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Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

So, what did we stand in long lines for this year?

| December 13, 2013

Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013
During the ’70s, hot pandesal stores sprouted in every street corner in Metro Manila until the case of the shrinking pandesal somehow slowly dissipated the hot pandesal craze. Enter the ’80s and the era of lechon manok stalls in every nook and cranny in the city came. Soon tapsilog became the in thing, then gotohan, and the pares. Last year it was Milk Teas mania and French Macarons galore. Wondering what the latest food fads are this year of the water snake? Here are 8 Food Fads that have us all scurrying to get in line just to see for ourselves what the fuss is all about…

 

Cupcakes-8Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Cupcakes-8Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Touted as the next best thing after the French macarons, cupcakes are the new scene stealers this year. Note that cupcake houses have been mushrooming all over. Add to that are the numerous cupcake stalls that abound in weekend markets and night markets. The proliferation of so many variants, colours and designs are making my sweet tooth ache. Although there are so many out there, there is one that seems to stand out amongst home bakers who of course prefer their own cupcake concoctions over the commercial ones. Cupcake Lab is making waves. Though pricier than others their out of the ordinary creations are very inviting even to non cupcake aficionados.  I drool over their Peanut Butter Smores (you guessed it right, I go nuts over anything with peanut butter) which has Reese’s chips that blends so well with the bitter fudge marshmallow chewy topping. The myriad flavours and textures in each of their carefully thought of creations are worth the calories. I’m looking forward to trying out their messy looking cupcake that’s topped with brown crumbs and gummy worms. I’m certain that as always they won’t disappoint.

Ramen-Restos-7Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Ramen-Restos-7Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

The Ramen god’s are watching over us in the metro ramen circuit. There’s a ramen war going on out there with all time favourite and still sought after Ukokkei Ramen Ron in Arnaiz Ave. being threatened from its being top choice ramen house by rival Yushoken in Alabang. Although Yushoken is based in the Alabang area , it boasts of Chef Takane who is known as a ramen artist nonpareil. The Chef is said to still be in constant communication with the Yamagishi hierarchy, the ramen god lineage of Japan.  As I am quite a ramen fan, I closely watch the ramen furor and willingly try out new entrants and still go back to the tried and tested ones.

Ramen-Buergers-6Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Ramen-Buergers-6Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Bakers are not the only ones’ reinventing the wheel.  Keizo Shimamoto of Brooklyn NY came up with a twist to the hamburger. He sandwiched a beef patty between two panfried ramen noodle buns and tickled the fancy of burger and noodle lovers in the city that never sleeps. It is no wonder then that this innovation has caught on in the Philippines too. For a short period of time Wrong Ramen in Taguig and Umami Hambaagu House came up with a very similar one to this unusual burger twist. Their offer’s only deviation was the use of sesame seeds on the noodle buns replacing the scallions and mayonnaise replacing shoyu. Tempura Grill also came up with their own version of a ramen burger, complete with lettuce, bacon and sesame seed sprinkled noodle buns.

Brownie-Brittle-5Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Brownie-Brittle-5Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

My biggest hurdle when dieting is chocolates and anything crunchy like cashew nuts, peanuts or pistachio nuts. When my friends started describing this latest crunchy chocolate thingie that melts in your mouth, I just had to get a taste of it. I rushed to the nearest S&R and browsed through oodles and oodles of diet defying snack munchies until I came upon my target, a 399 peso pack of heaven known as Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle. Instead of making chewy brownies, Sheila G created thin sheets of chocolate laden brownies embedded with milk chocolate chips. She then baked these to a crisp and broke them into pieces you can crunch and munch on while playing couch potato. Talk about mindless eating, I finished fishing on my first pack in 10 minutes flat. A week after my first encounter with the choco chip brownie brittle, someone left a pack of Sheila G’s Chocolate Mint Brownie Brittle in front of me during a party. As a choco mint lover I was smitten for life. This is one food fad I may not easily get over with.

Ramen-Buergers-6Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Ramen-Buergers-6Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Since its successful entry into the doughnut market, JCo Donuts swiftly emerged as the default pasalubong ng bayan in Manila. The long queue is actually reminiscent of its predecessor Krispy Kreme when they launched way back in 2006. However, as the honeymoon with the newcomer wears off, the real reason for the long lines seems not to be stemming from heavy customer traffic but from sheer incompetence of their service crew. When compared with Krispy Kreme which won hands down as the best among all its global franchise when it comes to customer service, JCo according to reviews sucks. Still and all, people wait for 1 to 2 hours to get their JCo fix. Once the heat of the longing for this new doughnut dies down the better doughnut will still surface. Fact is many people still scream for Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts is still a favoured doughnut to dunk in their hot cup of not too steep priced coffee.

BRONUTS-3Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

BRONUTS-3Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Add to the list of hybrid pastries is another novelty that’s making sweet tooth fanatics go into frenzy. There’s Bronuts that’s a chewy brownie turned into a donut. Brownie lovers and donut loyalists are getting hooked into this latest innovation of baking czars. The twists to old faves seem to be endless. There’s also the Cronie (nope not an ex-president’s groupie) which is a union of a croissant and a brownie. The chocolate chewy brownie topped on a flaky croissant is also making pastry addicts fall in line in a cafe nook in Trinoma.

CRONUTS-2Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

CRONUTS-2Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Just like the Cookie Butter, the grand entrance of a newfangled baked sensation was welcomed with so much anticipation and expectation by hip Manila foodies. The cronut was an innovative creation of New York based Chef Dominique Ansel . As the coined name suggests this is a bold marriage of a crusty layered croissant and a soft doughnut. Oxymoronic as it sounds, the chef gave birth to what bakers all over the world wish they had thought of first. From the U.S. to our shores, the cronut obsession is far reaching. Here in Manila, Wild Flour took on the challenge and created its own version of the cronut. Garnering mixed reviews from their clientele, they still boast of being the first to crack the cronut black box. Not to be outdone, Krispy Kreme launched its own infamous cronut which they called Krispy Kreme Kroissant. With a perhaps unintended double entendre by having an acronym KKK , the company is now entangled in a mess with both the Philippine and U.S. government where the 3 letters stand for nationalism in the former and white supremacy in the latter. 

TRADER-JOE’S-COOKIE-BUTTER-SPECULOOS-1Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

TRADER-JOE’S-COOKIE-BUTTER-SPECULOOS-1Gr8List: 8 Food Fads of 2013

Sometime in April an obscure store hidden behind a burger place along Blue Ridge Katipunan suddenly rose to demand stardom as the biggest supplier of Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter. With the influx of drool inducing photos of the bottle star, Pinoys started clamouring for it. The Cookie Butter bug caught on faster than a moving bullet or a speeding train. Soon after the creamy version came the crunchy one. And trailing after TJ’s was Lotus Biscoff European cookie spread. I tasted and compared the Cookie Butter trailblazers but found not much difference. The taste of crushed Speculoos (Belgian cookies) with gingerbread hints and a slight caramel flavour mixed into a spread is not really something I’d keep coming back for. I’d still go back to eating spoonfuls from a huge bottle of Nutella anytime.