charcoal toronto

Toronto restaurants scrambling to add charcoal to their menus

Mmm, charcoal... the carbonaceous food additive that's got everyone in the city eating rocks and bragging about it.

Outside of your Instagram feed, activated charcoal can be found all over Toronto right now in the form of donuts, smoothies, pizza – even IKEA hotdogs. And every week, the list of "black food" items available locally grows.

This wasn't always the case. Up until recently, most of us hadn't even considered putting ashes into our mouths.

And yet, something about the idea of trying jet-black "ninja hotdogs" or "gothic ice cream" seems appealing enough to make us forget we shouldn't eat dirt.

Charcoal ice cream

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What's a restaurateur to do but jump on the trend and make all the money? It might be unusual, but charcoal is what the people want.

Evidence that this stuff has any health benefits is thin, if not complete malarkey, but we do know that charcoal is used in medical settings to treat some types of poisoning.

Don't go licking your barbecue brush, though – chefs should only be using the activated, food-grade version of charcoal to make black food.

Doctors say it's safe to consume that type of charcoal in moderation if you're otherwise healthy, and that most of the foods containing it looks dope as hell. (I can't confirm the last part, but it's got to be true somewhere.)

Here are some of the culinary creations that contain charcoal in the city right now.

iHalo Krunch's 'goth' ice cream cones

This perpetually lined-up soft serve spot across from Trinity Bellwoods Park introduced charcoal ice cream to Toronto earlier this summer, and quickly became one of this year's hottest new dessert parlours. You've probably seen their black cones and coconut-flavoured charcoal cream on Instagram.

Twice as nice 🍦🍦

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Yu Seafood's bamboo charcoal and egg yolk bun

Dim sum has never been fancier thanks to this Richmond Hill restaurant's shiny gold and black buns. They've also serve bamboo charcoal sticky rice rolls, if you can't get enough of the trend.

Black Gold Custard Bun #dimsum #weekend #yuseafood

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Masseria's black pizza

Home of the "carbone pizza," Masseria pumps its uniquely dark dough with activated charcoal making it "airy and black." You can try it for yourself at their King and Portland restaurant.

Pizza Nova has also rolled out its own version of the charcoal crust at The CNE this year.

CutiePie Cupcakes Co's Himalayan Salted Charcoal Latte

This moody-looking summer drink is the anti-rainbow food trend dessert, which is kind of funny given that CutiePie Cupcakes is also home of the original unicorn latte.

Death in Venice's Kraken Black Summer Skream gelato

If you're looking for gothy Instagram treats , this place is probably your best option. Their logo is literally a skull, they boast the blackest of all black gelatos, and their popular skream flavour contains both charcoal and Kraken spiced rum.

Only if you dare.... the black gelato is upon you.. #krakenrum #blackgelato #blogto #torontostar #mintagency #craveto #nowmagazine #kraken #torontolife

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Lead photo by

feedmyphone at Millie Creperie


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