In some kitchens, black food might just be excessively well done. (Burnt toast, anyone?)
Jokes about bad cooking aside, food that's black in color has a lot going for it. The deep pigments often indicate a bucketload of antioxidants.
And black adds contrast to all those bright colors of fruits and veggies on the plate or in the dish. Just add some black poppy seeds to lemon quick bread to see how it gains visual appeal as well as some crunch.
For Halloween, when the celebration is all orange and black, we thought we'd have some fun with black food, both naturally and artificially colored. With black food coloring, cooks can turn black just about anything they want without, ahem, burning it.
Beyond the food and recipes mentioned here, other black foods include:
Blackberries They ripen in summer, of course, but the frozen ones are quite good for baking.
Black olives Great on pizza, in tapenade or just stuck on the end of fingers.
Black lentils These lose some of their color when cooked but are a nice alternative to the usual tan or red lentils.
Black truffles Highly prized, these can be shaved or grated over a pasta dish for a special touch.
Black pasta Colored with squid ink, it's dramatic on a white plate.
Black sesame seeds These are becoming more common on breads and in salad and vegetable dishes; they're high in calcium.
Espresso One shot or two?
Licorice Self-explanatory, we hope.
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