What makes fantastical foods (think unicorn toast) so alluring? One of the masterminds behind the trend shares her thoughts, plus a colourful—and delicious—recipe.
The magical food movement is in full bloom. You’ve probably seen hints (or giant rainbow-hued signs) of it on social media, from unicorn toast to galaxy donuts and mermaid lattes. It might seem a bit silly, but there’s a lot to love about fantasy food.
It’s beautiful and unique
Australia-based Taline Gabrielian, the founder of Hippie Lane, is one of the masterminds behind magical food. Known for her fantastical treat recipes, Gabrielian uses natural, gluten-free, and dairy-free ingredients to craft her gorgeous creations. She thinks the allure of fantasy food is that it brings a touch of magic into our daily lives.
“People are drawn to beautiful-looking food,” says Gabrielian, whose beautiful food has garnered her more than 500,000 followers on Instagram. “Viewers want to fantasize about the taste and experience of eating unobtainable foods or foods that can’t easily be replicated.”
It’s nostalgic and whimsical
For many, fantasy food is also a throwback to a simpler time. The mystical themes and pastel hues call to mind beloved childhood brands like Lisa Frank, Care Bears, and My Little Pony. And it doesn’t look like the trend is slowing down.
“Last year, [my] Hippie Lane star shapes went wild, which fit right into the galaxy theme that was all the rage,” says Gabrielian. She’s known for topping her creations with star-shaped pieces of banana or avocado. “This year, we’ll be seeing lots of mythical-themed food—unusual flavour combinations with colour themes that are an escape from reality.”
Parents can leverage the trend by creating colourful, kid-friendly treats—using all-natural dyes rather than the artificial food colouring found in many cereals, drinks, and sweets marketed to children. To get you started, here is one of Gabrielian’s classic recipes.
A rainbow of superfood dyes
These ingredients can add magical hues to recipes like smoothies, homemade ice cream, and more:
- beet juice or powder for red
- carrot juice or powder for orange
- turmeric for yellow
- spinach or matcha powder for green
- spirulina powder for blue
- freeze-dried blueberries for purple
- freeze-dried raspberries for pink