Charcoal bread. Picture: Supplied
Charcoal bread. Picture: Supplied

The dark side of food: Tweeps can’t seem to wrap up their heads around charcoal bread

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Mar 25, 2021

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Overshadowing the playful colours of unicorn foods, in 2017 the black food trend lit up the food scene and kept rising in popularity as anything from drinks, to ice creams and even burgers had taken a darker twist.

Before this trend, having your food compared to charcoal would have been an insult. Now kitchen professionals are serving up charcoal foods. Activated charcoal is often used as an ingredient to add flavour (and colour), but it is also credited with many health benefits.

Encompassing not only naturally grown black foods, such as certain fruits, seeds and grains; the trend also includes foods with altered appearances due to ageing, dyeing, and cooking techniques.

In 2018, a London café called Coco di Mama sparked debate on Twitter when a picture was posted of its new creation: a ‘charcoal activated vegan croissant’. The café claimed that the addition of activated charcoal offered health benefits, helping to “detoxify any poisons or toxins in the body, for example, alcohol.” The backlash spread beyond social media, with a Guardian columnist decrying the pastry “a global hate object.”

Recently, the food and lifestyle blog Soweto Food shared a picture of charcoal bread and it did not sit well with tweeps. The bread is made of brown sugar, flour, yeast, salt, butter, fresh milk, water, and bamboo charcoal powder.

@__ZandileM wrote; “Even if it tastes good, I'll prolly taste burn because of the colour no ways.”

@statvesque_son wrote: “I do hope you are given a cup of tea to dip it in at least.”

@kuhlwas asked, “Who would make us an awful thing?”

Experts reveal that black rye bread contains a higher proportion of calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamin E, adding to its potential health benefits.

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