8 food fads that come and go so fast, you might have forgotten them


Last Updated on 2016-05-19 , 1:35 pm

As a Singaporean, most of our waking hours would be surrounded around food. If we aren’t sleeping, or working, we are eating. Actually, scrap that. We probably only not eat when we are sleeping.

And over the years, whether we remember them or not, many food fads have come and gone. The establishments selling them may still be around but their popularity definitely does not come anywhere close to what they used to enjoy in the hey days.You may remember the long snaking queues at a bubble tea joint, non stop mention of certain dessert items hanging off every one of your friends’ lips and your insatiable craving for certain kind of foods. Every once in awhile, you still feel the need to satisfy certain voids in your life (digestive no doubt) because c’mon, let’s face it, most of us have fond memories associated with these fads at some point of time.

Although not entirely gone, these are some food fads that have entered with a bang and fizzled as quickly.

Bubble Tea
Who can forget the crazy time when everyone was clamouring for the latest flavour    and brand of bubble tea, or as we call it, “pao pao cha”. Invented in Taiwan, Taichung sometime in the 1980s, it quickly became almost fashionable to be seen with a cup from a well-known joint like KOI, and about perhaps less than 10 years           ago, Gong Cha. But as trends go, they have more or less faded into the       background in recent years,  Ask any Singaporean about bubble tea and they will definitely have something interesting to tell you. Remember that first cup you shared with your first boyfriend / girlfriend / best friend in Secondary School? Remember the flavour of your first bubble tea drink? I think mine was a chocolate flavoured one. Dang it, now I feel like having a cup.

Frozen yogurt
As much as many of you will argue that the frozen yogurt fad is still very much alive today, it isn’t. At least not as much as it used to be. Possibly the two biggest brands in the market right now, according to me, are llao llao and milk & honey, and these two are still firing up the market more than the rest.

But we have to admit, as much as they are the leaders right now, the queues have shortened and what I remember as “Wa now off peak time also got such a long queue!”, is no longer. Gone are the days where we were all such fanatics, although I still love my fro-yo when I feel like a little less calories from my usual char kwau teow is in place.


Cupcakes! All those little nuggets of cake and frosting that can be consumed in less than 3 bites. A  wonderful creation thought up by someone who decided she wanted to invent “a cake to be baked in small cups”. This sweet treat has possibly crumbled many a dieter’s determination but what the heck! And here in Singapore, we have succumbed to them like a man to the seduction of a beautiful woman.

From the plain old ones to the rather new fangled ones with their delicious frostings and fillings, most of us would have definitely tried them all. Many a cupcake store has come and gone, some overnight, but there will always be a place for these tasty morsels in our hearts. And thighs.

Truffle fries, truffle pasta, truffle everything
There was a time when food blogs and social media were going wild about all things truffled. As we all already know, this highly sought after and terribly expensive fungus can break the bank with a few shavings of it over your food. And because of this, when the essence became readily available to us at affordable prices, we all jumped onto the bandwagon.

The slightly ammoniatic scent has brought people like me to heaven for a moment and with so many choices of dishes containing truffle oil at one instance, it was just a jumble of truffle madness everywhere. Reasonably priced truffled deliciacies are still available but let’s be honest, salted egg yolk has taken over. For now.


Eggs benedict
Oozy paoched egg yolk over a nice toasted slice of brioche and topped with cripsy bacon or savoury ham. What’s not to like? Apparently, we were all so enamoured by this dish that we took to raving about it in our blogs, to our friends, to the sky. Every single brunch post was about  eggs benedict and everywhere started planning if they should start putting eggs benedict on their menus. Then came all day breakfast and the madness got even madder. Instead of just being able to have this scrumptious dish during brunch hours, you could have it any time you want! How awesome!

But of course, someone had to go discover salted egg yolk and eggs benedict, although still loved by ardent fans, have undergone a series of alterations depending on the fad of the time. Still, one of the best fads that came and stayed for a little longer than most of the rest.

Cream puffs
Can anyone name me the brand you think of first when I mention cream puffs? If you ask me, it would be Beard Papa. Yes, that Japanese cream puff making factory that produces the fluffiest puff shells and lightest, creamiest, vanilla seed filled cream ever. They are still around no doubt but their name doesn’t ring as loudly and as clearly as they used to when they first got ahold of the market here. I remember the first time my mum went to buy some and she said,”It’s so expensive! But for the taste, it’s worth it.” We decided to keep buying them by the dozens each time we were in town.

Then the trend kind of died down and we found ourselves less keen in buying these sweet treats all the time. Trust me, they are still as lovely as ever and I indulge in a couple once in awhile. But to the rest of Singapore, they are just another cream puff store now.

Dunkin’ Donuts was all the rage sometime ago. Then came the J.Co era when donuts were transformed into little bite sized pieces with out of this world, fantastic fillings that made everyone gaga and clamouring for more and more. And just in recent years, Krispy Kreme decided to take a plunge into the Singapore market.

Initially, the crowds went mad when the American donut giant appeared on our sunny island and the lines were neverending. But now, the queues have diminished so much that I can easily get my Kirspy Kreme donut fix anywhere and at any time without the worry of waiting. Has the fad for donuts died down then? Well it has but we will never ever give up on eating this delicous morsel of heaven.

And how can we miss out macaroons? All over the world, people have been going alittle bonkers over these dainty sweets that come in all sorts of colours and flavours and helm from prestigious culinary institutions and chefs from all parts of the world. In Singapore, the trend is still strong with this one and I honestly don’t think it will ever fade away. But as strong as its game is to this day, we cannot overlook the fact that  the fad has dwindled in some way.

You no longer see queues or crazes about it anymore, not as many as you used to see in the days of yore. We unabashedly still adore them very much in Singapore (look at the exorbitant prices still!), but we have cut down significantly on our need for them, or at least our need to shout out to the world that we are having them anymore. Macaroons will always be in dearly loved but probably will never get back to the pedestal it was placed on some 10 to 15 years ago.

8 food fads that have come, went crazy for awhile, and faded off into the distance. Are there more to this list? Certainly. But one thing’s for sure. Should someone decide to use salted egg yolk in all of them now, perhaps they will make a comeback. How strong a comeback? Only time, and people’s obsessions, will tell.

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