Breaking down the buzzing coffee and spring onions trend on social media

It’s more than just an absurd combination.

Harper's Bazaar India

The Internet is a bizarre place, especially when it comes to absurd food combinations; even the most peculiar concoctions find a place here. Be it ice cream and dosa, cereal and orange juice, vanilla ice cream and soya sauce, the absurdity has no end, or so we thought. But low and behold, another wacky good combination has gone viral, and that is coffee and spring onions! 

Now Indians are accustomed to using spring onions frequently, either as a garnish or incorporating it into parathas, and sometimes, will also have spring onion sabzi to go with their chapattis. However, adding them to a beverage like coffee is completely unheard of and quite strange, to say the least. But this is a speciality coffee on the menu of a coffee shop in China. It's called Scallion Latte. 

Earlier this month, videos of people trying this concoction have gone viral. As seen in the video, the spring onions go in first, followed by ice, milk, and coffee, and topped off with more spring onions. Naturally, this recipe sparked a discussion on the internet. According to Instagram comment sections, food influencers, and Reddit, the opinions weren’t exactly favourable. Most of them seemed to reject the idea of spring onions and coffee immediately.

Ashish D’abreo, co-founder of Maverick & Farmer Coffee tried the recipe with his team. “It’s like waking up to a good cup of coffee with really bad breath,” he said. However, his colleague tried it and seemed quite intrigued by the concoction.

While this is an absurd combination, it’s not the first time that Chinese people have experimented with their lattes. They’ve created combinations like oyster coffee, coffee-infused rice, soy sauce lattes, and more. But it’s not just coffee; this trend extends far beyond to include a variety of daunting food combinations that are enjoyed by people all over the country and is known as ‘dark cuisine’.

According to Wikipedia, dark cuisine, or “hei an liao li,” is a term that describes a culinary style centred around foods or food combinations that may sound bizarre, or even disgusting, but often turn out to be surprisingly delicious. The term dates back to its use in ‘Chuuka Ichiban’ or ‘China’s Number One,’ a 1990s manga series by Etsushi Ogawa, which follows a young chef in 19th-century China as he fights the Dark Cooking Society. Some examples of dark cuisine include ice cream topped with chilli crisp, sliced roast beef topped with blueberry yoghurt, and sausage with peanut butter and onions, to name a few. 

Indeed, China is a country that boasts an intriguing culinary history. When it comes to food, they’re unafraid to experiment and challenge longstanding traditions. The question, however, remains: would you be willing to try dark cuisine?

Feature image credit: Pexels

Also read: To have or not to have breakfast?

Also read: Tracing the increasing popularity of pan-Asian cuisine in India