One of the best (and sometimes worst) parts about being an adult is making your own decisions about what to eat. If your decision is simply to dine on candy, well, you wouldn’t be too far removed from a current trend.
While candy and treats typically are given to children on special occasions or holidays, in today’s food landscape they can also be the very ingredient that sets a menu item apart as innovative and unique.
Sugar is a sure-fire way to entice even the most seasoned palate, and creating an experience around it enhances the whimsical enjoyment. Pair it with an entertainment experience like those offered by companies such as Alamo Drafthouse, and you can really see the trend come to life.
We went to an event held at an Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theater, aptly titled “The Ultimate Willy Wonka Party.” This one-time-only movie screening of the original film from 1971 was turned into an interactive evening, thanks, in part, to a curated “prop” bag filled with various candies and other selected items to be enjoyed at suggested times, in accordance with an included list. A sheet of candy buttons was meant to be eaten in unison by the crowd during one of the famous songs performed in the film, while gold-wrapped milk chocolate balls were meant simply to be enjoyed at one’s leisure.
The overall reaction from the crowd made for quite the sensory experience, followed by some light Q&A with two of the film’s original cast, and a souvenir autographed poster to take home.
Fast food chain Taco Bell featured a “Firecracker Burrito” in its Orange County locations that came with cayenne flavor crystals reminiscent of the nostalgic candy, giving an extra spicy crunch to the limited offering. Taking the rainbow food trend to the next level is “Pop Candy Land Pizza” on the menu at Industry Kitchen in New York City. This technicolor dessert pizza consists of a rainbow sugar cookie crust, with cream cheese frosting, cotton candy, and Pop Rocks as toppings.
As an ingredient, candy is so malleable to other flavors and textures that we are seeing it appear on menus in some interesting executions. Whichever way you slice, sprinkle, chew or pop it, sugar can be a key ingredient for fun.
Versatility and variety when it comes to candy mean there’s an option for any sweet tooth, and innovative establishments are using it to appeal to our senses and create lasting memories around food, giving us all a little something to treat ourselves with.
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This article is courtesy of our insights partners at CultureWaves.