8 hot food trends to try this summer

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8 hot food trends to try this summer

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Clothes aren't the only things that go out of style. This year has been filled with fun food trends that have started to simmer come summer time.

Items like vegetable-pasta, rainbow bagels and sushi burritos are going out of style and diners are craving sweeter treats and more diverse culinary adventures.

Perhaps the biggest driver of these new trends is social media. Photographs of quirky colored ice cream and carefully arranged acai bowls have dared diners to test these dishes out themselves and share their experiences with their followers and friends.

Here's a look at 8 delectable summer food trends that Instagram can't get enough of:

  • Queso

    From Wendy's to Chipotle, restaurants are embracing queso and diners are cheering.

    The ooey-gooey cheese has been a staple in Tex-Mex chains for years but has recently exploded onto menus at burger joints and bars.

    Last month, Wendy's launched three queso-topped items: a Bacon Queso Cheeseburger, a Bacon Queso Chicken Sandwich and Bacon Queso Fries.

    Chipotle recently began a limited test of its own queso. It ditched artificial stabilizers typically found in the dip in favor of all-natural tapioca starch, which some say, gives the queso a bit of a gritty feel.

    In addition, TGI Fridays has added Loaded Bacon Nachos to its menu that are topped with a white poblano queso. Stephanie Perdue, the former chief product marketing officer at Taco Bell, helped bring this dish to life at the Dallas-based chain of restaurants and bars.

    Moe's Southwest Grill Famous Queso.
    Source: Moe's Southwest Grill
  • Rolled ice cream

    Mesmerizing YouTube videos of this Thai desert have brought rolled ice cream parlors to cities across the U.S.

    Watching the treat get made is almost more exciting than actually eating it. A milk-based ice cream is poured onto a frozen metal plate and it's kneaded and spread across the surface with little paddles. When the ice cream freezes into an even layer on the plate, it is scraped into rolls and placed into a cup.

    The dessert is then covered in whatever toppings you choose, from marshmallows and gummy bears to shaved coconut and hot fudge.

    The craze is similar to the explosion of frozen yogurt shops that cropped up a few years ago. Not to mention, these creations look great on Instagram.

    Marius Hepp | EyeEm | Getty Images
  • Frosé

    If you've been craving a sweet and refreshing alcoholic drink to cool you down in the summer heat, you might want to order a Frosé.

    Frosé, or frozen Rosé , has been a huge staple at wine bars and restaurants this year, with diners ordering so much of the beverage that many locations have sold out of the wine altogether.

    The cool drink was popularized on social media sites like Instagram and helped boost sales of Rosé up 60 percent to $258 million in the last 12 months, according to Nielsen.

    Chef Anthony Pino, who owns a handful of restaurants in New Jersey, told CNBC that Frosé has been a best-seller at his restaurants this summer. He attributed the beverage's success to its sweet and refreshing taste, its photogenic appearance and how it pairs with menu items like oysters.

    While Pino sees Frosé as a seasonal drink that will fizzle out by mid-September, he said that Rosé will remain a popular wine for the rest of the year.

    "I guarantee you'll see a Halloween Rosé," he said.

    Frose from Porter Collins
    Porter Collins
  • Charcoal

    Often called "goth" or "anti-unicorn," black-colored foods have been a hit on Instagram in the last year. From cupcakes and ice cream to pasta and bread, the internet cannot get enough of this dark trend.

    While many chain restaurants abroad have resorted to squid ink to create a rich, dark black color for burger buns and pasta, others have gravitated toward activated charcoal. The ingredient, which gives food an ashy color, is touted as a "detoxer" and has lead to some incredibly decadent Instagram photos.

    Perhaps the most popular iteration of this trend is charcoal ice cream. Shops like Little Damage in Los Angeles have gained a cult-like following online for offering up this sweet treat in an inky black cone.

    Charcoal lemonade has also become popular in the wake of the juice cleanse trend, with many companies selling a black-colored version of the tart drink.

    But, folks should be sure to eat and drink charcoal in moderation. While the ingredient is often used to remove toxins, aid in digestion and, in extreme cases, treat drug overdoses in a hospital, too much charcoal can cause vomiting and constipation. Not to mention, it can also make some medications ineffective.

    Charcoal ice cream cone from Little Damage
    Little Damage
  • Edible cookie dough

    What's better than an ice cream cone on a hot summer day? A cone of edible cookie dough.

    This safe-to-eat treat has cropped up in cities across the U.S. in recent months, with confectioners doling out scoops of dough in a variety of flavors. Edible cookie dough has been around for a few years, but only recently became a highly sought after dessert thanks to Instagram.

    The trend is kind of a no-brainer considering how many people lament about not being able to eat cookie dough when they're baking cookies.

    Shops like Do in New York, Tart Sweets bakery in North Carolina and Dough Boyz in upstate New York aren't the only ones getting in on this trend. A number of grocery stores now carry edible cookie dough from brands like The Cookie Dough Cafe, Edoughble and The Cookie Jar, among others.

    Cookie Dough Confections
    Source: Cookie Dough Confections
  • Poke

    This Hawaiian specialty has cruised to the mainland and is quickly spreading across the U.S. Traditional poke, pronounced "po-kay," is cubed, fresh raw seafood (usually tuna or octopus) mixed with soy sauce, green onions and sesame oil and served over rice.

    Last December, the National Restaurant Association named poke a hot trend for 2017 after surveying almost 1,300 professional chefs to determine menu trends for the coming year. The dish has since become a staple at restaurant chains.

    Although Pokeworks, a Poke-centric restaurant, was ahead of this trend. The restaurant, which was founded in 2015, serves a wide variety of this dish and even allows customers to create their own bowls.

    "People enjoy culturally diverse foods," Kevin Hsu, co-founder of Pokeworks, told CNBC via email. "In addition, poke meets current consumer desires for healthier fast-casual options and a greater awareness for well-sourced ingredients."

    Hsu called Poke a "relative" of sushi, making it easily accessible to folks who already enjoy that kind of cuisine.

    "Our goal is to be a highly customizable and healthy, yet creative, meal," he said. "For a cuisine that consumers are still learning about and curious to try, the selection of traditional ingredients from Hawaii that can be custom built suits the needs of today's many dietary restrictions."

    A poke bowl from PokeWorks
    PokeWorks
  • S'mores

    It wouldn't be summer with out a campfire and some s'mores, but it turns out you don't even need the campfire anymore.

    As one of the hottest food trends this year, s'mores flavoring has permeated into just about every category in the restaurant world, from coffee and ice cream to Frappuccinos and vodka.

    One of the most prominent brands to adopt s'mores is Dunkin' Donuts.

    "Much like sipping on your favorite cold coffee beverage, making S'mores by the campfire is a quintessential part of summer, and it just made sense to combine the two," Dunkin's culinary team told CNBC.

    The coffee and doughnut chain now sells a S'mores inspired iced coffee and doughnut for a limited time.

    Dunkin' Donuts' S’mores flavored coffee and donut
    Dunkin Donuts
  • Acai Bowls

    Move over Greek yogurt, acai bowls are the hottest new breakfast trend. Made from frozen acai pulp, bananas and nut milk, these bowls are packed with antioxidants and covered in fruit and granola.

    Eric Helms, found and CEO of Juice Generation, has had acai bowls on the menu since 1999, but only in the last five years has he seen a major uptick in customer interest. His restaurant currently sells five different bowls and he plans on adding three more variations in September.

    The bowls take about 12 minutes to make, he told CNBC, but that doesn't deter customers. He said that he sells about 4,000 acai bowls a day at his 20 stores.

    Helms said that customers have gravitated toward acai bowls because they are antioxidant rich, are covered in delicious fruit and look beautiful.

    The dish has become so popular that Juice Generation now sells an acai bowl meal kit, of sorts, called Blend It Yourself. The company ships the ingredients to your doorstep and all you have to do is add nut milk or water and blend it up.

    As this trend has become more popular, Helms said that some acai bowl shops cut corners by using acai powder or creating a sorbet instead of using frozen pulp. So, you may want to ask before ordering to make sure you're getting a true acai bowl.

    Malcolm P Chapman | Getty Images