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Llama cakes and coffee mugs are one of the summer's hottest trends in food. 

Elisabeth Sherman
May 21, 2018

Unicorn food seemed to gallop into our lives, then retreat into the mist, then reappear for a moment, disappear again, and then pop up yet again in another strange form, like grits. Well now, the traditional home of the unicorn, Pinterest, has officially declared the unicorn retired from the kitchen. It’s glittery, rainbow-colored mane has been replaced—with the llama. Yes, the llama, one of the goofier members of the animal kingdom.

Pinterest has been seeing a rise in llama themed cakes (complete with ridiculously long necks and floppy ears) and cookies in the shape of plump, happy llamas. Kitchen décor is now getting a llama upgrade, too. Coffee mugs are now being decorated with llamas. Awkward, with a predilection for spitting, and an expression that resembles a serene smile—hasn’t everyone, at one point or another been able to relate to a llama?

Llamas have even made their way onto wine glasses, and if you can believe it because I certainly didn’t, wedding photoshoots. Yes, more and more couples these days want to include these fluffy bundles of farm animal in their celebrations of eternal love. Sure, the llama is unexpectedly charming and adds a dose of playfulness to the otherwise serious occasion, but it’s not exactly what I would call an elegant animal.

Still, the heart wants what the heart wants, and this summer the heart wants llamas, on our kitchen shelves, cake platters, and in our cookie tins. Although I wasn’t convinced at first, there is something oddly magnetizing about the llama which might look a little silly with its protruding teeth and frizzy coat but is actually quite sweet and loveable-looking upon second glance. The llama is all of us—cute, but a little weird.

So the next time you need to plan a kid’s birthday party or need to find a coffee mug that makes you want to say “mood” every time you pick it up, turn to not to the mystical unicorn, but to the humble llama. Let us, once and for all, put the unicorn food trend to bed.