Health magazine counted down the most unusual food trends of the year, from insects and sriracha candy canes, to the cronut and high-end ice cubes.
1. Insects — Touted as the newest “superfood,” insects are packed with protein and considered more environmentally sound than consuming chicken or other types of meat. The bugs are frequently eaten in Southeast Asia, and can take on many forms, including being ground up into flour.
2. Out-there food flavors — Cappuccino potato chips, sriracha/dill pickle/wasabi/gravy-flavored candy canes, and a myriad of unusual vodka flavors (tobacco, fresh cut grass, cookie dough, and even electricity) made their debut on store shelves this year.
3. All things pumpkin spice — Once autumn hit, food manufacturers across the board jumped on the pumpkin spice bandwagon. Though some items naturally work with the flavor, like lattes, granola bars and ice cream, others are more perplexing, like gum, Milano cookies, and Hershey’s Kisses.
4. Hybrid foods — The cronut (a cross between a croissant and a donut) paved the way for some unusual food combinations, including the ramen burger, the wonut (waffle and donut), the cragel (croissant and bagel), and the five-layer pizza cake.
5. Artisanal ice — Joining sophisticated cocktail developments, like house-made sodas, infused liqueurs and fresh juices, the high-end ice is hand-cut, crystal clear (made from specially filtered water) and cut with a special saw. The magazine reports that the ice is cut larger than most cubes to melt more slowly, preventing drinks from getting watered down.