Test Kitchen: Trendy Foods

July 31, 2017

This edition of Test Kitchen is a little different because we left the ovens off and went out in search of foods we'd never tried before. Inspired by Eaten Back to Life (Invisible Publishing), a series of essays and observations on eating, drinking, and the culture and philosophy of food, we each tried a trendy food or drink and reflected on our experiences. 

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Julia - Phorritto

I first saw mention of the phoritto on my Facebook feed, with a friend's declaration: "this seems like an unholy mess." Messy — yes, a little (especially at the end). But aside from minor technical eating challenges, this fusion is a match made in heaven.

What is a burrito, after all? Some meat, veggies, starches (often rice) and sauces wrapped in a tortilla. So it only stands to reason that as long as the basic structure is followed, there's no reason not to play with the flavour profile. Meat: tender pieces of beef, simmered in pho broth. Veggies: bean sprouts, cilantro, onions and bell peppers. Starch: rice noodles. Sauces: a thickened beef broth, with sides of hoisin and sriracha for enhancement. Explain to me how this isn't a burrito (and a delicious one, at that). I'll wait.






Christen – Edible Flowers

Edible flowers are popular right now for their powerful colours and flavours. I picked pansies from my friend's pollinator garden and garnished a freshly harvested salad. The petals were subtle and almost unnoticeable, velvety and grassy, and vibrantly beautiful.










Tan  - vin en vogue

While the rest of the ALU team dug into some trendy treats, I took the opportunity to crack open the new vin en vogue: A single serving can of Rosé (Red, white and bubbly are also available, if Millennial Pink isn't your shade). It's a big pour if you're on your own, but technically holds two servings, so you can share with a friend. Rosé is enjoying it's second summer as a trendy hue, but it's the first summer I've seen canned wine selections. It makes sense when you consider the trend reports: young people are leaving cheap beer behind in favour of craft brews, ready-made cocktails and wine. But they still want their drinks to be affordable and portable! 





Lauren - At-Home Cafe Experience

My initial New Year's resolution to stay away from the coffee shop has been met with varying levels of success, but this morning's attempt at an at-home matcha latte was met with delicious results. Grab a teaspoon of matcha powder and two teaspoons of sugar or honey, and mix them with a little warm water at the bottom of a mug to form a paste. Add a cup of milk heated in a saucepan, and stir with a fork to blend evenly. I added ginger to mine and it. Was. Great.






Mandy - Charcoal Ice Cream

Full disclosure: I'm a bit of a scrooge when it comes to lining up for trendy anything, but when I heard about charcoal ice cream my curiosity was at max peak. After surveying all the different swirl combinations other patrons walked away with (there's matcha, vanilla, ube, and the charcoal-infused coconut), I decided I couldn't just try charcoal and settled on a swirl of ube (purple yam) as well. (I am easily swayed by beautifully presented food.) I'm not sure what I was expecting from the flavours, but what I got was a DELICIOUS treat with the fun side effect of black-stained lips. The coconut was pretty subtle (read: I hardly tasted it) and the rest was refreshing, tasty, and not too sweet. The cherry on top was the waffle cone, which was much tastier than I ever expected. Will I go back? Hard yes. Though I'd skip the ube next time and go all out charcoal.



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