Has cotton candy ever fallen out of fashion? It's been around for hundreds of years but, like acid wash mom jeans, I'm suddenly seeing cotton candy all over town. And, just like mom jeans, I have to give it a squeeze every time I see it. Umm... what? Well, anyways, if the cotton candy craze hasn't struck where you live, prepare to be amazed.
Last weekend we went to Milk & Honey cafe in San Gabriel, CA and they put cotton candy on our tea. Little did we know, that makes to-go cups difficult to fit in cup holders:
Then I see on Instagram that Snow Monster in the OC is putting the fluff on their fruity pebbles flavored soft serve. Honestly, you had me at fruity pebbles flavored soft serve.
Check out Snow Monster's Instagram feed to see their cotton candy fascinators. (Don't worry L.A., soon you won't have to drive 7 hours to the OC to get Snow Monster. They have locations coming to USC and Little Tokyo.)
When it comes to unique flavors, Sugar Hi of Gilbert, Arizona was not to be outdone. Below is their heavenly line of wine infused sugar clouds. Sugar Hi, you have managed to combine booze and cotton candy. If there's any justice in this world, you'll be immediately nominated for a James Beard.
Oh, and it also comes in Peach Iced Tea.
Speaking of wine, here's a pretty sweet twist. NPR reported that a grape farm in California has developed a Cotton Candy® grape. The selective breeding used to create the Cotton Candy grape is not the same as creating a GMO; but then again, we'd probably just give them a pass on this one anyway. The Grapery claims the "grapes taste exactly like the pink spun-sugar treat you loved as a kid."
And of course Nabisco has done some selective breeding of its own. Cookie, meet Candy. Candy, this is Cookie. Phew, now that we're done with awkward introductions, here's the fruit of their labors: a limited-edition cotton candy Oreo sold now through the end of May. POPSUGAR has the scoop:
When the Oreos go away, you can still get your fix of pink foods. f'real has rolled out a line of cotton candy milkshakes across the country (here's their retail locator). You could even head to Starbucks and ask for their secret menu item, Cotton Candy Frappuccino. Ha, didn't know about that one, did ya!
I suppose I shouldn't assume everybody prefers pink. REMICONE in South Korea certainly doesn't:
While you're traveling to Korea for that tantalizing gray REMICONE, why not stop by Australia for Wild Pear Cafe's Rosewater/Strawberry/Vanilla milkshake with fairy floss and crushed pistachios. Oh—My—NSFW does that look amazing:
But maybe you're a traditionalist. You prefer your cotton candy on a stick, just like the good old days. Well, did the good old days look like this? At nearly 5 million views, this video of a sugar spinner in China has made cotton candy go viral. Wait, that doesn't sound right.
If you happen to live in San Francisco, Minnie at Sweet Puff Candy will even custom dip your cotton candy sticks to match your wedding colors. Who wouldn't want to have their sticks dipped?! Oh, and she customizes flavors too...like cinnamon dusted horchata or cookies & creme.
Perhaps if you're the DIY type you can just do all of these yourself. A well-rated cotton candy maker on Amazon will only set you back about $50. If you go this route, send me a photo of your creation, I'd love to feature it on the blog. Likewise, if you see a creative use of floss in your travels, send it to me and I'll give you a shout out. And may your dentist enjoy his yacht!
P.S. Many of the most beautiful and peculiar food innovations are coming out of cafes and street vendors in countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, and Hong Kong. Do an Instagram hashtag search for #cottoncandy (or #fairyfloss in Australia) to see these pastel works of edible art. Instagram tip: If you'd like to see what's happening in other parts of the world, do your hashtag searches late at night or early in the morning. That's when they're wide awake on the other side of the world!