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10 Worst Food Trends

Found this article by Jonathan Gold on Yahoo today. I thought it to be true and humorous in many respects. Enjoy.


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  1. everything in excess is bad ....

    1. wow. do i disagree with SO much of this list. i sorta agree with 3,4,7,&9. disagree with the rest

      1. Thanks for posting that! Terse and to the point, I agree either strongly or mildly with everything he says. I'm gonna have to search out more stuff by Mr. Gold.

        1. I am obviously not as much of a foodie as I think I am. I have heard of about three of those things.

            1. I love my sous vide brisket! And truffle oil! I guess the rule is, everything in moderation. I do have to concur with the $5 tap water.

              1. Funny! I agree with a lot of these -- although I've, fortunately, never been to a restaurant that tries to charge me for tap water.

                About the truffle oil, though -- is that really true? Is there NO truffle oil that is made with real truffles, or does he just mean that MOST truffle oil isn't? I guess I'm rather ignorant about truffles...

                1. Agree with 4 ($5 tap water), 7 (serving endangered fish), and 8 (truffle oil - for the most part, though I'm willing to admit there may be a dish somewhere out there that benefits from the stuff).

                  Neutral on 3 (untranslated menus), 5 & 6 (bartender and chef over reach - okay, he's more or less right here, but since when is that a trend? People were surely bitching about the same thing back when nouvelle cuisine was big, probably also back when Escoffier was cooking).

                  Disagree on:

                  1 - No substitution policies. It can help the overall food and service quality. There are plenty of places that will accommodate substitutions - just go to them and stop accusing chefs and owners of egomania for making a business decision.

                  9 - Third wave coffee. I'm pretty sure Mr. Gold likes his wine. Heaven forbid people pay the same attention to something so lowly as coffee.

                  10 - Molecular/modernist cuisine. Okay, real MG (as defined not only by an adherence to science but even more so by a desire to transform ingredients and play with a diner's expectations) was probably too esoteric to survive getting as big as it did. Despite the perhaps naive enthusiasm of a few of the movement's poorest representatives, it never sought to replace traditional cuisine. Think of a MG restaurant instead as some combination of a culinary amusement park and a research lab for the industry.
                  But the techniques of MG - those can be put to good use alongside other traditional cuisine. And for the most part, that's what's happening. Foams may have to be the sacrificial lamb (too much bad press), but other techniques of the movement - from fluid gels to free use of hydrocolloids to tweaking recipes with less-than-common sugars and acids - will quietly find their homes in restaurants serving otherwise traditional food. You won't notice them much, but they'll be there. And they'll be delicious.

                  Strongly disagree on:
                  Sous vide - Mr Gold asks where's the high heat, the crust, the texture? For F^*&'s sake, who the hell still cooks things sous vide without finishing them with some other method?! Sure, butter poached lobster or halibut might be delicious straight from the bag, as are some vegetables. But 90% of the food you eat that's been cooked sous vide - it's been smoked, it's been deep fried, it's been seared, it's been grilled. The uninitiated wouldn't know that it was cooked sous vide - just that it was cooked to perfect doneness and has particularly intense flavor.
                  And that's the other problem - Jonathan Gold is not, or at least should not be, uninitiated. As a professional critic he has no excuse. It's understandable that a casual diner might think these criticisms apply universally to the technique - they think the only things they've eaten sous vide are dishes with the words 'Sous Vide' written in big, bold letters on the menu, the same dishes that seek to slap you in the face with the fact that it has been cooked sous vide by neglecting to apply those crucial finishing touches before and after the food is in the bag. But Jonathan Gold should know better.
                  So is this a case of populism in the form of feigned ignorance? Or does he just have his fingers in his ears and his hands over his eyes when he goes to work?

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Surprisingly (to me, anyway), the Zagat list was actually a fun read.

                      Not to say I agree with everything on it. But enjoyable, and much less blowhard-y than Gold's.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I totally agree about the comfort food thing. It never seems to be as good as what you'd get a hole in the wall.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Oh, thank Cthulhu someone brought up sliders. So sick of those.

                          1. re: MandalayVA

                            The fact you mentioned Cthulhu brought a smile to my face.
                            Sure you already know but HP Podcast.com
                            Slider says to me "yes we could combine the three of these and get you a regular burger....but that would be so less cool.

                            1. re: MandalayVA

                              I have to admit the DH is one of those "middle-aged ex–frat boys" that goes nutso over any and all menu items that mention slider.

                              In Chicago/St. Louis the word slider originally did not mean small burger, but rather an unsavory effect of White Castle burgers. I'm not sure if restauants realize what the orignal defintion (as I understand it) really is meant to convey.

                              Love the Cthulhu reference!

                          2. The guy's an idiot trying to make a name for himself by coming out against popular trends. Maybe someday he'll develop a real skill and be able to make a name for himself through achieving something.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: mahalan

                              I think Mr. Gold's had "a name for himself" for quite some time - presumably, it is Mr. Gold.

                              To many, and not restricted to the West Coast, he is a well-known food critic.

                              1. re: mahalan

                                Does his Pulitzer qualify as "achieving something"?

                                1. re: mahalan

                                  I think being the first restaurant critic to win the Pulitzer Prize is quite an achievement.

                                  1. OK, I read it. Now I've forgotten it.

                                    1. i agree with most of it, but re the truffle oil - it has its place, in my opinion. i love the stuff, but use it only sparingly and rarely. can't afford the real deal.

                                      and i'm not anti-molecular gastronomy at all. wish i had more opportunities to try some.

                                      1. I think I would have a more favorable view of Jonathan Gold's opinion if he would get a decent haircut.

                                        1. 1. Disagree. Like my mother always told me, "You don't like it, then don't eat it." Chef's have this right, and in my opinion, too many people will request modifications because they "don't like something" that they have never had prepared properly before (although allergies are legit).

                                          2. Disagree. Personal taste I guess.

                                          3. Agree.

                                          4. Agree.

                                          5. Disagree. The bartender is trying to please you, the customer, so let him. If doctoring "our nightcaps with curry leaves, flakes of nori, or artfully fried bacon spears" makes a drink better, then go for it.

                                          6. Disagree. Similar to 5, let the chef do his job. If grilling chicory shoots produces the texture and flavor the chef is looking for, then he should go for it.

                                          7. Agree.

                                          8. Conditionally agree. Most truffle oils are synthetic in which case I agree, but if some chef found an oil infused with real truffles then by all means, use it.

                                          9. Disagree. Read #5 and 6, then apply it to coffee roasters.

                                          10. Disagree. Just because some take the creativity a little too far (i.e. Gold's foie gras cotton candy example), doesn't mean creativity is bad. Some "molecular gastronomists" (a misnomer, and an entirely different argument) create extremely good food, so don't lump them all together.

                                          Now, I'd like to address the fact that Gold's arguments for #5, 6, 9, and 10 all have the same root. He doesn't like the fact that bartenders, chefs, and coffee roasters are all doing things a little outside the box to try and produce better results. Just a speculation here, but I bet Gold would have had a problem with the first person to pair white fish with something other than a white wine, or you know, do something a little outside his comfort zone.