Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Mar 2, 2011 04:29 PM

What Food Trend are You So Sick Of?

Zest, zest, zest, zest, zest. I'm so tired of that. And red pepper flake. Have you noticed but these days cooks are putting them in everything?

So what food trend are you burned out on?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi Natewrites,


    And sauces smeared on the plate.


    21 Replies
    1. re: I used to know how to cook...

      I'm so with you on cupcakes. I've never had a cupcake that wasn't a complete waste of calories. In fact, while typing the world 'cupcake' I can feel my mouth drying out. Blech.

      1. re: TuteTibiImperes

        Agreed. Never liked cupcakes, I still dont understand how they became so popular.

        1. re: dinnerwithfox

          It's for people who like a higher icing to cake ratio. I admit I kind of like that.

          1. re: im_nomad

            yup yup! It's all about the frosting (and the filling, depending on the cupcake.) This is a trend I love and I jumped right on whole-heartedly. I've never had a dry cupcake. They're usually moist and sweet and delicious!

          2. re: dinnerwithfox

            Kara's Fleur de Sel cupcakes won me over: a moist chocolate cake filled with gooey caramel, topped with chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of delicious sea salt. Sigh. But they're a tiny light in a very dark tunnel of dry and flavorless...

          3. re: TuteTibiImperes

            Indeed. Cupcakes are now invading the UK like a deeply unpleasant plague - all but wiping out our native fairy cakes. It's a food repeat of the grey squirrel invasion which pretty much destroyed our native reds. Please take them back.

              1. re: Harters

                We'll take back our dry, over-sugared, over-frosted cupcakes back if you'll take back your scones! I have no idea if what is being produced in most bakeries is an actual scone, but whatever it is, it's bland, dry, and greasy, all at the same time.

                1. re: Isolda

                  OK, that's a deal, Isolda

                  I suspect that what has happened on your side of the pond is that, unknown to me, my mother in law has been succesfully marketing her scone recipe to your bakeries.

                  The king (or queen) of the British scone is the Yorkshire "Fat Rascal" (although it's not a classic scone)- here's a recipe:

                  1. re: Harters

                    Fruit, zest, nutmeg and not too much sugar? That sounds like heaven! I may have to make those!

                  1. re: EWSflash

                    Small sponge, like an American cupcake but less sweet (almost goes without saying) and less decorated. Often not decorated at all - or just the top sliced off, a smear of lemon curd or jam added and the top replaced. Google will get you loads of hits

                2. re: TuteTibiImperes

                  Ah, but you've never had my "kick-ass" cupakes (that name comes from a total stranger who bought one at a bake sale). Dark chocolate and orange cupcakes with chocolate-orange ganache (not a stupid giant glob of buttercream). It takes a whole 6-oz box of dark chocolate to make one dozen. There are good cupcakes, they can just be hard to find sometimes...

                  1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                    Do you not like cake? Cupcakes are just small cakes. If you like cake but not cupcakes, you haven't had good cupcakes.

                    1. re: sandylc

                      the 'trendiness" has ruined the good old fashioned cupcakes
                      cupcakes have become overly-sweet "creations" with a frosting to cake ratio of about 1:1
                      a good cupcake is now A) hard to find and B) costs too much

                      1. re: cgarner

                        Good points. I think that most foods have gone down that sort of route. Really good restaurant food or bakery food is hard to find these days.

                      2. re: sandylc

                        In general I'm not a fan of cake. I will make an occasional exception for punchbowl cake, German chocolate, or a very moist and dense dark chocolate cherry cake with plenty of cherries baked in.

                        1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

                          I prefer it ladled on mine because a smear just isn't enough. I had a lovely shrimp and grit concoction where a very nice helping of Demi glacé was ladles into the bowl on the side and quite enjoyed it. I really just wanted to drink, it because it was that good. The roasted pork belly didn't hurt that dish a bit either.

                      1. So tired of the gourmet burger wars - please make it stop!

                                1. re: irishnyc

                                  Hate hate hate foam. Give some sauce on a plate any day. Better yet, give me a LOT of sauce smeared on a plate with a French sauce spoon.

                                  1. re: JudiAU

                                    Yuh-huh! Assuming a good sauce: Lotta sauce - great. Miniscule, transluscent smear of sauce - torture.

                                      1. re: wekick

                                        Yeah! I know they say that we eat with our eyes and perhaps my eyes are bigger than my belly, but I want more sauce too! If I order eggs benedict then I have clearly made a decision to do a little artery-clogging - give me my Hollandaise!

                                    1. re: irishnyc

                                      I'm not trying to single out anyone who's responded to this thread, but, honestly, how many people complaining about the foam "trend" at restaurants have actually eaten foam in the last five years? It seems like a favorite Internet punching bag despite only appearing at a small number of restaurants.

                                      1. re: lavaca

                                        I refuse to eat foam. Period.

                                        It's still appearing in Paris on a regular basis.

                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          Foam seems to have migrated from the kitchen to the craft cocktail circuit. I'm seeing lots more cocktails served with foam as a topping.

                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                            That's not really the same thing, though. Cocktails made frothy by the addition of whipped egg whites were common in ye olden days (before we all developed a fear of salmonella). They're popular again as a result of the renewed interest in cocktails your grandparents drank, not because bartenders have a particular love for molecular gastronomy.

                                            1. re: lavaca

                                              I'm not just talking about egg foam, like in a ramos gin fizz. A local restaurant is known for its pickle martini made with gherkin foam; another uses a lot of lime/lemon foam in their cocktails. I had one "re-imagining" of the Manhattan that used cherry foam. It tasted like rancid cough syrup. I think people have gotten used to foam in high-end meals and are coming to expect them in their high-end cocktails.

                                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                I would be very upset if someone replaced the cherries (plural!) in my Manhattan with cherry foam! Yikes!

                                              2. re: lavaca

                                                yea the old school cocktail seems to have made a comeback: vodka gimlets, manhattans, whiskey sours, real martinis (as opposed to appletinis, etc) i dont necessarily dislike it, its just interesting. like, everything old is new again.

                                                  1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                    And now rum and old school Tiki drinks are coming back. And I mean the real ones from Trader Vics and Don the Beachcomber, not the sugary fruit bombs that replaced them.

                                                    1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                      i'll take a good mai tai any day!

                                                    2. re: cookmyassoff

                                                      I loathe sweet drinks with the exception of a Cape Cod, but that shouldn't be very sweet. I love the old cocktails coming back. But, I also happen to love Wiskey in all of its forms. Love traditional martinis as well. I'm usually the only girl in my group ordering such things.

                                                      1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                        Scotch and soda tall for me, thanks. That is a trend I can support in perpetuity.

                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                  even if it's delicious and enhances a dish?

                                                  1. re: thew

                                                    what exactly is there about "I refuse to eat foam. Period." that isn't clear?

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      the why you would cut yourself off from potential pleasure based on something as broad brush stroked as a technique.

                                                      do you really mean all foams, like mousse and whipped cream as well?

                                                      I understand your words, just not the reasoning behind them. im curious.

                                                      1. re: thew

                                                        No, I mean those nasty looking messes that look like half-beaten egg whites (or something an annoyed snail would leave behind...and yes, I eat escargots...but not their slimy foam)

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          so , ten it isn't never eat a foam, it's wouldn't eat some foams. i think it would behoove you to try good ones - you might like them as much as chocolate mousse foam

                                                          1. re: thew

                                                            Given that mousse and whipped cream would be considered foams only as a technicality and are unrelated to the 'spit on a plate' foam trend, I think it's "never eat anything that looks like spit on a plate."

                                                            Food trend I'm sick of: being nagged into trying things by people who can't get their head around the notion that certain foods are just unappealing to other people.

                                                            1. re: mokie

                                                              a technicality? or the definition of the word foam?

                                                              eat what you want. don;t eat what you don't. i, for one, am just trying to understand writing off an entire category of food preparation. i'm not nagging anyone to do anything, i'm trying to wrap my head around around why they won't

                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                A technicality. Compare and contrast: Canadians, Brazilians and Costa Ricans are American, technically--it's all the same continent--but contextually "American" (in English, at least) is understood to refer specifically to residents of the USA.

                                                                Whipped cream may technically be foam, but it is not part of that molecular gastronomy trend referred to as 'foam', and to pretend that rejection of the latter must by rule of semantic pedantry include the former is ridiculous.

                                                                But if we're going with semantic pedantry, then this is indeed nagging: "Even if it's delicious?" and "So you'd cut off a whole category?" and "So, not really never?" and "It would behoove you to try..."

                                                                The why of rejecting foam (defined specifically in this context as "that molecular gastronomical trend") has indeed been addressed: 'half-beaten egg whites' and 'snail slime' just doesn't seem appetizing to some people. Technique for technique's sake fails when the end result turns the stomach--no one should have to ignore the urge to gag just because a silly fad has been placed before them.

                                                                More importantly, the implied "I don't like it" should have been answer enough from the start.

                                                                1. re: mokie

                                                                  I for one hear you. I feel the same way about risotto.

                                                                  1. re: mokie

                                                                    last time i looked brazil was in south america, a different continent than canada being in north america; but yes, all american....

                                                          2. re: thew

                                                            Because I think it's stupid? I like food. Not stuff that looks played with.

                                                            1. re: thew

                                                              I concur. I will try pretty much anything. If I could afford foamed food, I'd eat it and delight in it.

                                                        2. re: sunshine842

                                                          Why the hate? I've never made foam and rarely see out but the times I've had it, it was a burst of flavor in air, in your mouth. I can understand it can be over done but as a technique it is pretty cool if done right

                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                            It just seems to me to be about how smart the chef is and how pretty it is. It seems somehow unfoodlike to me.

                                                            1. re: jmckee

                                                              But it's made from food and should be more about injecting flavor into the dish. I understand you impression and the general dislike.

                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                because I. cannot. frigging. stand. them.

                                                                If I can get past the off-putting appearance, I find the texture to be genuinely nauseating.

                                                                It's great you like foam with a spoon if you like.

                                                                But if you're allowed to like them, I'm allowed to not want to be near them.

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    Funny thing I've noticed: a few eateries that used to serve foam on their tasting menus have stopped serving it. They now serve "air," which looks and tastes suspiciously like foam, but that just can't be right. It's not like people are tired of foam and they have to rename it something else, is it? Personally, I can't wait until they stop serving foam and air and start serving "wind." As in "the wind beneath MY PANTS."

                                                              2. re: scubadoo97

                                                                I thought sticking Fizzie's in my mouth was pretty cool when I was a kid, but it's not what I'm looking for in a meal.

                                                            2. re: lavaca

                                                              it's still having a heyday in San Francisco. and i like it.

                                                              1. re: lavaca

                                                                Because the fact it was even copied to begin with indicates it is the height (depth) of celebrity chef douchebaggery.

                                                                1. re: lavaca

                                                                  Au contraire; I was shocked, disgusted and dismayed to see foam on my plate only days ago in sf. And yes, foam is my #1 pet peeve behind people who actually expect restaurants to acknowledge their birthdays.

                                                                2. re: irishnyc

                                                                  I'm sorry to be gross but it meninds me of flavored spit. It has it's place, but way overplayed.

                                                                3. Fruit (like strawberries and blueberries) in savory salads.

                                                                  92 Replies
                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                    I so agree. Although as a rule I don't care to mix sweet with savory in any dish.

                                                                    1. re: nvcook

                                                                      Took me ages, and my interest in Moroccan food helped, to "get" having any kind of fruit at all in my savory. And still, most of the time, I'd prefer not to have it. Strongly prefer. Pineapple on pizza is long since past being trendy, but the very thought disgusts me.

                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                               sad. probably one of my favorite kinds of pizza. =[

                                                                        1. re: dankshwhat

                                                                          Same here- I tried it on a dare and loved it. i like it with pepperoni and sometimes jalapenos.

                                                                        2. re: LulusMom

                                                                          Pineapple on pizza is just plain wrong unless you are making some kind of fruit dessert pizza.
                                                                          Just my opinion I know some people young and old like it but I think it's a sin.

                                                                          1. re: Magnapro

                                                                            I agree. But how does one discern what is "authentic" Italian pizza? Shouldn't pizza at least sound Italian?
                                                                            Wait a minute, didn't the Phoenicians bring the pizza to the Italian peninsula?
                                                                            Ten Hail Mary's and 5 Our Father's for me!

                                                                            More sacrilege; didn't the tomato and the pineapple both originate in the tropics?
                                                                            I do really agree w/ you Mag, but just call me the Copernicus of Pizza. I think too much and the church doesn't like either of us.
                                                                            Pineapple does not belong on pizza, it belongs on ham!

                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                              "Pineapple does not belong on pizza, it belongs on ham" - Amen brother

                                                                              I was speaking to a pizzeria-owner yesterday and he told me some guy ordered a pineapple, anchovey and olive pizza. His comment. "I guess he was hungry and did not want anyone to ask for a piece."

                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                Gimme the anchovies and olives, but hold the pineapple. Hmmm jf, I may just order that next time. Green chile is a common topping here in NM. Everything has green chile.
                                                                                I just got 2 NM green chile cookbooks at the library yesterday. One is the Green Chile Bible and the other a schill for Hatch products. Green chile this and green chile that. Bread pudding? Might improve Mac & Cheese, but come on!
                                                                                I am in a 12 step green chile program, but I get my fix in traditional NM cooking; chile rellanos, enchiladas, burritos, and this morning huevos rancheros.
                                                                                All foods have their limits and boundaries and one needs to know when not to cross it.
                                                                                Don't I sound like an old fart?

                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                  It is sooooo hard being an old-fart and always correct. But it is a cross we all need to bear. :-)

                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                    I don't eat fish, but olive, jalapeno and pineapple is my favorite "regular pizza place" pizza. Soooo good.

                                                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                      I must anal-ize this. Olives grow in Italy; good. Jalapenos and pineapple are not Italian.
                                                                                      You weigh the same as a duck. Burn her! Burn her!

                                                                                      I learned to like shell fish pizza; in Norway; mussels, scallops and shrimp; but they all are eaten in Italy, so I'm saved!

                                                                                      ps My Yankee wife says the jal-a-peen-oh, pinapple olive (green or black olives, California or Greek?) sounds good and that I'm just an old fuddy duddy and to open up a bit. Then I told her that I'm going to make Boston Baked Beans w/ black beans instead of navy beans and honey instead of molasses. She said wait a minute, that's different.

                                                                                      TRADITION! (But whose?)

                                                                                      The Dumkeg

                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                        There are many tasty pies that aren't traditional. I think pizza's evolved to be more flatbread topped with myriad ingredients. While I love the classics, some of the updated, modern versions aren't too shabby, either. I mean, baked dough is basically a blank canvas.

                                                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                          I hope you are sensing my humor in all of this.

                                                                                          PUT ANY TOPPING YOU WANT ON PIZZA, JUST DON'T CALL IT PIZZA!

                                                                                          You've just coined the next trendy phrase, "Flatbread topped with myriad ingredients." Patent it quickly.

                                                                                          I used to tease my wealthy Bolivian 4th grade students that my favorite pizza was called The Ronny Ray-gun. A plain cheese pie topped w/ jelly beans. Some parents made it for me on Valentine's Day, cut in the shape of a heart. I was forced by good manners and pride to eat it. The jelly beans of course had melted. Wasn't half bad.

                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                            I always just assume you're messing around. ;)

                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                              The Genie is out of the bottle. All over the world, a "flatbread" with various topings is called "pizza"---though it may not be anything like an Italian pizza. In Poland you can find pizzas with pickle, ketchup, corn, etc... also raw, cold cucumber. In Brazil, dessert pizzas; in New Mexico pizzas with jalapeños. These things are called pizza in all these places--whether or not we like it. Personally, I call Burma "Burma" and not "Myanmar", but still I have to accept that some people call it that.

                                                                                            2. re: invinotheresverde


                                                                                              i have no problem with any topping on a flatbread as long as it is called flatbread and not pizza. you could put some pastrami, sauerkraut, swiss and 1000 island on it and call it a reuben flatbread, but it ain't a pizza. :-)

                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                That's kind of like me saying I have a problem with someone calling a sandwich a Sloppy Joe that's not made from ground beef and red sauce.

                                                                                                Also, when does it stop becoming a pizza? With onions? Sausage? Bell peppers? What if those peppers have been roasted? My uncle is lactose intolerant and gets his pizza without cheese. Still a pizza? There is no ONE term defining a pizza.

                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                  Here is the definition of Neopolitian pizza:
                                                                                                  Isn't food all about time and place?

                                                                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                      California Pizza; a contradiction in terms?

                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                    if anyone has a problem me calling the original sloppy joe, a sloppy joe, nothing i can do about it, life goes on.

                                                                                                    at what point does a martini or a tom collins not qualify as most define it. if i add grape juice, or add orange slices, or how about floating some whipped cream on it. At some point things cross the line and it no longer qualifies as the original definition. some people have a wider definition and others have a narrower. just sayin'

                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                      "At what point does a martini or a tom collins not qualify as most define it"

                                                                                                      At the point that with its new recipe it resembles a differently-named drink/dish that is made according to that recipe.

                                                                                                      Eg, a "sandwich" made using a tortilla instead of bread is not a sandwich, it is a taco

                                                                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                                                                        Sorry, it's also a burrito or AAAAAAaaaaaaa, a "wrap", depending on the defination.

                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                          A "taco" that includes beans is not a taco, it is a "burrito."

                                                                                                          "Wrap" is just a goofy marketing term for a flatbread sandwich.
                                                                                                          A taco is a kind of wrap -- that is, if the tortilla is wrapped around the filling.

                                                                                                          1. re: racer x

                                                                                                            Sorry Racer, but in New Mexico a burrito does not have beans unless you are a vegetarian.

                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                              Ok, bad example reflecting my parochial midwestern origins.

                                                                                                              A "burrito" is a "taco" in which the tortilla is made of wheat flour and is folded on itself.
                                                                                                              How's that?

                                                                                                        2. re: racer x

                                                                                                          Sounds where does a pizza convert to a flatbread? everyone has a different break-point

                                                                                                          and totally agree with your last sentence. a sandwich that has been a sliced deli sandwich since the 40's is all of a sudden re-invented to be gound beef and tomato stuff. just feel wrong in the belly and definitely on the tongue.

                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                            Pizza is made with a yeast-leavened dough, and usually is topped rather than filled (as opposed to, say, the typical pita).

                                                                                                            Flatbreads usually are made with unleavened dough.
                                                                                                            So a flatbread "pizza" is a dish in search of a name.

                                                                                                            There are exceptions of course.

                                                                                                            (Y'all do realize I was half writing with tongueincheek back about the martini and sandwich, I hope?)

                                                                                                            As for fruit in salads, I love em. Not a trend. A classic and here to stay.
                                                                                                            But I agree that pineapple on pizza is an abomination (and that that combo is not a trend, it's been around way too long for that).

                                                                                                            1. re: racer x

                                                                                                              I would disagree as to the "unleavened dough" description of a flatbread dough. I will not say "every" since it may not be true but almost every receipe I have seen for the dough for flatbread has yeast with the leavening time.

                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                I, along with racer, was writing tongue in cheek, but if we're being serious, pizza was originally tomato, basil and mozz. Anything else would be flatbread.

                                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                  and a sloppy joe was originally a deli meat sandwich.

                                                                                                                  Tie goes to the runner. :-))

                                                                                                      2. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                        I do take issue with people calling anyone's slop with pasta, meat and some sort of sauce goulash.

                                                                                                    2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                      Hey guys -- if you really wanna get picky, MOST of what you're describing as pizza isn't truly pizza.

                                                                                                      Eat whatever you like. Those who don't like it don't get a piece.

                                                                                                      (heh -- passdumkeg, we crossed the streams)

                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                        Sunshine, the River Rubicon?
                                                                                                        Now ya know why Boston is called Beantown:

                                                                                                      2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                        Tomatoes are from the new world and thus not traditional for italy ... ;)

                                                                                                        1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                          see this very interesting "history" of tomatoes, which states "The earliest mention of the tomato in European literature is found in an herbal written by Matthiolus in 1544 [3]. He described tomatoes, or as they were called in Italy, pomi d'oro (golden apple), and wrote that they were "eaten in Italy with oil, salt and pepper". This provides evidence that the first tomatoes to reach the Old World were a yellow variety, and that they were introduced via the Mediterranean."

                                                                                                      3. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                        pineapple and jalapeno go so well together - it's the whole sweet and spicy/savory thing that makes me love it!

                                                                                                        1. re: pie22

                                                                                                          Pineapple and chilli is a great traditional combination common in SE Asia.

                                                                                                          1. re: limster

                                                                                                            the mexicans in florida put lime and powdered chilli on sweet fruits like mangoes.

                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                              Lime on sweet fruits is also used in SE Asia. I guess the tradition is common because sweet and sour go well together, as do sweet and spicy.

                                                                                                      4. re: jfood

                                                                                                        See Gerge Carlin "it;s bad for ya" about old fart's
                                                                                                        A great bit of fun
                                                                                                        Just watched today and had a great laugh about becoming an old fart.

                                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                                        "Pineapple does not belong on pizza, it belongs on ham"
                                                                                                        agreed. and standard baked ham doesn't belong on pizza either. prosciutto, or pancetta, or speck perhaps, but not plain ham.

                                                                                                        to quote Danno/Scott Caan) on Hawaii Five-O, "I don't care where we are, pizza and pineapple do not belong in the same airspace."

                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                          Aw jeez, somebody once told me about a coworker who was going to order a pizza and aske him whgat he didn't like. He said 'anchovies, otherwise no problem' but the coworkery got a jalapeno and pineapple pizza, which really freaked this guy out. Well, I got to thinking about it, tried it, and now I really like pineapple on pizza, it's so good for some reason, especially with pepperoni. I'm just sayin', don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                            no intention of yucking your yum - totally your prerogative to enjoy it! i have tried it and it's not for me. i've never been really crazy about warm fruit anyway except in very specific applications, and in this instance i just can't handle the combo of pineapple, cheese & tomato sauce.

                                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                              I knew one of my best friends was going to be a lifetime friend when it turned out our favourite pizza was pepperoni and pineapple. No one else seems to like this combo -- and finally, I had someone to split a pizza with!

                                                                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                              Pineapple on pizza is just a matter of taste. It may not be typical Italian or New York or whatever. Who cares. Besides if speck can be on pizza (not a "typcial" Italian food, and certainly not from the region where pizza originates), then why not pineapple.

                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                  I've always just thought of it as the German for "bacon" in English or "tocino" in Spanish, etc... Though, the way in which bacon is usually prepared in the States (strips fried and served at breakfast or on sandwiches) is totally different from how it is consumed in German (or the rest of continental Europe). I also prefer it boiled or baked.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                    our "bacon" in the states is different than speck -- not just in how it is prepared for consumption, but the curing and spicing (and i want to say "cut" of the belly), too.

                                                                                                                    i buy speck from olli salumeria here in virginia. it is smoky, slightly spiced, sliced ultra-thin like prosciutto and melts in your mouth. i don't cook it at all, but i could if i wanted -- as if on a pizza or tart or in some scrambled eggs or an omelet.

                                                                                                                    and here is the bacon that is the top of its national class here in the u.s. most supermarket bacon, though, is not a s thick as nueske's -- nor really as "smoky." nueske's is really a step above supermarket bacon -- bigger, stronger, more macho. LOL. here is typical u.s. bacon --

                                                                                                                    of course, there are local butchers that cure their own bacon and those can be regional favorites -- and quite wonderful. but i've never had any that were like "speck".

                                                                                                                    what i know of speck is that it doesn't need to be cooked. bacon does.

                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                      I'm sure that speck as you say is not bacon. But, then I suppose it isn't exactly the same as "Speck" in German. There, it is sort of what corresponds to "bacon"--though the culinary uses and I suppose the cuts (not an expert in that) are different. I know for sure that it can be very thick, in chunks, or cubs, as well as sliced to varying degrees of thickness or thinness, cooked or raw.
                                                                                                                      I'm guessing that in the US, speck has come to mean something very specific and is not just German for bacon. Just like some parts of S America refer to any kind of pepper as "ají" but in the US gastronomic circles it seems to refer to a specific type of pepper. Or American English salsa (a kind of hot sauce dish) is not the same as Spanish "salsa" where it is the generic referent to any sauce (Spanish for sauce), including ketchup and bechamel (salsa blanca). Interesting how a word when traveling into another language actually is part of that language and changes its meaning.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                        I'd say the closest to American bacon in Germany would be Bauchspeck = pork belly. Which is sorta kinda what bacon's made of, right?

                                                                                                                        I'm not even going to touch the whole cured/smoked/uncured/whatever, as I find it confusing, to say the least.

                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                          Definitely confusing, and I'm really just approaching it from a language point of view, more than culinary, per se. The Bauchspeck would seem to make sense, I guess plain old Speck would be fatback? Maybe? (certainly not "Rückenspeck--in jest).

                                                                                                                  2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                    Which speck are we talking about? German, or northern Italian (Tyrol)? Or some other?

                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                      It wouldn't make much sense to divorce one speck from another. Especially since "German" as in refering to food (or anything really), as understood in its modern sense can only refer to things since 1871--as there was no Germany before then. There was, however, the adjective German refering to things German (not in the nation sense) to which things Tyrolean were included. Since speck has been around since before 1871, it doesn't make sense to talk about speck as German v/s Tyrolean. Then you'd have to talk about all the fine differences between the specks of different German-speaking places, and you'd be including various regions in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and possibly France. A case where the cuisines haven't really caught up to modern border realities.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                        Mario calls this 'speck' a smoked prosciutto'

                                                                                                                        It sounds quite different from the back bacon that others have been discussing.

                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                          It's one type of "speck"--the term is broad. Just out of curiousity, I wonder if "regular" American ham is refered to as "prosciutto" in Italy/Italian, since Italian for ham is "prosciutto". Hence terms like "ham" or "speck" or "meat" are broad.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                            If I want to buy Speck, I ask my German butcher for a slab of double smoked Bacon, which looks and behaves as Speck bought in Germany as I remember it. It is sliced off the hard skin and is usually cut/diced into small chunks, rendered and then added to whatever dish.

                                                                                                                          2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                            Speck is also a generic word for fat in German. Perhaps that's what's so confusing.

                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                              Is Schinken the generic German word for ham?

                                                                                                                        2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                          Yeah, really. Not much of a difference. Unless you're planning on having a conversation with the speck.

                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                            Or it wears its traditional outfit--no lederhosen if it's from north of the Danube.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                              that's definitely ham in those pants, tho '-)

                                                                                                                  3. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                    Yes, pineapple on ham, on feta, on jalapenos, on pizza. Guilty secret! (This isn't public, is it?)

                                                                                                                    1. re: Suzettem

                                                                                                                      Hey, I used to eat Bolivian pizza w/ corn and enjoyed it.
                                                                                                                      In the CCCP in "69, there was no pizza, just "authentic" Soviet food. Grracck yuck.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                        ah, but now you can have Sbarro pizza right there at Domodedovo airport. Fear not, comrade.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                        What about pineapple AND ham on pizza? Delicious! But, then again, I enjoy the occasional sin.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Magnapro

                                                                                                                        pineapple is not a food trend. it's been there for years.

                                                                                                                        1. re: sandcake

                                                                                                                          As far as a martini goes, I would take start with a definition of gin or vodka + vermouth + olive. If you change or add one ingredient, I could see calling it a something 'tini. If you change or add more than one ingredient, then you really don't have a martini anymore. So I'd call a dirty martini a martini, but if you mix vodka, creme de cacao, kahlua and triple sec, it's a totally different drink, not a chocotini.

                                                                                                                          As far as pizza goes, I think that's one of the foods that the whole world has made it's own. After having eaten takoyaki pizza (octopus, mayo, fish flakes and wasabi), kimchi beef pizza and red bean and cheese pizza the presence of pineapple is not going to upset me.

                                                                                                                          And the above mentioned pizzas were eaten at Pizza Hut!

                                                                                                                          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                                            Original martinis contained orange bitters and a twist, too (minus the olives and vodka). Jus' saying'.

                                                                                                                      3. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                        I really like fruit and savory mixed--it's very big in German/Central European food (apples in red cabbage, blood sausage with apples and fried onions, green beans and pears, etc...). Delicious!

                                                                                                                      4. re: nvcook

                                                                                                                        I can not emphasize how much I disagree!! I love fruit in a salad; the contrast of sweet fruit, crispy lettuce, maybe some salty cheese and crunchy nuts. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. I am still thinking happily of the salad I had last night: arugula, nectarine, some sort of blue cheese (really good, just can't remember what), walnuts, red onion, balsamc vinaigrette. Delish!

                                                                                                                        1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                          Pears and apples, that's as far as I'll go. Strawberries? no way.

                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                            I'm with ya. Did not like strawberries on a salad, but I don't mind oranges or cranberries on occasion.

                                                                                                                            1. re: MichelleRenee

                                                                                                                              I love strawberries in savory salads - and I'm not generally a big fan of sweet and savory mixed together. For example, I come from an ethnically eastern european/jewish background and there are lots of savory dishes that are sweetened with added sugar and raisens etc. I find all of those dishes pretty gross and I am very thankful that my maternal grandmother felt the same way and passed down versions of all those dishes that are savory with no sweet additions. (LIke a completely savory noodle kugel for example. I simply cannot eat sweet versions of this dish.)

                                                                                                                              But fruit in salad? I do it all the time, and I make awesome salads, if I do say so myself.

                                                                                                                          2. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                            Now THAT sounds like heaven on a plate to me.

                                                                                                                            1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                              I agree that it is good. But when my Mid-20th-Century-Culinary-Hell mother in law serves strawberries on her iceberg lettuce tossed garden salad with an assortment of Kraft bottled dressings, after the Cheez Whiz based appetizers, the fad is in a place from which it cannot recover.

                                                                                                                              1. re: AsperGirl

                                                                                                                                Is it true that you can use Cheez Whiz to patch tires? :-}

                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                  Haha, maybe you could use the cheez whiz in the pressurized aerosol can (my favorite cheese presentation, by the way).

                                                                                                                                  I know you can dry clean clothes with cheez whiz:

                                                                                                                                2. re: AsperGirl

                                                                                                                                  Ouch! That is one un-yummy sounding salad.

                                                                                                                            2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                              I'm always going to like that. Especially with a little brie in the salad, too. I had no idea it was "trendy", or something people even could get sick of. Just ask them to leave it out.

                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                A fruit and a nut in a delicate salad with a light vinaigrette is delicious.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                  Like I said, apples and pears I'm ok with, and definitely nuts. But I don't want really sweet fruits, like strawberries or raspberries covered in vinaigrette. Just goes to show why they make both chocolate and vanilla.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                    Oh, and I love strawberries in salad precisely for their bit of tartness, and don't care for pears at all for their sweetness unless there's something good and funky like gorgonzola going on in there as well. (Spinach, bacon & strawberry is my favorite in the spring.)

                                                                                                                                    Bear in mind, however, "in the sticks" doesn't even begin to describe my location, so everything everyone else is sick of is just now becoming commonplace in our area.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                      Completely agree that a pear in a salad needs a funky cheese to go with it.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                        A funky cheese and some bitter greens, mixed i with some soft lettuce, and a drizzle of good aged balsamic... overdone? Maybe but undeniably delicious

                                                                                                                              2. Bacon. I'm biased, 'cause I don't eat meat, but even if I did, I probably would still look askance at chocolate-covered bacon, or a martini-type drink served in a bacon-rimmed glass (both available within a twenty minute walk from my house).

                                                                                                                                41 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                  OMG so with you on that, and I'm an omnivore. It is so overrated, we should all be over it soon. Besides, it's pricing itself out of the market- double in the past year, for Oscar Meyer? No thank you.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                    I will never grow tired of bacon.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: donovt

                                                                                                                                      I'd grow tired of Oscar Meyer...blech! I only eat applewood smoked bacon from my butcher. The best stuff that no one could ever tire one.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                        This mystifies me. There are many foods I love, but I can't imagine not getting sick of them if I ate them all the time. I'm not talking about basics like eggs or bread - I eat those every day. But uni, stuffed artichokes, pecan pie. Is bacon in some special "anyone who likes it would eat it at every meal if possible" category?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                          Good point. Considering the OP is asking about food trends, my guess is the bacon poster has an issue with bacon showing up in various places...salads, bacon wrapped scallops, etc. Of course, that is an assumption on my part.

                                                                                                                                          It could be they eat it every day, but then that's not so much a trend as a habit or part of OCD...give or take.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                            Psst. *I'm* the bacon poster. And you assume correctly. But I don't eat it every day. I never eat it. Which is why I mourn a perfectly good uni dish being sullied by lardo (I know, not really bacon, but you get the point), as it is at Marea in Manhattan. The trend I'm bitching about - and it's probably waning, anyway - is the "whatever it is, throw some bacon at it" frenzy that has swept the nation. Or my part of the nation, anyway.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                              Oh you're the bacon poster! :-)

                                                                                                                                              Anything lardo on uni is sacrilege...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                late to this, but i think i could eat proper lardo on uni everyday of my life. til i died an unnaturally young death. :P

                                                                                                                                              2. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                Yeah, I live in the south, and don't eat pork. And man, they throw bacon onto just about everything. Somehow it makes a beautiful piece of fish more "special" in the restaurant's view. yuck.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                  I don't know. That seems like quite a generalization. I live in the south, too, and eat out fairly often, but rarely encounter bacon on fish. Pork belly has been trendy lately, and pork products are used a lot, but not all that often with fish. For a while--but it has been a while--prosciutto-wrapped fish was popular. I personally love pork, including bacon, but don't want it on everything.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                    North Carolina - land of the Pig. Seriously, the fancy places in town often serve the fish with bacon.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                      I've only eaten at a couple of places in NC that would be considered fancy, and I don't remember the bacon quotient, but I can definitely see the porcentricity all around! (Attended two weddings there in one year--at both, BBQ was the main attraction at the reception.)
                                                                                                                                                      In the past few years, I've been in Charlotte about every six months or so--and almost always eat Indian food there (so no pork).

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                        Indian would be safe! And you may have heard about the famous feud between eastern (where I am, in Chapel Hill) and western (where Charlotte is) BBQs. I don't have a horse in that race myself, obviously, but man, people here take it VERY seriously.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                          I've heard lots about the BBQ wars, but you know, I've never eaten BBQ in Charlotte. I have eaten good BBQ in Chapel Hill-Raleigh-Durham area (and that's where the BBQ wedding feasts were that year).
                                                                                                                                                          I often forget that the south I live in is different from the rest of the south. Pork is definitely eaten here, but it's one of many players on the average restaurant menu. And we have no BBQ culture here.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                            You live in one of the best food towns in the world, don't you? NOLA?

                                                                                                                                                            I love where i live, but when I first moved to Chapel Hill the sheer amount of pork everywhere was overwhelming.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                    Lol. I'm a big bacon fan, but I've got to admit that the fish topping is a little bit much. I once had a stuffed baked potato from the Table is Bread.* It had an awesome crab/crawfish flavour to it, but they decided to burn some bacon and crumble that into the potato. Each time I'd crunch one of them, I had this moment of, "Oh no. A piece of shell!" and then the totally out of place bacon flavor would arrive and I'd realize, "Nope, just really crunchy bacon in this creamy, buttery, soft, and even squishy dish.."

                                                                                                                                                    * Not hating, I actually like the place.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Altarbo

                                                                                                                                                      I think that's probably one of my biggest peeves -- a current culinary trend, be it a technique or an ingredient, and some guy in the kitchen (I can't use the word chef here) who decides to display how cool and hip and trendy he (or she) is by using it indiscriminately -- so you then end up with crap food because you've got someone wielding a technique or ingredient that they don't really have the vaguest idea how to use.

                                                                                                                                                      Saddle of venison made into bourguignonne...damned crying shame to serve what was once a gorgeous saddle of venison cooked to death and beyond.

                                                                                                                                                      the above bacon on a seafood baked potato -- what the hell were they thinking?

                                                                                                                                                      Stuff like that that's just completely misused or badly paired and just highlights the incompetence of the kitchen staff -- not the hipness as they were hoping.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: donovt

                                                                                                                                            I agree, but in the "fashion" of anti-current trends and even then, shunned bacon wrapped filet and scallop and other foods that so readily take on the flavor of bacon. However, bacon used in properly cooked Southern cuisine should be elevated to it's own food group ~~

                                                                                                                                            1. re: donovt

                                                                                                                                              You can usually have mine, except for pasta carbonara. The way I learned about carbonara is considered an abomination here, but I still love it- uses bacon. and cream. So sue me.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: donovt

                                                                                                                                                Okay, you can have mine, if I can have your sausage. :)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: donovt

                                                                                                                                                  NEVAH NEVAH EVAH! the more bacon you put in things, make it the star of, the happier i am.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                  I go to a local gourmet type store that has a real butcher and get applewood smoked for $6.99. It's way cheaper than Oscar Mayer, and you get an entire pound.

                                                                                                                                                3. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                  but wait you missed the maple bacon flavoured coffee that just made its debut!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Yummer

                                                                                                                                                    Throw a pancake in there, and it's breakfast in a cup! I breathlessly await the introduction of the McDonald's bacon milkshake. And then, of course, the apocalypse.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                      I have a friend who has a bakery, and he makes a cupcake called "Pancakes & Syrup," which is garnished with a 1.5" strip of bacon.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                        i'd much prefer that as a doughnut.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                        "I breathlessly await the introduction of the McDonald's bacon milkshake. And then, of course, the apocalypse."

                                                                                                                                                        LOL. Thanks for the laugh.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Yummer

                                                                                                                                                          I ordered a Bloody Mary at a place the other day and they brought out the most wretched bacon flavored thing with a giant slice of bacon it it. It was gross. I sent it back for a martini, which was good. I am a drink purist. That thing was just uncalled for.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                          You must live near Traif.
                                                                                                                                                          We call bacon "meat candy" at our house.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                            Not that far as the crow flies, but I'd have to hoof it across the Williamsburg bridge, so I'll wait for warmer weather to check it out. A good portion of their menu looks really good to me. And some of it isn't even traif!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                              I'm going to traif for the first time on Friday. Can't wait!!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: donovt

                                                                                                                                                                Please post your findings (on the appropriate board). I could be convinced to make the trek.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                            Ugh, YES... Here in New England, restauranteurs who I can only assume are not native to the region have taken to sprinkling bacon bits on CHOWDER. As a non pork eater and a traditionalist, I was aghast.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Basiorana

                                                                                                                                                              Isn't chowder traditionally made with salt pork? I can see how bacon bits would not be traditional but I thought there was always pork in chowder.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pranksy

                                                                                                                                                                yes, it's made with salt pork -- but it's not smoked, and it's not cooked until crispy.

                                                                                                                                                                Bacon + chowder = bad.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                  I know but I was referring to the fact that Basiorana eats chowder and is also a non pork eater.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pranksy

                                                                                                                                                                    ah, yes -- can't complain that there's pork in it (and not sure how Basoriana was led to believe that there wasn't) -- but bacon is worth a drumming-your-spoon-on-the-table hissy fit!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Basiorana

                                                                                                                                                                One- up-manship. New England restauranteurs, that have never lived outside New England and have no Spanish speaking staff and run a Mexican restaurant! Run don't walk to the nearest exit!