• Squid ink tagliolini with calamari, bottarga and salmon roe (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns
Move over unicorn lattes and rainbow cakes, black is back to regain its dark throne - thank you, Instagram!
30 Jul 2018 - 10:19 AM  UPDATED 6 Aug 2018 - 10:35 AM

What does the colour black taste like?

Our buds tell us it could be nutty like sesame, tart like blackberry, sweet like vanilla bean, menthol-y like liquorice, salty like olive, charred like meats and wood-fired bread or simply creamy, with a touch of the aquatic or earthy from the ground up - the colour black has quite the rep and has a lot to answer for.

Of course, Instagram came to show everyone what's what.

Ice-cream did its thing...

Then it was all waffles and tarts...

Before cheese whipped out its little black dress...


Its visual oomph still creates a buzz and it certainly seems like black never really lost its mojo.

Just when you think that's all there is, think again. South Koreans have dedicated an entire day to 'black foods' (legit!). April 14th is a day when black coffee sales are set to spike while singles get together and eat bowls of jjajangmyeon, thick, black soybean noodles served in a rich sauce of onion, meat or seafood.

So we're going back to black and giving the dark-side a delicious nudge back into the limelight.  


Black mole

The tall, dark and handsome mole. With rich coffee and chocolate overtones, describing this mole feels like describing a complex red wine. With its layered flavour profile, serve it with kangaroo, venison or with duck and caramelised fig (pictured below) to truly appreciate its complexity and depth of flavour.

Black truffle

We've got ice-cream and mac 'n' cheese up our sleeves, but its the ease of truffle butter that's got us hooked every single time. Grating truffles into butter is a great way to extend the truffle season and this butter will keep for 2 weeks - we doubt it'll last that long, though.

Truffle butter.

Black garlic

Although white and black garlic offer contrasting flavour profiles and culinary uses, the fact is all black and white garlic start life as the same product. “It’s another ingredient that can be eaten on its own, just as you would do with cheese. Black garlic is unique. It’s not a substitute for any other food.” So what happens when garlic and chocolate join forces? Dessert, that's what and this chocolate mousse is working it.

What’s the deal with black garlic?
And why it's better than the white stuff.

Chocolate mousse with black garlic

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Squid ink

Want to take your pasta party by storm? Then let the rich and popping squid ink take the lead like in this seafood tagliolini. Traditionally, the blue-black ink of sepia, or cuttlefish, is used to flavour pasta and risotto in coastal regions of Italy, from Venice down to Calabria. It lends a black colouring, as well as a subtle seafood flavour, so get ready to embrace a little ink. 

Squid ink tagliolini with calamari, bottarga and salmon roe

Black beans

For a little extra TLC, soak and rinse your beans overnight, but if you're feeling under the pump then you can also use canned, rinsed and strained pocket rockets to your advantage. “Meat in its juices” (carne en su jugo) is the perfect example of what we've "bean" dreaming about. Succulent chunks of stewed beef are topped with black turtle beans, crispy bacon and coriander leaves. We're just going to leave this right here...

Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is playing in your lemonade, your cocktails, your body wash and your ice cream - so it might just be here to stay. It's dramatic in colour so whatever it touches it turns to gold (well, actually black) but it's seductive and sensual look is certainly making a splash. Take this chocolate cupcake which pays tribute to Cher's hit track "In His Kiss" thanks to the edible black shimmer, chocolate shards and a charcoal Swiss meringue frosting all taking the stage. #doyoubelieve  

In his Kiss cupcakes

Black sesame

Black sesame seeds are the bomb and they take on ol' faithful chocolate cake to a wicked place. Sure, you might get them stuck in your teeth and they're slightly more visible than their sibling, but its nutty and toasty flavour speaks for itself in this easy gluten-free friendly slice.

Black sticky rice

If you like your desserts super-sweet and creamy then this coconutty pud is the perfect reprieve. Black rice is cooked in coconut cream, then served with more sweetened coconut cream before being topped with caramelised banana. This Vietnamese-style dessert is certainly a memorable way to end any meal.

Black caviar

There's something so luxurious about a touch of caviar (probably the fact that it's got a few $$$$$ behind it).  This simple Swedish canapé of prawn and black caviar toasts is an ideal accompaniment to champagne and will add the glamour factor to any event. #imsofancy


Black olive

Real olives, real caramel - check! Olives are more than antipasto and Greek salad and with that in mind, this zesty olive oil cake is excellent on its own but it's the very special black olive caramel that makes it incredible. Yes, whole olives are used and you can use this caramel across both sweet and savoury dishes. 

Lemon olive oil cake

Black tahini

Generally speaking, when you're thinking or dealing with tahini, the colour black doesn't' exactly spring to mind. Well, black tahini is climbing the ladder and don't be surprised to see it appear more often across menus, on your plates and wedged into your bowls alongside your fruit and granola, like in this easy breakfast number. It will allow you to venture beyond hummus and it's extremely toasty flavour might just surprise you.

Cacao & black tahini granola

Maeve O'Meara is back in Food Safari Water starting 8pm, Wednesday 1 August on SBS and then you can catch-up on all episodes via SBS On Demand. Visit the program page for recipes, videos and more. 

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