Activated Charcoal Fish And Chips Is Absolutely Crazy (Photos)


By Cooking Panda

Whether or not eating activated charcoal is actually good for you, its trendiness on Instagram is understandable. 

It makes ice cream look chic in a villainous way.

A post shared by POPSUGAR Food (@popsugarfood) on

It makes lattes look like they possess Voldemort-level dark powers.

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It’s an aesthetic superpower, no doubt about it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it should be put into everything, as has been demonstrated by this Australian eatery’s divisive new dish, making strides on the internet for (likely) unintended reasons: it, um, looks like poop.

The fish is cooked in a batter containing apple cider vinegar and activated charcoal and served on beetroot labneh, a cheese made from strained yogurt.

Melbourne’s Long Story Short Cafe is revered for its photogenic all-day brunch, and it’s not hard to see why. A quick scroll through the restaurant’s Instagram gives way to enchanting stacks of Tim Tam pancakes, dessert burgers covered by fabulous domes of cotton candy and unreal matcha lattes with white chocolate. With an immaculate track record like that, what the devil were they thinking blackening pieces of fish until they resembled dog droppings baking in the hot sun?

They were trying to make a statement, Long Story Short owner Ly Nguyen told

“We wanted to incorporate fish and chips into our menu, but we don’t do standard dishes,” she said. “We always like to have a twist to our dishes.”

Besides its fecal appearance, the dish presents another issue.

It’s unlikely that the activated charcoal in the dish really does the body any good. According to WebMD, the only thing activated charcoal has been proven to do is treat minor poisonings. While the trendy food is celebrated for reducing cholesterol and healing hangovers, there’s little evidence it does either. It’s yet another health trend with lots of looks and little substance.

Despite its resemblance to campfire-roasted feces, the menu item must be performing well, judging by the restaurant’s caption in the photo below.

“Overwhelmed by the love and wonderful feedback from those who have tried our activated charcoal fish and chips,” it reads. 

In fact, the dish tastes like regular fish and chips, and the hundreds of customers who have ordered it have eaten every bite, Nguyen told

Curious to try it? With a glance at the restaurant’s breakfast menu, it sounds like a destination worth the trip. Its new fairy floss dessert burger — a Sicilian brioche with honeycomb gelato, fruit salad, white chocolate matcha sauce, fruit jellies and a huge cotton candy dome that you douse with coconut milk to uncover the burger — has appeared in many an Instagram video.

Their buttermilk Tim Tam pancakes are made with poached Nashi pears, vanilla peanuts, mascarpone “chocolate soup” and Tim Tam gelato.

And their avocado toast — topped with poached eggs, broccolini, goat cheese, nuts and seeds — looks like food fit for a fairy.

Guess it’s time for a trip Down Under.

Sources:, WebMD / Featured image credit: Pixabay

Tags: Australia, charcoal, fish and chips, food trends, long story short, Melbourne
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Goth Pizza Is Now A Thing, Will You Try It? (Photos)


By Cooking Panda

As with the colorful unicorn and mermaid trend, there is also an “anti”-unicorn and mermaid trend. That is, a black/dark-colored food trend. Say hello to black-crusted Goth pizza.

When I say trend, I definitely mean it. Restaurants are coming up with black-crusted pizza by using activated charcoal, according to Delish. We’ve now got black ice cream, charcoal lattes and black pizza.

The black pizza was already available in other parts of the world — mainly Japan, Indonesia, the U.K. and Canada, but the U.S. has been slower to catch on. Probably because we love unicorns and mermaids so much. Just check out these pizza crusts …

Fashion goths and foodies rejoice – chic "black" food isn't just for Japan anymore. While activated charcoal has been a favorite on the health scene for some time (ahem, remember when we tried it as a cleanse?), now it's being used to upgrade your pizza. Naples native Salvatore Olivella has created activated charcoal mozzarella, pasta, and pies for his restaurant, Olivella, in North Bergen, New Jersey. Hey, that's not a bad trek to get this 'gram. Not only does it look cool, activated charcoal reportedly aids in digestion, reduces bloating, and may even lower cholesterol. And you thought your gluten-free pizza was healthy. Olivella, 7709 Bergenline Ave, North Bergen, NJ . . . @guestofaguest @olivellarestaurant @eaterlifestyle @eater @buzzfeedfood @chefsofinstagram @boozyburbs @bravoandy @bravoandy @tushybrand @foodandwine @metropolisnights @pizza #blackpizza #pasta #olivellanj #charcoal #italianfood #meatballing #weloveourcustomers #naples #america #usa #tagafriend #repost #share #love #foodie #foodgram share and ??tag your friends with #??#olivellanj to have your fabulous photos featured! Gem of New Jersey 7709 Bergenline Ave,North Bergen, NJ Visit us on the web at Instagram @olivellarestaurant (201)662-6110 #happyplace #masterchef #njeats #foodporn #media #anniversary #gemofnj #gemofnewjersey #foodie #eat #italian #blogger #restaurant #newjersey #2017

A post shared by Olivella |Tag Us #olivellanj (@olivellarestaurant) on

Olivella Restaurant in North Bergen, New Jersey, is using activated charcoal in their crust, mozzarella and pasta.

Masseria is a restaurant located in Toronto, but the picture is perfect for getting an idea of what to expect from an order of charcoal pizza.

So, what’s the deal with this weird new charcoal trend?

According to Real Simple, activated charcoal is what you get when you burn coconut shells, wood or other plant materials. The reason it’s called “activated” charcoal is because it carries a negative charge, which means it’s supposed to have the ability to bind positive charges together and remove them from the body. That might sound a bit alarming, but it’s actually supposed to be quite healthy.

All kinds of rumors are flying about the potential health benefits of activated charcoal, but don’t expect to experience them from eating pizza or ice cream made with the ingredient. It’s said to aid in digestion, help lower cholesterol and even help us to fight hangover symptoms. Whether that last part is true (it hasn’t been proven), the concentration of charcoal in your food is going to be too small to actually have these effects, so don’t get too excited. If anything, it’s just there to make your food more fun to eat.

If you’re looking to experiment with some charcoal foods, you can try a nice serving of Coconut Ash ice cream from Morgenstern’s in New York City.

Black Coconut Ash

Like other foods that feature the dark ingredient, it is said to have a mild taste. The charcoal may make everything look burnt, but it’s not reported to actually taste burnt. The only negative comment about the ice cream that I’ve come across is that it has a chalky aftertaste. Oh, and it might make your teeth look a little dirty. Consider yourself warned!

Sources: Delish, Real Simple / Photo credit: Pexels, Morgenstern's

Tags: Activated Charcoal, Black Pizza, food trends, Goth Foods, Pizza
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This Valentine’s, Snap A Pic Of Your Food, Not Your Bae


By Cooking Panda

Now this is a trend I’m sure we can all get behind!

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, plenty of people are preparing for a special day that is made specifically to allow them to honor their significant others.

But for single folks, a-romantic folks, or folks in relationships who just don’t want to celebrate the holiday for political, personal or other reasons, sometimes seeing all of the love plastered around social media on Valentine’s Day can get a bit grating.

Here’s the good news, though: Nobody gets tired of checking out delicious looking meals on their social media feeds!

Right? Right? Or have we been totally annoying all of our Facebook and Instagram friends?

As it happens, this year food pictures are slated to be more widely circulated around the web on Valentine’s Day than are sappy romantic pictures between couples, according to a study by Co-op, per Metro.

Apparently, only 8 percent of couples are planning on posting photos of their #bae online on Feb. 14, whereas 20 percent of people are super pumped about posting a drool-worthy food snap instead.

That definitely makes the holiday media presence more inclusive, considering that even though not all of us are into Valentine’s Day, pretty much everybody needs to eat.

Additionally, Co-op found that many of the most popular pastimes for couples involve food — we’re talking what you snack on for Netflix and Chill, where you go (out for a romantic dinner), how you show your boo you care (breakfast in bed) and more.

How are you planning on spending your Valentine’s Day? Are you going out, or staying in?

But most importantly of all — will you be uploading a sexy food photo to the web? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Metro / Photo Credit: CandyK.byKarolina/Instagram

Tags: food pics, food trends, holiday, romantic, valentines day
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Whole Foods Predicts 2017’s Biggest Food Trends


By Cooking Panda

Alright, Instagram foodies of the world! The end-of-the-year list I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. Whole Foods has released its official predictions for which foods are going to be crazy popular next year, thus clueing you in to what you should be Pinteresting, snapping photos of, ordering at brunch and sharing online.

Are you so excited?

Whole Food’s popular food list for 2017 was shared by Business Insider, and spans an impressive array of items from alternative noodles, chips made out of coconuts, wellness tonics and cauliflower in magnificent hues of purple.

As for who actually came up with the predicted popular selections, that would be the people in charge of tracking consumer behavior when it comes to purchasing Whole Foods products.

So let’s get specific with the top 7.

The first product to have on your radar is coconut. Apparently, you’ll be able to find a wide range of coconut products, featuring the delicious nut as an ingredient in coconut flour tortillas, coconut chips, coconut sugar aminos, and more. 

Secondly, the rainbow bagel has finally met its match in purple foods. From tortilla chips to cauliflower, potatoes and asparagus, purple-hued foods are about to have their heyday (and probably pop up all over your feeds).

Byproducts are in in 2017, which means more yummy foods with less terrible waste!

“Whether it’s leftover whey from strained Greek yogurt or spent grains from beer, food producers are finding innovative — and delicious — ways to give byproducts new life,” Whole Foods told Business Insider.

Tonics are also on the rise, so if you’re a fan of alternative medicine, you’ll have your pick of different botanicals and elixirs.

If you’re tired of the standard ketchup, mayo or mustard, interesting condiments are seeing a surge in popularity, with Whole Foods recommending to look out for “black sesame tahini, habanero jam, ghee, pomegranate molasses, black garlic puree, date syrup, plum jam with chia seeds, beet salsa, Mexican hot chocolate spreads, sambal oelek or piri piri sauce, Mina Harissa, and Frontera adobo sauces (ancho, chipotle, and guajillo varieties).”

Perhaps its no surprise that pasta alternatives are also in style, what with gluten-free diets being so prevalent these days. Alternative-grain noodles made out of kelp, vegetables, lentils, chickpeas or other plant-based solutions are all the rage.

Finally, Japanese food is prevalent for 2017, with flavors like seaweed, sesame oil, mirin, miso and ponzu growing in popularity.

“Japanese-inspired eating is on the rise, and it doesn’t look anything like a sushi roll,” Whole Foods told Business Insider.

Sources: Business Insider / Photo Credit: Steffi DeRobertis/Instagram

Tags: alternative condiments, food list, food trends, purple food, whole foods
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The Goth Bagel Has Officially Taken Over The Rainbow Bagel’s Reigning Crown


By Cooking Panda

If you were fascinated — at first — by the rainbow bagel, but are now on the hunt for the newest food to bolster your Instagram food game, look no further: The next brunch fan-favorite has arrived.

New York’s popular burger and milkshake joint, Black Tap (you know — the place famous for their towering and remarkable milkshake creations) has collaborated with the OG Rainbow Bagel creators, The Bagel Store, to bring you the most spooky and sophisticated breakfast bite we’ve ever seen.

Say hello to the limited edition Goth Bagel.

Move over #rainbowbagel! It's time for #gothbagel to feed our under slept souls ?????????

A photo posted by Yummy Mummy (@yummymummypk) on

Per Nylon, the bagel is made using black sesame seeds, black sea salt, pepper, and truffle essence, all coming together in a black-and-white swirled bagel to delight (or depress?) your gothic culinary sensibilities.

The bagel has also been used as the bun of a burger that includes Pat LaFrieda beef, bacon, egg, cheese and truffle mayo.

“Everyone loves a good bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel, and we decided to take that classic and add our own great flavors,” said Joe Isidori, chef and owner of Black Tap. “When we talked to Scott [Rossillo] at The Bagel Store, we told him we wanted to play around with Black Tap’s colors — black and white — and he came up with the bagel.”

At the moment, the gothic-bagel-burger chimera is no longer available at Black Tap’s Soho and Meatpacking locations — it was available for a limited time the weekend of Sept. 9. However, given the extreme popularity of Black Tap’s and The Bagel Store’s previous creations, we predict that it’s only a matter of time before the Instagram appeal, combined with the killer flavor combo, brings this bagel back for good.

Source: Nylon / Photo credits: Ashby Dodd/Instagram, The Bagel Store/Instagram, Instagram via ScoopWhoop

Tags: food trends, goth bagel, rainbow bagel, viral foods
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The World Is Getting Even More Pumpkin Spice-Flavored Foods


By Cooking Panda

The pumpkin spice trend has expanded even further.

A variety of limited-edition breakfast foods will soon be available in the quintessential autumn flavor, such as Cheerios, Special K, and Nutri-Grain bars, as reported by Delish.

After the success of Apple Cinnamon Crunch in 2015, Special K has decided to join the pumpkin spice craze with the launch of Pumpkin Spice Crunch. Rice and wheat flakes with a coating of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice will soon be available, much to the delight of Special K fans. Apple Cinnamon Crunch will also be available this year, for those who want more than one fruit-and-spice-infused cereal to choose from.

Several other cereals will also be available in pumpkin spice, including Frosted Mini-Wheats, Barbara’s Puffins, and Cheerios. As sales of the original Cheerios have decreased 18 percent since 2010, similar to other cereals, General Mills executives believe that pumpkin spice and other innovations may help reverse the downward trend, according to Bloomberg.

“There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with cereal,” said Jim Murphy, head of the General Mills’ cereal division. “We just have to keep it relevant.”

Kellogg’s announced that a Pumpkin Spice Nutri Grain bar will soon be joining its pumpkin-infused product lineup. However, compared to other products, these bars will have a real pumpkin filling. With only 140 calories, they will probably be one of the healthiest ways to indulge in the pumpkin spice trend. 

According to Nielsen data, sales of pumpkin-infused food and beverage products have increased 79 percent since 2011, Delish reports.

“Pumpkin itself is a comfort food,” explained Bill Chidley, brand consultant at ChangeUp, as reported by Bloomberg. “It’s just a perennial favorite, like turkey at Thanksgiving, eggnog at Christmas, fireworks on Fourth of July.”

Wharton School marketing professor Jonah Berger, author of “Contagious,” expanded on this sentiment and the tendency that limited-edition products increase sales.

“While you could probably make pumpkin spice foods year-round, they’re typically only available in the fall, and that scarcity drives demand,” Berger explained. “Fall has also become a trigger for pumpkin spice. People think about going pumpkin picking, and so when the season comes around, they’re immediately reminded of the flavor and want to try it.”

Sources: Delish (2), Bloomberg (2) / Photo credit: General Mills via Delish

Tags: autumn, FALL, food trends, General Mills, Kellogg's, pumpkin, pumpkin spice
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Dry Skin? Bad Day? Try Functional Foods!


By Cooking Panda

Everyone knows that what you eat can affect your weight. But did you know that your diet could also influence everything from your skin to your libido? While celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow have been curating their eating habits for years in order to achieve the perfect body, mind, and soul, recent Google Search data suggests that millennials, and the brands that cater to their desires, are beginning to follow suit.

According to “2016 Food Trends on Google: The Rise of Functional Foods,” consumers are becoming more and more interested in so-called “functional foods.” Functional foods are healthy ingredients that support physical wellbeing in a comprehensive way, from weight to mental health. While the idea of “dieting” traditionally focuses on eliminating foods, recent search data indicates that an increasing number of Americans are becoming interested in adding functional foods to their daily lives.

Some of the trendiest functional foods include apple cider vinegar, kefir, turmeric, avocado oil, and bitter melon. Experts suggest that these ingredients can support everything from “better skin, libido, and energy” to “cures for depression, insomnia, and pain.” Searches for turmeric alone have increased 300% over the past five years, as Americans research health benefits and recipes for including the ginger-like spice in their everyday meals.

Google isn’t the only one taking note of these trends, however. More and more brands have started to include functional foods in their ingredient lists, from grocery store merchandise to beauty products. Now you can get probiotics in your crackers and apple cider vinegar in your skin products!

While your grandmother may still believe that ketchup is a vegetable and a heaping spoonful of Jello salad counts as a serving of fruit, the rising popularity of functional foods suggests that the ingredients we put in our bodies are more important than we previously imagined. Next time you’re having a bad hair day or suffering from a cold, why not do a quick Google search and head to the grocery store? There’s probably a functional food for that too! 

Sources: GoogleRefinery29 / Photo credit: Simon Andrew Casey/Deviant Art

Tags: food trends, Functional foods, search trends, turmeric
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The Rainbow Latte Is The Internet’s New Favorite Way To Wake Up In The Morning


By Cooking Panda

Here we go again.

It’s no secret that 2016 has been the year of the rainbow — in the online food community, that is. These days, walking into a cafe and not seeing at least one technicolored-option on the menu is actually sort of flabbergasting. I feel like those folks in Willy Wonka, licking the food-flavored walls.

“The snozzberries taste like snozzberries! The rainbow bagels… still taste like bagels!”

Diners have seen their favorite food staples (just a few days ago, we told you about the rainbow grilled cheese in Hong Kong) get subjected to several doses of food-coloring, and then posted on the internet, all in the name of marketability.

No consumable is safe anymore. So it’s no wonder that when Mason Salisbury, a barista at Las Vegas coffee shop Sambalatte, shared his newest psychedelic innovation on Instagram, it instantly went viral.

Behold the Rainbow Latte, created by adding food coloring to steamed milk.

You’ve got to admit — it sure is pretty.

For that special someone:


Source/Picture: Instagram/ibrewcoffee

Tags: Facebook, food trends, rainbow latte, Viral
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