Melbourne strikes again with its weird and potentially wonderful plethora of quirky foods.

A café called Long Story Short has introduced activated charcoal fish and chips to their menu, and despite its turd like appearance – the owners say it is very popular with their customers!

The dish is made with Apple Cider Batter, a smattering of activated charcoal and served with beetroot labneh. The contrasting colours make it quite the sight for your eyes.

Aside from the colour, taste and Instagram appeal of this dish, sadly no health benefits can be reaped. In fact, the activated charcoal would be negated by the cooking process and the fats and oils in the food. Most people into the charcoal craze also argue, that in order to obtain any benefit, you need to consume it on an empty stomach, so that that the right nutrients are absorbed.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen charcoal popping into our food though. From pizza, cheese, lattes, burgers and more – this trend, much like unicorn food is taking over the internet. As the ingredient itself only has a delicate smokey flavour, it means you can use it for a variety of things simply to achieve a dark, gothic colour.

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Little Damage in LA were one of the first places to serve soft serve black ice cream, which propelled them onto Instagram. Jenny, the owner first spotted activated charcoal being used in juice shops and began experimenting with the ingredient herself. She tells Eater:

“Black is not an easy colour to achieve when you’re mixing white ice cream with it. I first saw it in charcoal lemonades, and I thought that was fun. The ingredient itself didn’t have too much of a taste, so it was a really good base for us to rotate our flavours, using that as our iconic colour.”


SUNDAE FUNDAE • swing by @little.damage for our activated charcoal ice cream! WE HAVE RED CONES STARTING TODAY! ❤️🖤 📸: @adventurousashley

A post shared by Little Damage Ice Cream shop🍴🌍 (@little.damage) on

If you’re sensible and take the health benefits when mixed with food with a pinch of salt – I’m all for ‘gothic food’. Beetroot and matcha have taken over the culinary world, so maybe now it’s charcoal’s time.