Biggest Food Fads of 2018

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Probiotic foods

Probiotics are found naturally in the body. These so-called “good bacteria” and microorganisms help the digestive system. Yogurt and kefir are among the most popular external sources of probiotics, but kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, and kombucha are other examples. Google searches for foods that help with digestion have increased exponentially. Despite their popularity, though, research suggests, probiotics have no known benefits for healthy people, and doctors warn against taking over the counter probiotics supplements, since they are not FDA-regulated.

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Starbucks latest Frappuccino

Every new Starbucks coffee-based confection seems to achieve fad status, at least for a while. Sometimes, as in the case of their cultish Pumpkin Spice Latte, the fad gets revived every year until it becomes virtually a part of the culture. Whether or not that happens with the chain’s introduction of summertime 2018, the Serious Strawberry Frappuccino, remains to be seen. An earlier pink-hued concoction, the widely Instagrammed Unicorn Frappuccino, has been phased out of the lineup, according to an announcement made in April.

Frosé

Frosé — rosé wine blended into a kind of slushie, often with such ingredients as strawberries, watermelon, grenadine, lemon juice, and even sometimes vodka added — were the summer’s trendiest drink back in 2017, but proved remarkably resilient this year, too. Taco Bell even added a version to their menu this year.

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Caffeinated snacks

Not everybody likes coffee, black tea, or Coke, but those aren’t the only tasty sources of caffeine these days. The stimulating compound is now being added to protein bars, ice cream, yogurt, hot sauce, gummy bears, and even marshmallows. You can even buy chewable coffee in the shape of cubes.

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Timut pepper

This fresh spice, originally from Nepal, comes in the form of peppercorns that taste a little bit like grapefruit (some say passion fruit) and, like Sichuan peppercorns, to which they are related, , can leave a numbing or tingling sensation in the mouth. That hasn’t stopped them from becoming popular, mostly in Indian and other Asian dishes, but also by chefs in other fields, who use the spice in both sweet and savory dishes, and even cocktails.