#foodbeast Culture Food Trends Recipes

8 Things We Learned To Make In Quarantine

2020 has been the year of adjustments, making the best of what the predicament of a pandemic has given us. For many, the pivot to the kitchen has been significant, allowing us to explore our inner chefs and bakers, turning the sudden free time we have into a discovery of dishes we never knew we had the talent to make.

The results of this fervor of kitchen talents have manifested in viral trends, ranging from banana bread to whipped dalgona coffee. Sure, it’s been a tumultuous year for everyone, but at least here’s a reminder of the silver lining that these dishes have been in helping us pass these quarantine times.


Whether it was mastering the alchemy behind the perfect loaf of sourdough or nailing the ideal moistness in banana bread, folks were in some fervor over their newfound baking prowess.


The dalgona coffee craze was the hit of early quarantine times, taking the internet by storm in all it’s whipped glory. Sure you’ll get an arm workout out of it, too, but the gym’s have been closed for the most part so there you go.


Have you ever reverse seared a steak? It’s definitely something to explore in the kitchen, which many of us did as we spent more time in it this year. Face it, a perfectly crusted, beefy, tender, and juicy medium rare steak goes a long way in curving the quarantine blues.


Sure, bread was already mentioned on this list, but the airy wonder that is cloud bread deserves its own entry. It’s really nothing that many of us have seen before, crediting its viral success to the ultra fluffy texture, as if you were biting straight into a nimbus in the sky.


This treat drew fans from the sweet surprise it revealed once hot milk was poured onto it. As the cocoa bomb melted away, it revealed a cluster of tiny marshmallows while flavoring the milk, creating a concoction of heavenly, wintery bliss.


The supremely satisfying aesthetics of tornado eggs were the selling point here, unveiling a savory yellow rose that was hard to resist. Sat atop a steaming mound of rice and you have yourself a dish that’s sure to awaken your senses each morning.


Everybody is a sucker for irresistible little bites, whatever they may be. Pancakes, though? The unexpected yet adorable downsizing of the breakfast staple had us scouring the internet for the best recipe to replicate at home.


The trend of growing your own veggies, particularly green onions, grew in popularity for its high utility aspect alone. This definitely was a useful and handy option, especially if it saved you a trip from making a run to the store.

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Love It Or Hate It, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Foods Are Here To Stay

“I think there’s a great discussion to be had here. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos seem to be everywhere right now and we’re covering a lot of it. It’s definitely worth a look into and would make for a great story.”

As I sat there taking in Foodbeast’s Publisher, Elie Ayrouth’s thoughts on the prevalence of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in menu items these days, my immediate reaction was to recoil in disgust and gas face the thought of it into oblivion.

“And Reach, I think you would be great to take lead on this story. Curious to know your take on it!”

Terrific. Mental note: Next time let the disgust show on my face from the jump.

My initial thought on this assignment was to wonder incredulously how Elie could have missed my vehement and dismissive takes on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos being cliched and washed. Maybe the volume of my griping wasn’t loud enough. I mean, really, weren’t people tired of restaurants just throwing Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on seemingly every menu item these days? The move has clearly jumped the shark, zooming past the trend that it was touted as a few years ago, right into the cheap gimmick it is now. At least in my eyes. It’s the Pitbull and Flo Rida collab of the food world.

flamin' hot mac & cheese cone

But the more I stewed, the more I gained a curiosity for how this red scourge on my timeline and Instagram feed was such a hit. Beyond my own thoughts on the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto movement, it’s fair to ask, has it really crossed into mainstay territory? And if so, why? Are burritos now meant to be a canvas for it? Does every food item have to be topped with its signature radioactive red? Or are chefs and restaurateurs just mailing it in for a quick buck?

“It’s been around forever but only now are people really giving a shit,” offered celebrity chef and YouTube personality, Josh Elkin. “You should talk about the fact that, when using them with making food items, the “Hot Cheetos” flavor rarely sticks around and therefore, is just used as color and hypebeast-ness.” The term “hypebeast” refers to trendy and overzealous consumers of streetwear, usually in derision, to emphasize that their only interest in the product is due to the hype and cool factor surrounding it. Then perhaps Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are the Supreme collaboration of the food world.

“Think of it like this: If you sell dope pizza, and want to try a one off to gain attention, why not make that awesome pizza a Hot Cheetos version? Might be a great way to get people into your business.” Elkin had a point. For establishments looking to drum up attention, playing upon the massive draw of anything Flamin’ Hot Cheetos related can be the difference between a surefire hit and a mundane — at least on the surface — menu item launch. But is deferring to gimmicks and campiness really the answer?

Aaron Caddel, owner of the popular Mr. Holmes Bakehouse franchise, had a stern yet thoughtful take that touched on how Flamin’ Hot Cheetos items are affecting the restaurant industry as a whole. “I really think this points to a larger problem that is destabilizing pride in blue collar work and weakening the food industry as a whole. Countless folks who have dedicated their lives to this craft of executing phenomenal and innovative dishes — from street food to fine dining — are getting clobbered by companies that have identified [Flamin’] Hot Cheetos as the quickest way to exploit their customer, regardless of the innovative substance or execution of the dish. We’re seeing people line up for canned nacho cheese on top of their frozen Sysco French fries; throw some [Flamin’ Hot] Cheetos onto it and the masses flock. As a business owner, I’ve been tremendously lucky to have a customer base that has not pressured us into caving to banality, but I recognize that many of my extremely talented chef friends are awestruck by the growing trend of dull-mindedness in the American consumer.”

Such a take does spark a longer conversation that can address how this trend may affect minimum wage jobs, can mute the value within culinary ingenuity, and perhaps dumb down the thought process when folks decide on what to consume.

Thomas Pham of Slique Media, a food marketing agency that has clients the likes of the beloved Halal Guys, offered a more democratic take, playing both sides of the polarizing topic. “Sure, people like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos too much. I think when hearing about it, it’s cliche. However if I saw it on a menu, I’d consider ordering it pending the type of eatery I’m in. Would I use it as a gimmick or selling point for my personal establishment, probably not. But I may recommend it to a restaurant to have as an offering if it tastes great. I think there’s still a lot of people that would be willing to try it, especially with the hype surrounding it.”

And that very hype is what’s been a boon for businesses like Fatima’s Grill, a restaurant in Downey, California, where the feature of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in menu items like their Quesarito, has helped them go viral. Owner Ali Elreda gushed, “I feel it’s great, a turn around.” When I asked if he thinks the trend is now a norm, he responded, “It’s a stamp! It’s unique! And it’s not going anywhere! It brings back childhood cravings.”

Bingo. Nostalgia.

Thinking about such childhood cravings mentioned by Elreda, I’m transported back to carefree high school days, where a proper snack consisted of a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and a bottle of Surge to get us through classes. It’s the comfort of nostalgia that drives so much appeal to trends and what makes retro anything a hot commodity. Often the chase of cool is a roundabout trip that finds ourselves at full circle. Sure everyone is doing anything and everything for the ‘Gram these days, and the blushing glow radiated by any Flamin’ Hot Cheeto-based item is enough to pique almost any foodie’s interest, but what’s navigating the trend into mainstay waters is the millennial consumers’ comfort in fond memories of the puffed snack. Their purchasing power would also attest to the normalcy of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on menus these days, and the overall demand is the navigator here.

Perhaps the birth of this trend owes its existence to the ingenuity of The Attic on Broadway in Long Beach, California, where owner Steve Massis decided to top their mac and cheese with a healthy dusting of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos way back in 2012, a good four years before outlets had deemed the crimson crunch to be a burgeoning trend.

“I think food trends, where we’ve been in the last few years, are a lot of fun,” shared Massis. “People have been having a lot of fun with food and trying new things outside of the box. But if you’re going to do it, do it right. Don’t ruin it. That’s what we get worried with, somebody going somewhere and trying something with Hot Cheetos on there and be like ‘Ah, this is disgusting’.  Otherwise, I can’t see it hurting the business, unless people are coming there and your product isn’t good, but if you’re bringing people in the door by having fun with your food, then go for it!”


The Flamin’ Hot Cheetos scenario that we’re at now is six years removed from the virality of The Attic on Broadway’s first foray into the incorporation of it on a menu item, two years past the initial crowning of trend status, and seemingly made a home in the realm of normalcy within menus now. Considering such sustained fervor and relevance, it’s safe to say that Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are here to stay — in your burritos, on your pizzas, and incorporated in pretty much every other food item willing to snag some Instagram love. My feelings be damned.

Chalk it up now as a no frills addition to the host of toppings and ingredients we can church up our favorite dishes with.

Though the topic is still as polarizing as ever, the decision to deem the use of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in restaurant dishes as a menu staple has already been decided by the multitude of consumers licking their fingertips clean of the undoubtedly comforting and gaudy snack.

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The 3 Food Trends Gordon Ramsay Hates With A Passion

Gordon Ramsay is a living legend who has yelled his way into our hearts for years. While most of the time his complaints are extremely comical, sometimes he does just sound like the old man who wants you to get off his lawn.

This is one of those times, as he revealed to Pop Sugar that there are three food trends he wants to die, get buried, and never dug up again.

The three trends, which you may or may not be familiar with, are Wagyu beef, truffle oil, and foam.

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The reason he hates the Wagyu beef trend, is because Wagyu is meant to be a special cut that should be “treated with a little bit of respect.” That’s not exactly how it’s going in the U.S., as lots of restaurants serve the beef, and it’s not always the most palatable sounding experience. Just FYI, he has Wagyu meatballs at his new Hell’s Kitchen restaurant in Las Vegas.

Back in 2016, Ramsay did a Reddit iAMA where he revealed his distaste for foam on savory dishes. At the time, Ramsay said that “…foam should be used for shaving, not go on top of food.” He said the trend started in the 90s, and he’s still surprised that people make dishes with it.

Pop Sugar’s Erin Collum was quick to point out that Ramsay had a foam dish on his menu, to which he explained that it’s perfectly fine on dessert dishes.

As far as truffle oil, Ramsay said he hates this trend the most, because apparently chefs don’t know how to use it correctly. Ramsay pointed out that truffle oil should be poured in small amounts, but restaurants use large caps that cause too much to come out at once.

We get it, Gordon. You’re the greatest of all time, and no one can touch you, but take it easy on folks! Or at least don’t incorporate the trends you hate in your own restaurant.

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McDonald’s Hamburger Straws Are Trending In Japan And We’re Confused

. 世界中で流行っている「ドリンク×ドーナツ」🍹🍩 ん⁉️ 「ドリンク×ハンバーガー」でした👀❣️ マクドナルドのドリンクにハンバーガーを刺すという斬新な発想🏅💘 意外とインスタジェニックな1枚ですね📷🌈 これから「ドリンク× ○○」というフォトジェニックな写真が流行りそうですね😆✨ * ↓素敵なアカウントはこちら [photo by:@______natsuno] * <<✏️=========================>> UWASAではトレンドをキャッチしたお写真を 厳選してご紹介しています📷🌈 【 @uwasalabo 】 or 【 #uwasalabo 】 をタグ付けであなたの投稿が 紹介されちゃうかも👀🎉 皆さんの素敵なご投稿お待ちしています🌸 <<=========================🔎>> * #UWASA #uwasalabo #regram #repost #マクドナルド #マック #マクド #MacDonald #ハンバーガー #ドリンク #hamburger #drink #ドーナツ #donut #フォトジェニック #photogenic #ランチ #lunch #ピクニック #picnic #カフェ #cafe #love #instagood #good #instapic #instalike #instagenic #インスタジェニック

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In all of the coverage of food trends that we’ve done, never before have we seen one so… bizarre.

Apparently, Japan is in the middle of a fast food craze in which McDonald’s burgers are stabbed through the straws of their drinks and placed on top of lids before pictures are taken for social media users to obsess over.

Below is just a sample of what many of these peculiar pictures look like:

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お祭りいってきた #流行り荒れてるやつ

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And it’s not just burgers, either; McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches have also been spotted as part of this eccentric drink kebab.

Where did this trend come from? Some speculation from Kotaku suggests that it’s a spin on the “donut straw” trend that’s become popular on Instagram, which does seem like a passable theory. A picture of that fad is below for reference.

To be honest, I’m fine with the donut straw trend. It’s a more convenient way to carry coffee and donuts in the morning, and is more practical than this new gimmick that’s suddenly become popular in Japan. Where the hamburger straw trend falls flat is practicality. Sure, the picture looks cool, but it comes at the sacrifice of having to struggle with burger bits that end up either in my straw in or my soda. Not entirely down with either of those options.

Hopefully, this is just a fad that dies down fast, because I’d rather not see more of these hamburger straws on my social media feeds.

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Cafe Invents Avocado Lattes As A Joke And Now The Internet’s Obsessed

Combing two of Melbourne’s obsessions – lattes and avo 😂

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Sometimes, jokes backfire in ways you don’t expect them to.

That’s exactly what happened to the Truman Cafe in Melbourne, Australia, this past week with a joke item they made available at their restaurant. After some remarks from a local real estate mogul that millennials can’t buy houses because all their money is spent on avocado toast and lattes, staff at the cafe thought it would be funny to construct a latte inside of a hollowed-out avocado half-shell.

Of course, the internet loves avocados as much as they love latte art, so when they caught wind of it, cafes around the world began offering their own versions. One video of an “avolatte,” as it’s now being called, exploded with over 55,000 views in just the past day alone.

A barista at Truman Cafe told that they weren’t even selling the avocado latte, and it was literally just posted to Instagram as “a joke.” However, at least one person has gone to the cafe and ordered it since the video went viral, which the barista finds “ridiculous” since “it’s literally coffee in a piece of rubbish.”

It looks like a pain to drink out of as well, since there’s no way you don’t get some sips of latte without it either spilling out of the sides or bits of avocado going down with your drink. Nonetheless, the internet can’t get enough of it, apparently.

We’ll just have to wait and see how far this trend goes. Hopefully it doesn’t get to the point where Starbucks is making their own version, like when it jumped on the unicorn bandwagon with Unicorn Frappuccinos, cause this would probably taste even worse.

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Look Out For These Major Food Trends Of 2017

2016 was a wild year for tons of great food. The explosion of poke onto the scene, tons of spicy foods in fast food and challenge forms, the massive growth of ramen, and many more trends were huge throughout this past year.

As the year comes to a close, several reports from Whole Foods, Forbes, Specialty Foods, and more have surfaced and sites have published their opinions on what trends in food will be big for the coming year. After taking a look at several of these lists, and based on what we’ve seen here at Foodbeast, we’ve compiled our own list of predictions for what trends will surface, grow, or explode in the coming year.


Bowls will continue to evolve


In 2016, bowls were a big trend, but relegated mainly to the realms of acai and poke. Expect more bowls of various kinds to come out in the new year, with bibimbap, breakfast bowls, and more rising up in popularity as we head into 2017. Rice won’t be the starch vehicle of choice as well, with french fries and other starchy ingredients becoming the bases to several new bowls.


Spicy foods will still be hot


This past year hosted tons of trends related around spicy food, from the Nashville hot craze going around fast food restaurants to spicy ramen challenges and everything in between. Don’t expect this trend to cool down, because spicy food is getting increasingly popular across the United States.


Get ready to seriously get your yolk on


With the price of eggs recovering nicely, eggs have been popping up everywhere in restaurants. The huge trend that comes up with that is what has to be characterized as yolk porn – tons of oozing dishes topped with that perfectly cooked egg with the runny yolk that adds so much flavor. Yolks have been huge in 2016, and will continue to be in 2017.


Global authenticity isn’t just a desire anymore – it’s a demand


As we become more educated, more understanding of each other, and more invested in traditional culture, we’ve begun to demand more authenticity in our food. Gone are the days where “American Chinese” or “American Italian” was the accepted norm. People want authentic chefs to bring in traditional food, and chefs have been responding. With authentic Filipino breakfasts, restaurants like Tim Ho Wan bringing genuine dim sum, and a huge increase in demand for authentic Japanese food like Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki, we are moving away from “Americanizing” dishes and looking for traditional food more often.


Street food likely won’t be cooling down


As we live on-the-go much of our lives now, portable and quick food is huge to our lifestyle. Street food defines exactly that, and has been exploding on the scene with sushi burritos, street fries, wraps, tacos, and more continuing to evolve and grow. With street festivals, food halls, and night markets growing in popularity, street food will continue to explode in new areas and new experiences.


Plant-based meat is just getting started


We’ve seen how popular the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger have become with their releases and how close they can get to real meat. As those two products continue to grow and sell, it makes room for other plant-based replicas to enter the market – and there are a ton. From New Wave Foods’ plant-based shrimp to Follow Your Heart’s vegan cheese and eggs, the market for plant-based protein is still on its meteoric rise and will continue to penetrate stores and restaurants across the country.


Food byproducts are going to start to dominate


One of the biggest concerns of the food industry in more recent years has been food waste. Several companies are playing their part in helping the problem, with Pulp Pantry creating granola from leftover juicery pulp, Regrained making bars out of the spent grain leftover from beer, and other companies continue to take shape. This segment in food is much newer, but it also opens up a cheaper market of tasty, high-nutrition products that consumers want.


Greens are branching out, and kale is paying the price

Kale is no longer the hip superfood it once was, and is rapidly on the decline as the hallmark food for veganism. Chefs are now moving to other greens that are high in nutrients but bold in flavor, with dandelion greens, Swiss chard, carrot tops, and several others becoming the vegetables of choice in a restaurant. Our choice for vegetables is diversifying in a big way, and one of the trademarks of the vegan movement is paying the price.


Local butcheries are making a comeback


As we demand more local and higher quality meat and more charcuterie, butchering has generated a lot more interest. Local butchers are finding markets that were once closed to them are opening up again, and consumers would rather source their meat from local farms that treat their livestock properly rather than the cruel, harmful conditions of factory raising livestock. The quality of meat has been perceptable enough for consumers to pay the higher price, and its helped local, artisanal butchery climb back into the market.


Grain pasta is out, legume pastas are in

With the gluten-free and plant-based markets continuing to explode, consumers are turning to alternative sources of flour to create pastas. Modern Table Meals is one of the chief examples of these legume-based pastas, which tend to boast high protein contents and exciting flavors. These veggie-based pastas have been gaining huge popularity with their recent introductions, and continue to grow.


America’s favorite food color is now purple


Purple is one of the most attractive new colors consumers want to see on their plates. While purple cabbage has always been a staple and acai has been big for a while, other pieces of purple produce like radishes, purple sweet potatoes, and purple corn are gaining popularity on plates and in stores. Expect this color to find its way into more places in the coming year.


Breakfast is getting crunchier and more portable

Classics breakfasts in the United States contain very little crunch (with the exception of the ever-popular bacon), and are often massive affairs of runny or scrambled eggs, potatoes, and ham or sausage. With the rise of fried chicken‘s popularity in breakfast, expect that to change as the fried fowl continues to invade our breakfast menu. Breakfast sandwiches have been popular as well, and will continue to grow as America demands more convenience. Other portable breakfast vehicles like the breakfast taco, breakfast wrap, and more have been in demand.

Overall, the United States is following the trends of healthier, more convenient, and more attractive foods that it has been on for the past year, and that won’t change between 2016 and 2017. As new vehicles for these foods like bowls and portable food continue to evolve, so will the demands and interests of consumers. As a writer, I’m definitely excited to how all of the above trends will play out in 2017 — and what new foods and trends I’ll get to write about as a result!

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The Poke Craze Is Here, But Is It All Good?


Photo: Jayna Gavieres

Poke, a Hawaiian dish consisting of diced raw fish mixed with flavored sauces, has lately been trending all over California and the East Coast. On Yelp you can find over 20 listings of new poke places just in Orange County alone.

Despite the popularity poke has gained on the mainland, some see it as just another incessant food trend and a delicacy that’s quickly losing its cultural authenticity, I for one, included. The meaning of poke is rapidly changing as more restaurants are opening left and right, and I generally don’t see that as a great thing.

Having visited Hawaii many times throughout my life (thanks to family living there), I’ve tried true Hawaiian poke and the exclusivity of having it on the islands. The most important aspect of this dish is obviously the quality of the fish, and for anyone who enjoys fish, it’s really all about the freshness.

Growing up in the Asian culture, when someone mentions poke, I automatically think “diced raw fish by the pound.” The difference between traditional poke and the current poke trend that’s sweeping the country is that here in California, when someone mentions poke, they’re usually talking about diced raw fish, numerous mixed toppings to accompany it, and a liberal, albeit borderline criminal amount of sauces, all creating a mountain over a bowl of rice.

Orange County restaurants like PokiNometry and The Low-Key Poke Joint serve this very poke bowl concept containing various toppings that overpower the original favor of the fish itself.


Photo: Jayna Gavieres

Foodland, a grocery store chain throughout the Hawaiian Islands, takes pride in being “Hawaii’s Home for Poke.” When you walk up to the store’s deli, you can immediately see the long row of freshly diced raw fish marinating in various sauces waiting to be ordered by the pound. Yes, they do also serve poke bowls, but their poke bowls only consist of your choice of fish on top of rice. That’s it. Nice and simple.

The poke trend is becoming more complicated and therefore losing the simplistic quality that made it enjoyable to Hawaiians in the first place. When you have a list of different spices and toppings that can be added to the fish in unlimited combinations, are you really tasting the important freshness of the fish like the Hawaiian culture intended?

The notion that people have to constantly be innovative with food is a positive and exciting quality to have in the food industry, but some people tend to distort food trends by relentlessly changing a culture’s specialty. If one forgets the history behind certain dishes and foods just for the sake of popularity and hype, traditional cultures become misrepresented.

However, let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment: maybe this poke trend is just a new concept being born in our modern-day subcultures? Would it seem more acceptable if it wasn’t called poke? There’s no doubt that poke bowls are becoming wildly more popular and the demand is exponentially growing. The satisfying concept of customizing your own bowl makes eating that much more fun and exciting, which is what we Americans seem to crave in this industry. Culinary excitement can simply be the touchstone of this trend.

With that said, though, the hype with poke should encourage us to remember where it originally began and that sometimes, less is more.

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Gordon Ramsay Thinks This Food Trend Is Utter Bullsh*t


Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay went back on Reddit to do another AMA with the Internet. This time to promote his new mobile app Gordon Ramsay Dash.

One of the questions asked of the chef came from suaveitguy:

What is the dumbest trend in food that you thought would not have lasted, but has?

Here is chef Ramsay’s response:

I think foam should be used for shaving, not go on top of food. Because when a foam hits a plate, unless you’ve eaten it within 3 or 4 seconds, at the end it looks like sort of toxic scum on a stagnant pool. So I started with foams in the 90s, and I’m still amazed that they’re around now. So we need to get rid of the foam, and keep foam for shaving.

Obviously the world-famous chef has a pretty strong opinion about adding foam to his food. Wonder how he feels dining at a molecular gastronomy restaurant?

You can catch Ramsay hosting a ton of shows like Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef and Hotel Hell.

Ramsay Image: Facebook