Unicorn Tears of Joy: Why the Colorful Trend is Everywhere and the Best and Worst Offenders

Food Lists Unicorn Frappuccino

Unicorn food has hit peak trend. How do I know? Because the anti-unicorn products have begun to pop up (almost as quickly as the internet rants about it), and if enough people enjoy something, other people will want to make them feel bad about it.

Do I sound bitter? Maybe. But no more bitter than that charcoal-dyed soft-serv cone you’re slurping on because it’s the exact opposite of the rainbows gracing Instagram, the irony entirely lost. Why has unicorn everything become so popular? Because the world feels like that cone lately: dark, ominous and ready to melt into a puddle at any minute.

To be blunt, without the metaphors, the world is a scary place right now. It’s understandable that some of us, after we’re done calling our representatives twice a day all week and attending protests on the weekends and arguing with distant-yet-opinionated relatives on Facebook, some of us need a little escape.

And a sip of a colorful beverage, artistically framed in an Instagram post, is a safer vice than most.

It’s the same reason why we constantly consume the same “I Love the 90s” internet lists. We’re all trying to remember a time when the future seemed like this wonderful far off fantasyland of potential, rather than an uncertain and unstable brick wall we’re running at full speed. In fact, rushing from Starbucks to Starbucks in an attempt to find, taste and photograph the seemingly mythical unicorn Frappuccino a few weeks ago brought me back to the morning my mom let me be late for school so we could hit two Beanie Baby hotspots during the heat of that craze. Back when life was easy, and the biggest disappointment was simply the lady in front of us grabbing the last coveted stuffed toy (which very well could have been a unicorn) before we could snatch it. The photogenic drink wasn’t the drink itself, but the anticipation and the adventure.

Unicorn food is a fad. But nostalgia is forever. And if we need to escape, in between our crazy lives, let us do it.

The 3 Best Unicorn Foods

Unicorn Milkshake at Creme & Sugar in Anaheim, Calif.

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The Unicorn Hot Chocolate might be the most photographed menu item at this dessert cafe, but reviews reveal that the true standout item is the unicorn milkshake. It’s a vanilla milkshake that’s been dyed purple and topped with candies straight out of your childhood. It’s conveniently located en route to Disneyland, so you can stop over for a sugar-fueled breakfast before escaping to the happiest place on Earth. Beware though, the lines can be as long at Creme & Sugar as they are at Disney.

The Last Unicorn Burger in Queens, N.Y.

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This wins because it’s seemingly one of the few savory unicorn foods in existence. Not only that, but you get two trends for the price of one: the bun is none other than The Bagel Store’s famous Rainbow Bagel. Inside, you’ll find brisket blended beef seasoned with a special spice blend and filled with jalapeno-scallion neon green cream cheese, topped with lettuce, tomato and ketchup cream cheese with cheddar cheese dust, bacon and chive sprinkles. The Baroness Bar has made a name for itself with its incredible burgers, “fancy wine and crafty beer” and the fact they open their champagne with SWORDS. Now that’s magical.

Unicorn Poop Vegan Ice Cream, Austin, Texas

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Some ice cream shops are cashing in on the crazy and simply re-naming rainbow sherbet as “something unicorn.” Sweet Ritual’s magical flavor was actually named before the trend really gained speed. As an added bonus, this may be the healthiest option on here. All vegan, with a coconut milk base that’s dyed with beet juice and studded with Skittles and vegan sprinkles.

The 3 Worst Unicorn Foods
In every trend, there will be the companies that hop on the bandwagon. Here are some that didn’t quite measure up.

Unicorn Meat

Yes, the idea of magical horse meat is gross. But what’s worse is that I cannot obtain immortal life a la Voldemort by snacking on this tinned treat, because IT’S NOT REALLY FOOD! If you open the tin, you simply have a bunch of amputated plushie parts. The jury’s out on whether or not cheaply made stuffed animals are better or worse for you than processed meat, but come on, ThinkGeek, you can do better.

Unicorn Tears Gin

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It could be because I do not like gin. It could be the thought of consuming glitter makes my stomach turn—glitter is called the herpes of craft supplies after all, and I just don’t want to mess with that. But, in all honesty, it’s probably because this product does not ship to America. How dare you, Firebox, for tempting me with a unicorn product I can actually get drunk off of, and position it across the ocean with no international shipping?

Unicorn Frappuccino, Starbucks

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This one pains me. It really does. But as a product, the Unicorn Frappuccino was only okay. The chase was fun, but the drink itself fell flat. A Frappuccino is a blended iced coffee, it’s not supposed to be a milkshake. Trying to turn it into a milkshake just results in a watery mess that isn’t even caffeinated. It’s not as bad as the haters may have you believe, but it’s just not quite worth the gas to find it.

Ashley Blom is a New Englander and haphazard foodie living in Austin, Texas. Her book, “How to Eat a Lobster” is now available, and you can find her recipes and ramblings at forkingup.com

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