Toast as a food is hot enough to burn the fingers right now. Small cafes and restaurants nationally are embracing it as comfort food, featuring artisan bread, small dairy butter and toppings from almond butter to salted avocado.
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Now that same flavor is showing up as a taste. The Republic of Tea introduced Cinnamon Toast Tea, which has the caffeine of tea alongside the flavor and aroma of the favorite kids' breakfast treat.
And from B.T. McElrath Chocolatier in Minneapolis comes Buttered Toast chocolate bars.
"We didn't want to use a processed cereal, so we went with honest toast," says McElrath. He buys bread from a local artisan bakery, slathers it in butter from a local dairy and then wraps the crunch-salty mixture in milk chocolate.
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The 40 percent chocolate he uses works well in the deliciously salty-crunchy-sweet bar. But elsewhere, dark, darker, darkest is the trend when it comes to chocolate.
"We're really seeing our highest sales in our highest cocoa butter chocolate," said Chelsea Jess with Kakao Berlin. Though based in Port Orchard, Wash., the company has all its chocolates made in Berlin.
"The trend is definitely towards darker chocolate. People like it because its high in flavonoids, it has less sugar and it's great for the brain," she said.
Another example was Taza Chocolate's stone-ground chocolates, starting at 60 percent Dominican dark and rising to 87 percent Bolivian dark. Their unrefined chocolate lets the cacao "shout loud and proud," as the company proclaims.
From the jungle to the sea, seaweed is another flavor that's turning up in in multiple products. Ocean's Halo is selling seaweed chips in flavors such as Texas BBQ and Chili Lime.