Monday, 25 September 2017

Would you try rainbow foods?

For many years, the closest we could get to eating rainbow food was grabbing a packet of Skittles from the supermarket. In fact, for the last 40 years, that has been Skittles' selling point: "Taste the Rainbow" and indulge in their classic, tropical and sour flavoured candies.

Skittles reigned supreme over the rainbow-based food market until mid-2016, but all of a sudden rainbow food is now everywhere. Though it's difficult to pinpoint where the trend began, chances are it had something to do with rainbow cake. Leisure-bakers and professional bakeries all around the world began creating their own versions of the rainbow cake.

Soon, Lakeland began selling a cake tin to help baking enthusiasts create their very own five-tier sponge cake fit for a unicorn at home, while established bakeries began creating their own versions. Rainbow cakes became a staple at Hummingbird Bakery in London, with their rainbow vanilla sponge cake slices remaining a favourite to this day.

Not long after cakes fir for a unicorn became a trend, bakers began adding rainbow food colouring to everything they could think of. If you're an active Instagram user, chances are you've seen them; the cupcakes, the macarons, the cookies, the pancakes, the milkshakes, the doughnuts. After all, there are almost 70,000 posts on the social media site tagged #rainbowfood right now. If you can imagine a dessert, we can almost guarantee it has a rainbow-hued equivalent already.

The rainbow trend isn't resigned to dessert dishes though, as savoury recipes can now also include technicolour hues. There are several types of rainbow pizza recipes available, depending upon whether you want to place ingredients in colour co-ordinated concentric circles like they recommend at Real Simple or you want to add food dye to the cheese or sauces. Even more complex dishes like pasta and sushi have received the rainbow treatment, while London bakeries continue to keep the trend alive with rainbow bagels and toasties.

However, not everyone is a fan of this rainbow food trend. Author and renowned chef Ed Smith has even encouraged customers to send any food that resembles a rainbow back where it came from. "It's a depressing reflection of modern culture when food development considers Instagram likes and marketing as being more important than taste," Smith told The Telegraph in July 2016.

Standing by Smith's opinion at the time was MasterChef contestant Juanita Hennessey, who stated that naturally colourful dishes were fine, but otherwise the trend was strange. She continued: "rainbow coloured cheese, sushi and pizza to me look a bit like a Care Bear has been sick on a plate..." Nice.

There is something to be said about Smith and Hennessey's opinions. After all, balance usually tends to be the best way. Rainbow food created from natural ingredients is significantly more substantial than sticking different colours in mayonnaise and putting it all over some fries. Still, there's no reason we can't enjoy some beautiful cake or cookies if we're going to be eating dessert anyway.

What do you think? Are you a fan of rainbow food or would you rather choose taste or trends?

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