October Food Trends: FrankenSnacks

Flavor fusions that start in the boardroom have varying results, but the releases of these alien appetizers are always fun, and 2021 has plenty to offer.

Indeed, like mad scientists with unending supplies of lab specimens, brands of all types are banding up, testing new waters, and crossing over, creating monster mash-ups of flavors as well as weird preparations like freeze-dried cheese and whipped coffee.

Smartfood and Krispy Kreme, for two, are leading the charge with their limited-time flavor partnership.

Pepsi x Peeps promises a marshmallow flavored soda array in Peep-centric packaging in time for Easter (gross), and three of Jelly Belly’s Fabulous Five flavors represent brand partnerships with Sunkist, Coldstone Creamery, and whatever soda conglomerate currently operates A&W, Dr. Pepper, Crush, and … 7Up? Is 7Up back?

Falling into the category of a more full transformation, the beautiful bean footage at Bush’s Best now includes a highlight reel of bean-based chips and dips, Wendy’s Frostys are now a cereal, and Heinz has entered a new dimension with their sauce blends; especially with Tarchup and Hanch.

What monstrous mixology have you see lately? Leave your discoveries in the comments.

October Food Trends: Baby, I Can See Your Food Glow

Following in the damp footsteps of 2021’s first weird food trend of blood-bag cocktails comes that of glow-in-the-dark food — an oddity that’s been picking up steam since this summer.

Unsurprisingly, the trend comes in tandem with glow parties, but since most of these fetes have been of the at-home, small-crowd variety in recent years the food and drinks have moved to center stage, as opposed to things like glow raves, luminescent treasure hunts, and neon body-painting.

The good news about glowing food is that it need not contain frankengredients to achieve the desired effect. Adding tonic water to gelatin creates glowing frosting for cupcakes, cookies, and other treats when paired with a black light, for instance (it’s the quinine). The same goes for open-faced sliders slathered with a little mustard or a glow-in-the-dark salad with eggs (which cast a yellow glow under black light), lettuce (red), and olive oil (orange). So-called Kryptonite Candy is a little more complicated, but follows the same premise, and could serve as the piece de resistance at any kick-back.

Foods that glow without UV light are harder to find, but do exist; Indian food manufacturer Rexofa has developed lollipops and ice cream that glows when licked, thanks to bioluminescence technology.

And for the time-pressed, there are countless glow-on-the-go options: dozens of brands have jumped on the glow-wagon through their packaging, including Hershey’s, Pringles, Dogfish Head, and Yoplait — I spotted “GloGurt” at Stop & Shop earlier this month.

Share your glowed-up goodies in the comments!

October Food Trends 2021: Platelet Punches

My annual Weird Food post is my favorite of the entire year. I start researching, writing, and linking to all of the health, harvest, and Halloween food trends I can find in September, and wait as long as I can to unveil my favorite fangorious findings.

As I started this year’s post, however, I realized quickly that the inter webs had a lot to offer about each chosen morsel. So, for the first time in Blogtoberfest history, each “October Food” of 2021 will have its own dedicated post. Read on and spoil.

Red Rum

The first trend I saw bubbling up in my virtual travels this year was the blood-bag cocktail, and that opened the vein (sorry) to an entire array of blood-borne beverages.

First, let’s address the aforementioned drink receptacle. Blood-bag beverage containers are actually food-grade party fare, and widely available online (complete with funnel). I like this set from WaWaFun because it offers zombie-blood, alien-blood, and poison bags, thus opening up the cocktail-color options.

If the desired scene is decidedly sanguine though, there are plenty of crimson concoctions to be had — both cocktails and mocktails.

Beyond the Bloody Mary, there’s also a Red Russian — one of the most popular suggestions I found for blood-bag contents; Halloween Punch made with raspberry lemonade drink mix and rum; vodka- and Schnapps-based Dracula’s Blood; non-alcoholic Dragon’s Blood, and for the classiclists, the Reign In Blood, crafted with an actual shot of porcus sanguis.

For those less-than-enthused about drinking out of plastic reproductions of medical supplies, there are plenty of other presentation ideas to be found: milk bottles disturbingly filled to the rim, sugared shot glasses, or punch bowls with floating hands, to name just a few.

Conversely, for the crowd that might find a blood-bag beveragino too tame, there are also syringe shooters, bleeding-heart martinis made with pickled beets, and a Brain Hemorrhage made with curdling Baileys — which reminds me of something that happened once at a party in college, and I don’t know that I can recommend.

Leave your favorite red or rancid cocktail ideas in the comments, and stay tuned for the next course.

Call for Blogtoberfest Entries!

I always welcome guest posts at The Jump, but I take the collection thereof more seriously from October 1 to All Hallows Eve. The results have been varied and awesome, ranging in topic from witches to zombies to Neil Diamond.

Over the years, Blogtoberfest Guest Post submissions evolved into a full-on contest, with winners, prizes, and the bestowing of appropriate amounts of online glory.

Winners will be decided by readers via an online poll at the end of the month. There’s no length requirement or limit, and posts need not be spooky. October is also the month of harvest, baseball, and Breast Cancer Awareness. It may be that you or your organization has an annual event this month that deserves a little publicity. Whatever the topic – if it says October to you is fair game!

Prizes will be announced soon, and posts are accepted throughout the month, so get writing and send your entries to writerjax -at- gmail.com!

V-Day 2020: Cultural References and All the Fixins

Huzzah and Hello, weirdos! Today marks the fifth annual Weird Valentine Gift post here at WriterJax, and this year is a good one. It’s almost as though society in general has, somehow, become more accepting of the fringe.

I kid. Still, as we head toward VD 2020, I give you five contenders for holiday gift-giving. Go forth and browse to your heart’s content!

Don’t Torture Yourself, Gomez.

Send your favorite horror-file, or least-favorite-person in general, a bouquet of Dirty Rotten Flowers this year, like The Morticia arrangement below. Bonus: the testimonial page on this website is gold, Jerry. Gold.

You Had Me at Au Gratin

For the pun-tacular person in your life who’s all ears, I give you the Potato Parcel. This item was actually featured on Shark Tank and has been sending spuds around the world ever since, including those adorned with photos of the recipient.

Couple Goals

No one knows ’til death do we part like Jack and Sally. Let’s celebrate that love with gaudy-ass jewelry.

Put Some Pink in your Drink

This is too pretty not to share: pink chai tea from Lee.

The Rest is Gravy

No Valentines Day is complete without something unctuous, and when it comes to unctuous, I always vote gravy.