Health & Lifestyle

A Dash of Black

Welcome to the first of 1956’s catering blogs, where we will discuss the latest developments in the catering industry, recipes, testimonials and more. We begin 2018 with a look at the current trend of food colouring and what the benefits are for your catering company. So let’s start it off with a look at the latest trend; active charcoal.

What is Active Charcoal?


Active charcoal is an ingredient that has taken the stage on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Top restaurants focused on detoxifying ingredients, and healthy alternatives following the continued increase in public awareness of healthy eating have created culinary wonders; blackening the colours on everything from burger buns, icing, smoothies, cheese, lattes, sauces and even ice cream!

Is it safe to eat? Yes. Activated charcoal is the byproduct of burning coconut shells, wood, or other plant materials. Don't worry: charcoal made from coconut is perfectly harmless and utterly different to consuming food that has been charred or burnt.

Charcoal has a long established history of medicinal use; though activated charcoal may stain your teeth black and we certainly wouldn’t recommend eating it regularly.

So what's the deal?

It gives your food a different spin, a flair of the colour black. You can stand out and make a stir in the online community as well as your local area! After all, who would’ve thought you could make black ice cream? Aside from appealing to the gothic inside all of us, humans are naturally curious creatures and being inspired to create something different using activated charcoal could win your restaurant some bonus business.

How could I use this?

The challenge is in the dosage. Activated charcoal is not a tasty ingredient to play with! So top chef’s have to balance the level of the charcoal and flavouring. Too much charcoal will potentially ruin your culinary creation.

Also use this as inspiration for posts on your own social media channels, great for engagement and perhaps leading to more customers for your own business.

Try creating something interesting. Maybe a black breaded black cheese & ham toastie with red sauce?  Okay. Maybe that is a little too grim. What’s your idea? Submit your own recipes in the comments section below and share it with the world. Who knows, we might even feature your recipe next!