi is not something to be messed with. Already an art form in itself, there is no need to stack it up like a sandwich or put a hole in the center. Besides, burgers, burritos, and donuts (especially donuts) are already beautiful bites on their own, why complicate things. Of course, innovation and combination in cooking can lead to loveliness, but a sushi donut?? Really?? Thanks, but no thanks.
Banana milk & Coffee flour
I am all about alternatives. Almond milk and almond flour, coconut milk and coconut flour…I have even experimented with hemp and flax varieties. These two takes on traditional kitchen staples however, leave me questioning the future of humanity. Okay, maybe that is going a bit too far, but come on, must we milk and juice EVERYTHING? Must we turn traditional baked goods into unrecognizable mutants? Banana milk is basically a watered down banana smoothie. It hardly qualifies as “milk” and the texture is funky. Coffee flour is basically powered coffee beans…that’s it. These creative spins are no where near as abhorrent as the aforementioned bone broth popsicle…but I think I’ll stick with my almond milk latte for now.
A short lived summer specialty, the avocado “bun” was pretty much a bust, and we are just fine with that. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good avocado and I think it pretty much combines well with any flavor or dish, but I’m sorry, an avocado cannot replace the classic burger bun. The texture, the color, it just doesn’t cut it. I guess it was a nice attempt at health-ing up the greasy American favorite, but sometimes that’s just what you need, a gorgeous greasy gooey burger on a fluffy bready bun. And hey, for the ultimate avocado addict, just slice some right on there or slather on some guac. You’ll get the best of both worlds and your stomach will thank you.