Keeping Up with the Food Trends of 2017-18

Clothes aren’t the only things that come in and out of style; foods do too.


Melissa Cen

The Unicorn Taiyaki from Taiyaki.

Social media is constantly surprising us with new food trends. These edible fads are constantly evolving—from avocado toast to acai bowls—so make sure that you keep up!

From the beginning of 2017, the unicorn trend has been all over the Internet. This vibrant craze consists of rainbow based pastries, typically with a unicorn horn on top. These lively desserts lure people in and make the perfect instagram pictures. Such foods in this style include macarons, lattes, ice cream, cakes, and even grilled cheese.

One major food chain to hop on the bandwagon is Starbucks. In April of 2017, Starbucks released a new eye catching drink, the Unicorn Frappuccino, but with a catch—the drink was only available for five days. The event was so popular, most stores were sold out of the vibrant beverage before the fifth day came. This promoted the lively trend and inspired others to make their own variations of unicorn themed foods.

 There is a new craze that has been described as “gothic” is rising as well. An alternative to the unicorn theme—in case you get sick of the bright colors—is the charcoal craze.

Coconut Ash Ice Cream from Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream

Activated charcoal is made from the byproduct of burning coconut shells. Charcoal gives foods a deep black shade, making it prominent in comparison to ordinary foods. Like foods following the unicorn trend, foods from the charcoal trend are eye catching and aesthetically pleasing. This ingredient has been advertised as having a variety of health benefits, from “detoxing” your body to relieving bloating to reducing cholesterol.

The Internet has a newfound love for uncommon foods with health benefits, such as smoothie bowls, and specifically the acai bowl. They are typically decorated with colorful toppings, including fruits, seeds, and nuts. “They taste just like ice cream!” said Annie Liu ’19. Without sacrificing taste, these bowls are packed with nutrients and use only natural sugars for sweetness. Smoothie bowls are all over the Internet due to their photogenic looks.

Ube Soft Serve from Soft Swerve

Alongside the smoothie bowls is the ube trend. Ube is a type of yam used in many Filipino desserts. Its bright purple color attracts the attention of social media users worldwide. Although this dessert has Filipino origins, there are a multitude of variations sold in stores in New York City.

“Soft Swerve ice cream is definitely my favorite food trend. The taste of ube really sets it apart from other flavors.”

Located in Lower Manhattan, Soft Swerve reels its customers in with it’s ube soft serve and unique flavors. In addition to their unique flavors of soft serve, a variety of unique toppings finish the Asian dessert. An aesthetic treat and a delectable confectionary, the ube ice cream is a favorite of many.

“Soft Swerve ice cream is definitely my favorite food trend. The taste of ube really sets it apart from other flavors,” said Dora Cham ’19.

Halo Halo from Ube Kitchen

Another New York City location that serves ube-based desserts is Smorgasburg. Open on weekends in Brooklyn, Smorgasburg is a food fair with cultures from all over the world. One popular attraction they have is the Filipino dessert, called Halo Halo, made with ube ice cream, catered by Ube Kitchen.

Ube Raindrop Cake at Smorgasburg

Not only can you discover the Filipino variation of an ube based dessert, but you can also experience the Japanese variation. Served also at the diverse food fair, the raindrop cake comes in two flavors: original and ube. The ube flavored raindrop cake is made with the purple yam which gives the jelly-like cake a lively purple hue. The simple yet delicious dessert is a treat worth sharing on social media.