When was the last time you had an ice cream sandwich? A slab of good old vanilla betwixt two ordinary wafers, unadorned and unfettered by ornament?
I ask because the Appetite team’s detailed analysis of 2019’s big food trends (see pages 28-31) include such weird and wonderful fashions in ice cream, I fear the pure joy of a good vanilla served in a wafer sandwich may be consigned to memory.
These days, dear reader, the fashion forward powers that be tell us that the cool kids want not vanilla, but bacon, chilli, seaweed, squid ink and foie gras flavours in their frozen dessert. Shall I go on? No, I thought not.
The relentless rise of weird flavours in ice cream and many other things isn’t about to slow down anytime soon, which leads me to reflect on how food trends are now driven by fashions largely created online, every one of them accompanied by some weird hashtag, which, by its presence, apparently lends it credence. The current trend for new ice cream flavours can be traced directly to Pinterest, where a wave of interest in ice cream which seemingly came from nowhere last summer has reached a tsunami, bringing with it a revolution in how we enjoy what was once a common or garden treat.
The world is smaller, and tastes and trends from far off shores take no time to get here. Thus, we get to enjoy all manner of ingredients in all things, including a major vogue this year for delicious, health-giving seaweeds and supergreens, increasingly inventive drinks ingredients including eucalyptus and avocado, and bitter flavours you’ll find in grown-up chocolate, charred meats and vegetables.
I will enjoy embracing it all, while – ever the trendsetter – I also plan to drive a worldwide resurgence in the plain old ice cream wafer.
Are you with me? Happy New Year!