When the bright orange, Taki-scented dust has settled, food historians may remember 2017 as the year that Americans became irrationally obsessed with food coloring. How else could you explain the popularity of unicorn elotes (uni-corns?), a snack that’s literally corn on the cob slathered in sprinkles, technicolor chip bits, and mayo cut with food dyes?
As Houstonia notes, “bougie” versions of elote have been around for a while now, but never in such bizarrely colorful forms. If you’ve seen these Power Ranger-hued corn torpedoes in your Instagram feed, they were likely created by Mason’s Den, a vendor that frequently sets up shop at the 626 Night Market and OC Night Market in Southern California.
German Correa, the chef/owner of Mason’s Den, recently told Thrillist: “We got the recipe back in January, and we want to kind of twist it a little bit by adding a different style of food coloring and even painting the mayo different colors to see what elote would stand out from the rest.” And, indeed, adding food coloring is a way to stand out from the rest of the pack on Instagram — but for how long?
Chefs and bakers across the country are already slinging unicorn noodles, galaxy bagels, mermaid toasts, and rainbow pizza. With so many Lisa Frankenfoods currently flooding the market, surely, at some juncture in the-not too-distant-future, America will reach its die-tied comfort food saturation point, right? Perhaps the oncoming PSLocalypse will steal some of the novelty foods thunder, but only time will tell.
• This Mexican Street Corn is Topped With Junk Food and Rainbow Cheese [Thrillist]
• Instagram’s Latest Food Victim: Elote [Houstonia]
• @masonsden [Instagram]
• A Guide to Lisa Frankenfoods [E]