Black has always been the symbol of power, and all that is cool in the world. It is the king of all colours as it goes with just anything. But did you know that black is in trend even in popular cuisine? I’m sure most of you were unaware that even food has a gothic side to it. Gothic has been in trend since forever, but when did what we eat turn over to the dark side? (I only mean by the colour) Especially in a country like India, where we pride on our diverse culture and thereby the colourful cuisines of each state, does Goth Food stand a chance among the multi-coloured thali dishes in India? That is if it ever reaches India.
But what exactly is Goth Food?
Picture your favourite burger in your head. That soft bun with sesame seeds sprinkled on top, a crunchy, grilled burger in between with cheese and tomato. Mouth-watering, isn’t it? Now picture it black. Looks like your dream just turned into a nightmare.
But that’s because you don’t know what goth food is yet. Goth food is any kind of food that is dyed black with black food colouring or other materials that make it appear black or grey. These ‘Black Foods’ include food made with activated charcoal, black sesame, black garlic, squid ink or black truffle. Sure, it’s not as colourful as the food we generally know, but these dark foods are said to actually be beneficial to our health.
Activated Charcoal is good for digestion, and as we all know, it is a major ingredient in teeth whitening products and remedies. It is also said to be helpful in reducing cholesterol, but overconsumption may lead to malnutrition. Squid Ink is rich in iron and antioxidants. Black Garlic fights against cancer, and it was once even hailed as the ‘essence of immortality.’
Black Sesame is rich in vitamins and calcium and helps in preventing greying of hair, memory loss and keeps your heart healthy. Black truffles have high protein content and help reduce cholesterol. Activated Charcoal, however, is flavourless. Adding it to your food only changes its visual appearance but does nothing to the taste. It’s not just black ingredients that made food goth but also cooking techniques such as charring that gives the food a smoky flavour. But Goth Foodies need to be a little on guard as some of these dark ingredients have a tendency to stain our teeth.
Goth food was a massive trend in 2017, with people making and posting black food taking the Internet by storm. Some of the goth recipes that dazed the Internet are Goth Ice cream, Black cheese, Black Hot Dog, Black Hamburger, Charcoal Latte, Charcoal Pizza, Black Sushi, Black Ramen, etc.
The trend is believed to have risen in contrast to the popular unicorn foods or rainbow foods that went viral the same year.
But the real celebrity among goth food is the Goth Ice cream that received a lot of attention from netizens on Instagram. People went crazy trying and recreating the Black Ice Cream. The Dark Ice Cream trend is believed to have sparked off from an ice cream shop in L.A named Little Damage that sold goth looking ice cream made from almond charcoal. The ice cream even came in an unconventional black cone. A perfect scoop if you’re tired of all that colourful ice cream.
How to make your food goth?
Just add the above-mentioned ingredients (Activated charcoal or squid ink) to your food to dye it black and eureka! Your food is officially goth!
Indian kitchens turning Goth
Yes, that’s right! Goth is here and probably to stay. Black is elegant and makes quite a daring statement which is why Indian chefs are now adopting it. Let’s see what some of the Goth cookery available in India are.
- Kadaknath chicken or kali masi
A delectable dish of black meat famous in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan that is made from the sumptuous flesh of the Kadaknath chicken breed. Kali masi is rich in iron and low in cholesterol. But it is quite expensive, probably why it is not very much known.
- Chak Hao
Step down from the throne White Rice. It’s time for Black Rice to rule. Famous in Manipur, this dish is making its way into the hearts of Indians.
- Charcoal Black Dumpling
A dumpling that is the colour of your pupils made with activated charcoal.
- Black Kebabs
Tasty kebabs made with marinated meat fused with charcoal powder. You might refuse it thinking it’s burnt. But you’ll definitely change your mind after taking a bite.
The last time my food turned goth was when I burnt it out of carelessness, and of course, no one even took a bite, and it went straight into the trash. Little did I know that I was just making Goth food!