Trend Tremor: Black Food & Drink

By Alana Mairs

what is a trend tremor?

A trend tremor is the precursor to a trend. They often start out quietly — a telephone cord hair bobble here, some coconut oil there — and will fumble along the edges of society until they do one of two things: 1. emerge into official trend status (green smoothies, man buns, bacon in unexpected places) or die out (cronuts, Tab Clear, toe socks*), often as quietly and quickly as they began. For me, the black food and drink trend tremor began when I learned about a black cheeseburger [2] in August 2014 from a friend that I classify as an early adopter.

Blackened with bamboo charcoal, the black bunned, black cheesed Goth Burger (not its real name) was available exclusively at Burger King Japan. Does it taste good? I have no idea. Is it good for you? My guess is more no than yes. Do these specifics matter? No. What should be noted is Japan — one of the best birth places of outlier trends and ideas that later cross oceans and become mainstream. Japan knows what's up.

Around the same time, I started hearing more about activated charcoal [1] as the latest smoothie enhancer and noticed it popping up on health-conscious menus like at NYC's Juice Generation. Then Charcoal Lemonade got Gooped, Vogue wrote about it, and Men's Journal covered it too. The NHS even approves over-the-counter charcoal tablets to help digestion, [source] so it may actually have some science-based evidence to support it. But I'm not here to debate the merits of charcoal, merely to point out that it's part of a larger movement.

making it official

When I discovered black tahini [3] at Planet Organic a few months ago, the tremor was established. (I should also mention here that while extremely tasty, black tahini should not be consumed if your toothbrush is not in close proximity.)

Further discoveries that support this tremor:

[4] Black ice cream (above)

[5] BLK water “The first ever fulvic-enhanced all-natural mineral water” (above)

6. Black fish & chips c/o Great British Chefs

blackened food

7. Black juice c/o East London Juice Co

8. Black saison beer (Firebrand Brewing)

is this a trend or not?

I’m not here to advise you on what to eat or drink, and I’m not here to pass judgement, either. I’m simply here to present the facts: black food and drink are having a moment. Only time will tell if this tremor turns into a full-blown trend or not. In the meantime, keep your ears and eyes open and tell me what you notice!

*up for debate