Cravings Culture What's New

Black Fried Chicken From Japan Looks Hauntingly Delicious

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This was a pretty big year for the humble fried chicken: Troves of restaurants began creating their variations of Nashville Hot Chicken, we saw fried chicken ramen, and even fried chicken apparel. We also discovered that the beloved dish was the key to unlocking social media success.

Well, as the year draws to a close, we discover the haunting beauty of black fried chicken.

SoraNews reports that convenience store chain Lawson in Japan has created a unique fried chicken item. Known best for their Karaage-kun, bite-sized fried chicken, Lawsons recently introduced a new flavor to their stores: black hole.

It seems the new flavor is thanks to a promotion with a popular anime/manga called Space Brothers, hence the black hole branding.

The fried chicken itself comes in boneless, bite-sized pieces that feature a jet-black exterior. This was achieved through a combination of bamboo charcoal, squid ink, and black pepper.

Despite looking kind of sus, SoraNews reports that the fried snack actually tastes really good. Unfortunately, it will only be in Japan for a limited time. Fried chicken aficionados who happen to be in the country this time of the year, be sure to give it a shot.

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Cravings Culture Fast Food

McDonald’s Sweet New Fries Are Topped With Honey & Black Sesame

We’ll try any new McDonald’s item at least once. Gotta give it that fair shake, right?

McDonald’s Japan is tapping into the French fry audience with new “college potato” fries called daigaku imo French fries, reports Rocket News 24.

The fast food chain drew inspiration from a classic Japanese comfort dish, daigaku imo (college potato), a sweet potato snack that is paired with a sweet sauce. Legend has it, the snack got its name from poor college students seeking a cheap way to satiate their hunger pangs.

McDonald’s new fries are topped with a thick honey sesame sauce and topped with black sesame seeds. Paired with the saltiness of the fries, this could be a killer addition.

You can find the new fries at participating McDonald’s locations in Japan beginning Feb. 15, where they’ll be on the menu for a limited time.

Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss

IKEA Is Serving An All-Black Hot Dog In Japan

We’ve seen quite a few fast food items with black buns over the past few years. That Burger King Halloween Whopper still haunts us to this day. Now, IKEA Japan is introducing a new dish that’s as dark.

They’re calling it the Ninja Dog, RocketNews reports.

Ninja Dogs🌭 #hotdog #ninja #ninjadog #ikea

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IKEA’s new menu item is as black as the night. Seems appropriate with “ninja” in the name. The dish features an all-black hot dog that’s wrapped in an all-black bun. The only actual color customers will see will be from the condiments they decide to throw on the dog.

Its color comes from edible bamboo charcoal.

You can find it at any IKEA location in Japan for about 300 yen ($2.95 US) until the end of the year.


9 Awesome Foods from Black Cultures You Need to Know

Yes, black cultures. The only universally shared experience of being black is the oppression associated with it. A multitude of diverse cultures thrive in spite of the obstacles thrown their way and in no place is this more evident than in their cuisines.

Here are some foods either originally cultivated by black people or that emerged from slave trades to embed themselves in these specific cultures.



OK, let’s get this out of the way. Although watermelon has been stitched into negative narratives about black people, the fruit is rooted in African heritage. Originating in southern Africa, watermelons became domesticated farther north on the continent when extreme desertification hit Saharan Africa. Often used as a canteen of sorts in tropical regions, watermelons have been given many uses from jam to meal made of ground seeds.

Soupikandia & Okra


Deeply embedded in southern American Creole culture is the spicy goodness that is gumbo. Many of the dish’s great qualities are attributed to French influences despite the majority of the cuisine stemming from African and Native American dishes. Gombo is the French word for okra, derived from the Luba (a Congo tribe) word ngombo. Slaves brought the vegetable to America and it acts as thickening agent in most versions of gumbo (if you’re not using okra, I have no idea why you’re calling it gumbo) and its African predecessor soupikandia.

Soupikandia has an earthier taste than the piquant gumbo and is still consumed in West African nations.

Yams (Not Sweet Potatoes)


Unless you live in West Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, or frequent grocery stores serving those communities, you’ve probably never had a yam. When African slaves were exposed to sweet potatoes on farms and plantations, they just called the similar-looking tubers yams. Naturally, this was also exploited for financial gain in the American South and is still a marketing tool (and an example of the USDA’s laziness) used to differentiate sweet potatoes.

Real yams tend to be sweeter than sweet potatoes and can’t survive in most of the US. Depending on the variety, they can achieve a dessert-like sweetness, but are more often used to make porridge and to enhance fish stews.


loved import coffee beans

The coffee plant has always grown wild in Ethiopia. Although there’s some beef between the nation and Yemen over the discovery and cultivation of coffee, most signs point to Ethiopia, while Yemen gets the distinction of the mocha birthplace. Origin myths from both countries involve animals getting over-caffeinated and people dramatically throwing beans into fires (Disney probably already has the movie rights).

Coffee cultivation began in Ethiopia around the 9th century and remains a major part of the country’s economy. It accounts for about 25 percent of the nation’s export earnings while supplying 15 million people with jobs.

Macadamia Nuts


Macadamia nuts are so special that some people lose their minds (and jobs) over simply plating them. The Bauple tree that bears the magical nut was discovered by the Kabi tribe, an Australian Aboriginal sect, around 30,000 years ago.

The macadamia nut was so treasured by the Kabi that they settled throughout the area of the rainforest where they naturally grew and traded with other tribes for high quality goods and tools.

Australian Aborigines lived largely off of bush foods until British colonizers introduced various modern cooking methods. Domestication of the macadamia nut is largely a white man’s tale, but its difficult-to-reach location and many similar, inedible sister tree nuts would make its cultivation difficult without the assistance of local Aborigines.


sorrel drink

Jamaican Sorrel was actually taken over from West Africa and both regions often use the hibiscus plant to make a tea-like beverage. Often combined with ginger for an added kick, sorrel is popularly drunk throughout the Caribbean during Christmas festivals.

The rich red color of the drink, along with its easy pairing with alcohol, make it a go-to beverage for celebrating on cooler winter nights.



The farther south you travel in the West Indies, the more you start feeling like you’re in the East Indies.

Brief history lesson: when European traders and conquerors first interacted with the Indian sub-continent, they attributed races to the people currying favor toward the lighter northerners and associating the southerners (labeled Dravidians) with blackness and inferiority.

This kind of thinking made it pretty easy for the British Empire to swoop in later and stop treating Indians like people, but I digress.

Islands like Trinidad and Grenada are mostly comprised of African or Indian descendants, oftentimes a combination of the two. This, along with their close proximity to South America, results in a unique intersection of cuisines called the “roti.”

There are several types of roti, which really refers to the flatbread used to make it, but what you’ll usually get if you don’t specify is essentially a curry burrito. Chickpeas, potatoes, meat and sometimes other vegetables are wrapped in soft white flour flatbread and cooked on a tava for a subtle crispness. The flatbread itself is more pliable and flaky than most tortillas, which also makes it a popular choice for breakfast rotis.



I couldn’t possibly end this list without an Afro-Brazilian dish. As one of the most well-known cultural melting pots in the world, Brazil is certainly a mecca for fusion cuisine enthusiasts.

In the Bahia region of Brazil, which produces the most African-influenced dishes in the nation, this spicy, pungent peanut sauce is traditionally served with meat or fish. Its creation is very closely related to several ground nut stews and sauces popular in West and Central Africa.


Completely Black Chickens Go for $2,500 Each


In Indonesia, there’s a rare species of chicken called the Ayam Cemani. The chicken is covered head to claw in black, even down to its bones. Pretty metal, right? The bird is probably the closest thing to the fabled Black Chocobo outside your PlayStation, except this one you can deep-fry.

The Ayam Cemani features black plumage, legs, tongue, beak, meat, bones and even organs. Talk about consistency. While the chicken’s blood is about the only thing that isn’t black, it is a darker shade than most poultry species. The chicken’s noir pigmentation is thanks to a genetic trait called fibromelanosis.

If you have the stomach to try one and can get past the complete deafening darkness of its flesh and bones, an Ayam Cemani is worth $2,500.

I wonder how they tell when it’s fully cooked.

H/T Geekologie

Fast Food

Burger King Japan has Burgers with Black Cheese and Buns, Patties Still Brown tho


Burger King Japan is going dark with two new burgers that take a pretty heavy black theme. Called Kuro, which translates to “black” in Japanese, the burgers are made with uniquely jet-black ingredients.

The Kuro burgers, Pearl and Diamond, can be instantly identified by their black slices of cheese and buns. They both feature a bamboo-charcoal black cheese and black onion garlic sauce. Using squid ink to give the sauce color, the burgers appear to ooze darkness from their pores. The only different between the two is that the Kuro Diamond will feature the additional toppings of lettuce, tomato, onions and mayonnaise (albeit the white kind).

The Kuro Pearl is available for 480 yen ($4.49 US) and the Kuro Diamond is available for 690 yen ($6.45 US). The burgers are set to hit the menu Sept. 19 and will be sold through early November at participating Burger King Japan locations.

They look pretty metal.

H/T Brand Eating

Fast Food

Dunkin’ Donuts Thailand Has All-Black Chocolate-Flavored Donuts


We’ve already seen McDonald’s all-black burgers, Vegas Premium’s 12-inch all-black hot dog and Aya Cemani’s all-black cock (chicken). This time around, Dunkin’ Donuts Thailand is rolling out a line of 27 inky (obsidian, raven, stygian) donuts guaranteed to make your inner 3m0-g0tH-ch1ld squee (you know, on the inside).


From Charcoal-Choco-Chili to Charcoal Blue Mint to Charcoal Banoffee (banana toffee), Dunkin’s take on the monochromatic food trend definitely sounds tastier than anything we’ve seen in the past. According to Rocket News, “these doughnuts took a year in the making as Dunkin’ Donuts carefully selected what they thought were the best combination of ingredients.”


For anyone still feeling a little squeamish (these things do look kinda dead after all), rest assured: the charcoal doesn’t affect the donuts’ taste at all. So you can indulge your morbid sweet tooth with all the comfort that your non-charcoal eating tastebuds can handle. Suh-weet.

H/T + PicThx Rocket News


Gratuitous Drink Porn: Coffee Edition


We’re not such total snobs that we don’t appreciate a good latte. Black, brown, half tea, half sugar, Frappuccino or Americano, coffee is one of nature’s little, underrated blessings which has the unique quality of tasting great almost no matter how you spin it. During the week, we can tend to take coffee for granted, sucking it down indiscriminately between long pretending-to-work sessions. But this week, let’s kick things off the right way, right out of the gate. So sit back, relax and sip up with this special coffee edition of Gratutious Food Drink Porn.

(Beware: inordinate amounts of mason jars ahead.)


Butternut Chai Latte


Recipe: Adventures in Cooking


Frozen Irish Coffee


Recipe: Sugar Magnolia


Fresh Ground Iced Coffee


Recipe: Pretty Plain Jane


Cinnamon, Ginger and Nutmeg Pumpkin Spice Latte


Recipe: Pastry Affair


Blueberry Iced Coffee


Recipe: Anyzkowo


Spiked Gingerbread Cocktails


Recipe: Tasty Trials


Toffee Caramel Dessert Coffee


Recipe: Simple Bites


Kahlua Cafe


Recipe: Muy Bueno Cookbook


Kopi See


Recipe: Singapore Shiok


Orange Spiced Iced Coffee


Recipe: Kitchen Treaty


Orange and Cardamom Infused Cold Brew Coffee


Recipe: 10th the Kitchen


Bacon, Coffee and Maple Whiskey Martini


Recipe: She Knows


Creamy Boozy Iced Coffee


Recipe: Averie Cooks


Cafe Helado


Recipe: Amantes de la Cocina


Iced Coffee with Whipped Cream and Chopped Peanuts


Recipe: Rustykalna Kuchnia


Salted Caramel Affogato


Recipe: Vikalinka


Cold Brewed Iced Coffee


Recipe: Aris Menu


Frozen Thai Iced Coffee


Recipe: Girl Versus Dough


Coffee Cocktails and Star Biscuits


Recipe: Sandra Bakes a Party


Mint Mojito Iced Coffee


Recipe: Oh My Pancake


Caramel Iced Latte


Recipe: Offbeat and Inspired


Ultimate Iced Coffee


Recipe: Simply Delicious


Cold Brewed Maple Almond Iced Coffee


Recipe: Coffee and Quinoa


H/T Tasteologie, Tastespotting