Just when black (goth) foods were at their peak, the Department of Health (DOH) has to come and shut it down. This week, Eater New York announced that NYC has banned activated charcoal from food and drinks due to an FDA ruling that prohibits it from being used as a food additive or coloring agent.

In fact, the DOH has been issuing several "commissioners orders" requesting restaurants to scrap products made with activated charcoal since March 2016. It was only within the last few weeks, however, that restaurants have been forced to stop selling products made with the charcoal. Insta-famous restaurants, like Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream and Round K, have especially taken a hit with their most popular menu items containing activated charcoal. 

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream

Back in 2016, Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream caused a food frenzy over their jet black ice cream on social media (however, they've been making the ice cream since 2015). They use coconut ash, a type of activated charcoal, to turn the ice cream black, and then scoop it into a signature cup or waffle cone. But during a recent routine inspection, they were forced to dump $3,000 worth of product, with the DOH stating the charcoal used in their popular Black Coconut Ash ice cream was not OK, according to owner Nick Morgenstern. During previous health inspections, Morgenstern reports nothing was said about the regulation. “There was no notification of the change. There was certainly no notification that the DOH was going to start enforcing this,” he told Eater.

Round K

In June 2017, Round K's Matte Black Latte hit the market and took Instagram by storm. It was an instant bestseller, mixing coffee with coconut ash. When it came to inspection in November they passed with flying colors. However, they received a surprise visit in May by the DOH, who then confiscated two five-pound bags of activated charcoal and demanded they stop selling their popular drink. Owner Ockhyeon Byeon reported he wasn't aware the FDA rule existed and that the black drink was "critical" for business.

To keep a black drink on the menu, they've now created the "Matte Black 2," which replaces the charcoal with coffee beans roasted until blackened. So instead of charcoal, there's twice the amount of caffeine (yay!).

Still, It's Disappointing

Now that NYC has banned activated charcoal, my winter trip to New York is completely ruined. Seriously, black is literally my favorite color and I was looking forward to the black bagels, waffles, ice cream, and so much more. Now, I'll have to get my fix somewhere else. I can understand why the DOH would be concerned about activated charcoal, but only if it's consumed in large amounts. Whatever the case, they ruined the black food trend for all New Yorkers and tourists visiting. Luckily, activated charcoal isn't banned in Los Angeles (and hopefully never will be), and there are plenty of other trendy restaurants that serve almost the exact same stuff as they do in New York.