Food fads: back to basics

Vinegar is set to be a big food trend this year – everything from gourmet fancy flavours to trying it on different foods. Vinegar bars are a thing, offering ‘vinegar microbrews’. The next step in the general pickling trend?

Hot chocolate is back and better than before, with the focus on good quality chocolate and knowing where your cocoa beans are from.

According to The Times, hot chocolate is the new skinny latte. There’s some amazing sounding concoctions happening in America, whilst things are being stripped down, with a focus on quality, here in the UK.

America: peanut butter hot chocolate (SOUNDS GOOD!), pairing gourmet marshmallows (a TNBT on coffee.paper.trend back in 2011) with your hot chocolate and one New York bar selling salted tequila hot chocolate with honey, molasses and vanilla.


UK (well, London, obvs): renowned chocaltier Paul A Young serving up the good stuff at his chocolate shops, William Curley, whose hot chocolate sales have now overtaken coffee sales, and Choccwoccydoodah’s white chocolate drink with pink marshmallows and cream. [White chocolate – yuck]


Did you know…? When chocolate first arrived in Britain, in the mid-17th century, there was a bit of a craze for hot chocolate, with chocolate houses popping up around the capital. Bring them back, I say.


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Sweet Karma – sweet samosas

Ever had a samosa? Yes, of course you have.

Ever had a sweet samosa? Err, what?

There’s plenty of standard desserts out there that we all know, but a new product that twists a savoury dish into a dessert really caught my eye.

Introducing sweet samosas, a new snack/dessert from Neeta Mehta, the founder of Sweet Karma. Neeta sent me one of each variety to try and I’ve had them in the freezer for a few months. Finally, I decided to make them on a Sunday afternoon when family came over. They are perfect for when you want to try/offer something different (and can’t be bothered baking!). I thought they’d be a bit of a novelty thing, but they seemed popular enough to want to get more – as a light dessert, maybe.

We made all four flavours: dark chocolate, raspberry, mango and apple & cinnamon.

The two favourites were dark chocolate – my 14 year-old nephew loved this one and my sister said it tasted like good quality chocolate – and mango (which had a nice flavour, not too sweet or overpowering). The pastry was really nice, crisp and light and there was just enough filling to make it not too sickly.

Just one thing to note: Anyone who’s ever made proper Indian samosas before will instinctively want to fry these. (They look the same, right?) DON’T! They need to be baked. Trust me, they go horribly wrong if fried.

Details of where you can buy Sweet Karma samosas will be posted here soon!

Sweet Karma Sweet Karma

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Waterproof MP3 player vending machine

Waterproof MP3 players. In water-filled bottles. In a vending machine. 

Great idea from Sony to promote the launch of its waterproof  MP3 player – selling them in vending machines at swimming pools and gyms, packaged inside water bottles filled with water!

Swimmers can use the MP3 player while they are in the water. Clever!

Sony Walkman


Props to Sony (or, more specifically, their New Zealand-based agency DraftFCB).

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One to watch: camel milk

Coffee made with camel milk will go on sale at Taylor House Baristas tomorrow. It’s part of a fundraising campaign for Farm Africa, the agricultural development charity.

The camel milk comes from Emirates Industry for Camel & Milk & Products (EICMP), which supplies camel milk under the Camelicious brand.

Camel milk contains around half the fat of cow’s milk and up to five times as much vitamin C!

In October 2011, Ginger’s Comfort Emporium started selling ice cream made using camel milk. In the UAE, you can ask for camel milk instead of cow milk in your coffee and in East Africa, camel milkshakes and other camel milk products have become very popular.

I had a camelcino in Abu Dhabi – it was pretty nice!

Camel milk


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#trendingtopic: felfies

Selfies taken by farmers with their animals, a.k.a. felfies, are hot right now.

The whole things seems to have kicked off after a competition in The Irish Farmers Journal searching for the best selfie taken on a farm. Essex-based farmer’s son William Willson @willwillson100 set up

Technology and social media are giving people who work in remote places or work alone a way of communicating with their peers and others in their industries. According to the Guardian, the real benefit of felfies is to show consumers how their food is produced. A bit of a stretch…?

More than anything else, it’s great PR for farmers, showing that they can have a sense of humour and aren’t all totally old school.

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2014 food trends

Insects, chicken and waffles, the explosion of street food and of course, the cronut. There were all sorts of food fads and trends in 2013. Here are coffee.paper.trend’s ones to watch for 2014:

3D printed food will get a step closer to being part of the kitchen of the future with the launch of Foodini, a 3D (obvs) food printer, in the summer, available for £850. The ingredients come in food capsules (think ink cartridges) and are squeezed out of nozzles in sequences to build up layers. Sounds weird/looks good.

Edible rice paper QR codes on sushi that tell you where your fish was hooked, how sustainable the stocks are and even the faces of the fishermen that caught it. Harney Sushi in California is leading the way. Props to them for still believing in QR codes…

(There’s also food tattoos for fruit and veg which can safely add logos, QR codes, important information, etc)

Edible QR code at Harney Sushi

Food tattooVegefication.

Kale ice lollies and carrot yoghurt are just two examples of typically sweet things that are being given a savoury twist with vegetable flavours instead of fruit/sweet flavours.

Green Wave Smoothie Pops

Blue Hill Yogurt is an American company offering flavours like carrot, tomato and beet(root). Can’t be long before we see savoury yoghurts in the UK.

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Back to the earth.

Edible soil is already a thing, but edible wood is one to watch for the future.


US-style, Spanish-style, Iranian -style, it’s all about BBQ in 2014.


First mentioned on this blog in June 2012, I keep seeing guarana everywhere these days, from a hot guarana drink (alternative to coffee) to beauty products.


Chia / Chia Pods(C)

I came across chia back in March 2012 when regulations preventing the superfood seed being used as ingredient were lifted. Chia is rich in omega 3, protein, minerals and antioxidants and has loads of other health benefits. Chia Pods(C) contain chia seeds mixed with coconut yogurt and fruit. These sound/look really good.

Blueberry chia pod

Twisted burritos.

Mmmmm. Try these for starters:

Toasted Korean burritos at Kimchinary (all with kimchi fried rice, cheddar, gochujang special sauce, pickled coleslaw, spring onion sour cream),  Burrito Mama with it’s “crunchy slaw” and Wrapchic’s India burritos (mutton Madrasi wrap, for example).


Nuage cakes.

Popular in France, nuage (meaning cloud) cakes are meringue with layers of whipped cream on top and underneath, dusted with flavoured chocolate shavings, Nuage flavours include almond, coconut, passion fruit, mango and red velvet.

Latin American/South American cuisine.

It’s been mentioned a few times over the last few years (see post from October 2011), but Latin/South American food is becoming popular. The World Cup will give this a big boost.

Wash your hands and get ready.

Here’s an infographic from thefoodpeople.


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Word of the day: mok-bang (#BRICKwatch)

Mok-bang is a mashup of the words for ‘eating’ and ‘broadcast’ in Korean and is the name for a strange new trend in South Korea.

It’s basically live-streaming yourself eating your evening meal. And people actually watch this.

Mok-bangers(?) spend LOADS of money on food and you can watch them eating huge amounts every night. They sit for around 2 hours and earn a virtual currency, which can get them thousands of dollars in real money! The trend has taken off on Afreeca TV, a peer-to-peer online video network in South Korea.

Here’s ‘The Diva’, one of the celebs of mok-bang.

Diva mok-bangAnd here’s another mok-banger.




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Upcycle/repurpose: telephone booth aquarium, ski gondola vending machine and lots of suitcases

I love stuff that is upcycled/repurposed.

Upcycling is where you take something old/useless and give it a new use/make it look amazing/different.

Here’s a great example I’ve just spotted:

Telephone booth aquarium

Benetto Bufalino (an installation artist) and Benoit Deseille (a lighting designer) have upcycled phone booths into aquariums(!!!). They’ve been on show at festivals across Europe, including the Lumiere Festival in Durham last month.

Amazing. Beautiful. Clever.

Telephone booth 1 Telephone booth 2

Remember the ski gondola vending machine?ski gondola vending machine

There’s loads of cool stuff being done with suitcases too (these are some of my favourites – old suitcases are ace). I want a suitcase chair.

Suitcases - The California



Suitcases Suitcase 2 Suitcase 1 Suitcase 3 Suitcase 4 Suitcase 5

Suitcase 6

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Wearable tech: Smarty Ring

The latest in what will be a long line of wearable technology is the Smarty smart ring.

Chennai-based Ashok Kumar wanted to raise $40,000 through Indiegogo for his Smarty Ring product and he’s already raised more than $300,000.

Smarty Ring

The stainless steel ring connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth (and an Android/iOS app) and lights up every time the wearer has a notification – anything from Facebook posts to emails and calls. It can be used as a remote control, make phone calls and control music. It also has a clever (or annoying…?) anti-theft feature which sounds an alarm if the phone is more than 30 feet away from the ring.

The ring is 13mm wide and features a built-in, curved LED screen.

Read about other bits of wearable tech here:

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Bubble tea >> bubble latte

We’ve seen lots on bubble tea already (first mentioned here in June 2011) and now the next step looks like it could be bubble latte.

Arla’s Bubble Latte has been very successful in Denmark and will be sold across Scandinavia in 2014. Coming to the UK soon?

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While we’re talking bubbles, COOBO is the world’s only bottled bubble drink. (Look out for it in Harrod’s). This new product in their range is a Rooibos and strawberry flavour tea with strawberry bubbles. Looks/sounds good!


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