The Weekend Series: five things we are vibing on in March
When it comes to exciting happenings, February was positively stacked. From the lively competition of the Winter Olympics to the cinematic phenomenon that is Black Panther, there was so much to take in you’d be forgiven for missing a few things. Thankfully we’re here to fill you in on some of the bits and pieces that have flown under the radar. This month, we’re vibing hard on iconic chocolates gone ice-cream, edible banana skin, huge news from AirBnb, and a chap everyone is affectionately dubbing Tea Bae.
Few chocolates attain the iconic status of Toblerone. The Swiss chocolate scores top marks in recognisable branding and taste factor, and now the decadent treat is getting a super-cool makeover. Toblerone has announced it will be debuting an ice-cream version this year, taking its signature triangle shape and enlarging it into a decadent block of choc-honey goodness. By the looks of things, a hard choc exterior shields a creamy centre, which is filled with Toblerone and nougat pieces. Unfortunately Australians will have to wait to get a bite of this beast, which is ridiculously unfair. Have you seen the temperatures we’ve been having lately? It’s perfect ice-cream weather, damn it!
Image: Better Homes and Gardens
Kung fu tea
Remember back in the heady days of January 2017 when the Internet was seized by ‘Salt Bae‘ mania? Everyone frothed on Nusret Gökçe when he steamily dropped granules over a fresh slab of meat, but we’ve encountered a dashing new chap that is upping the stakes when it comes to flair. Xumin Liu aka Tea Bae is a practitioner of gongfu cha or ‘kung fu tea’ – a thousand-year-old art that sees Xumin pour hot tea with some serious precision. Fans of kitchen theatre flocked to Z & Y Restaurant in San Francisco to see the master in action as he spins and pours from his sword-length copper kettle. This is the kind of tea experience you’ll be remembering for an oolong, long time.
In the words of the great Gwen Stefani, this shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. It’s common knowledge that the skin of a banana is not for eating, no matter how hungry we are. Right? Well, that might change in the near future with the arrival of Mongee bananas. A Japanese farm has developed a method for growing bananas that have a digestible peel, one that is softer and cultivated organically without chemicals. D&T Farms near Okayama uses a ‘freeze-thaw awakening’ method to slowly cool banana growth cells, resulting in a skin that is much thinner compared to regular bananas, and also edible. You can only get your hands on Mongee bananas in Okayama at the moment, but it’ll cost you more than $6 AUD for one. It’ll be a while before those bananas arrive here, but until then you can read a taste-test review here.
Image: Mongee Banana
Airbnb turns 10
Airbnb has been operating for more than a decade now and as mind-blowing as it is to hear, the company isn’t resting on its laurels and patting itself on the back for a job well done. It’s pushing forward towards its goal of being the world’s most comprehensive end-to-end travel assistant. After copping an astounding 2500-percent growth in its Experience bookings, Airbnb is creating a several new passion categories to showcase concerts, social dining events, adventures and social impact experiences in the cities they visit. That’s not all – to celebrate the milestone, Airbnb is also launching a premium and luxury property category, with four new property types such as vacation home, unique, B&B and boutiques available to browse.
Solange at Vivid LIVE
It’s getting closer to announcement season! Some of Australia’s big festivals are gearing up to drop huge line-ups and programs on our unsuspecting heads over the coming months and Vivid LIVE is getting in early with a huge name to lead its first announce. Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Solange Knowles has been announced as the first act for the mid-year festival, with a series of four performances locked in at the Sydney Opera House from June 1–4. Solange will perform in the round, offering a 360-degree view of her amazing choreography and stage design. These are Solange’s only Australian shows this year, so put your name into the ticket ballot and get ready to dry tears of beautiful joy when you see Solange in the flesh.