After visiting Los Angeles and its surrounding cities a few weeks ago, I remain surprised at how far behind the East Coast, let alone Boston, is on food trends. Inspired by Lisa DeCanio’s post last week on New York food trends, I decided to share some amazing dessert trends I discovered in California. Entrepreneurs and business owners, take note.
Shaved Ice – As with the rest of the dessert trends in this post, shaved ice has been around for a while. A friend who worked at one of the best shaved-ice shops, Guppy Teahouse, first introduced me to the wonders of shaved ice a few years ago. And no, shaved ice is nothing like snow cones. Not even close. This kind of shaved ice is “a Taiwanese delicacy traditionally topped with sweet beans, boba, jellies, taro root, ice cream, condensed milk and syrup,” according to CBS Los Angeles. Personally, I love shaved ice topped with red beans, fresh fruit and condensed milk. Check out more of California’s best shaved ice.
Shaved Snow – How does chocolate hazelnut shaved snow sound? Strawberry banana? Another Taiwanese dessert, shaved snow is a lighter, smoother version of shaved ice. It comes as paper-thin sheets of flavored ice, and the airy texture reminds me of cotton candy (but of course, infinitely healthier and tastier). In fact, OC Weekly even wrote an article about it on how it could be the “next frozen yogurt.” Like shaved ice and frozen yogurt, shaved snow can be topped with delicious fruit and syrup. Word on the street is that Lollicup, on 1095 Comm Ave., will be offering shaved snow for the first time within the next few weeks or sooner! I know I’ll be the first in line!
Toppings in Smoothies – Seriously, why isn’t this heavenly treat as popular as frozen yogurt? After the froyo craze reached us years after it hit California, mixing yummy toppings in our smoothies probably won’t be such a big hit until a few years from now. It’s a shame, because peach chunks in smoothies is actually the best thing ever. The shop I visited was Tastea, which offers yummy add-ons such as jelly, red beans, boba and more. Unbeknownst to me, it turns out the new Lollicup on Commonwealth Avenue offers these add-ons in smoothies! Speaking of smoothies, Melrose’s Liquid Juice Bar has incredibly healthy smoothies and juices. Yes, juices. You can either design your own or try one of their juices like the Pink Asylum, which has strawberries, pineapple, beet and ginger. The acai bowls are also popular.
Sprinkles Ice Cream – This is a more obvious one, as Sprinkles Cupcakes has already been a powerhouse trend. Sprinkles was the first cupcakery and “the progenitor of the gourmet cupcake craze.” The cupcakery even created the first ATM for cupcakes. Now, Sprinkles offers ice cream that I can’t believe I didn’t try while in the area. Although they do ship across the country, visiting the L.A.-based store in person is part of the experience. That being said, if you’re lucky enough to go, please take me with you!
Bottega Louie Macaroons – I tried my first macaron at the king of all macaroons, Bottega Louie. As soon as you walk in, you see a large display full of colorful macaroons — and tourists like me taking pictures of not only the macaroons, but also the other display of decadent desserts. Take a look at Bottega Louie’s dessert menu, and tell me you aren’t lusting for one of its macaroons. To top it all off, Bottega Louie also serves as a restaurant, a gourmet market and bar. Its only location rests in Los Angeles, but one can only hope that its macaroons make it over here.
Have you tried any of these delicious desserts? Which ones would you want in Boston?