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Top 10 Most Overblown Food/Beverage Trends

Please add your own list, or feel free to edit mine!

#10 Microbrewing
#9 Confit
#8 New/Old Cocktail Renaissance
#7 Liquid Nitrogen
#6 Artisanal
#5 Gluten Free
#4 Heritage Breeds
#3 Molecular Gastronomy/Nathan Myrvold
#2 Farm to Table
#1 Sous Vide anything

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    1. re: GH1618

      Hah, GMO-Free almost made the list, it was #11.

      1. re: StriperGuy

        You should have taken a cue from Nigel Tufnel.

        1. re: GH1618

          "It's such a fine line between clever and stupid...."

    2. #10 Microbrewing - disagree, I love all the different beers out there I can try
      #9 Confit - strongly disagree
      #8 New/Old Cocktail Renaissance - sort of agree as I stick with my G&T, Negroni, Martini and Manhattan. Don't need the 18 ingredient thing that tastes like fruit cocktail
      #7 Liquid Nitrogen - strongly agree
      #6 Artisanal - strongly agree
      #5 Gluten Free - strongly agree (unless you really happen to have celiac's)
      #4 Heritage Breeds - agree
      #3 Molecular Gastronomy/Nathan Myrvold - sorta agree/disagree
      #2 Farm to Table - so over this and very strongly agree
      #1 Sous Vide anything - sorta agree/disagree

      21 Replies
      1. re: Bkeats

        I agree with you on microbrewing. The craft beer industry is one of the few really great improvements in the American food and beverage scene.

        1. re: GH1618

          Even just the new appreciation for good beer in general, as we are big fans of Belgian and other European.

          1. re: melpy

            Also agree on micro brewing -- it is not a trend, it is a movement, or quantum shift, in mankind's oldest processed food product. Belgian beer is sort of a template for small-brewery beer diversity.

          2. re: GH1618

            I just heard last week that the number of microbreweries in the US had just, at the end of 2013, reached the number that existed in the US when Prohibition came into force. Took a loong time to recover...but it's a good thing, I think.

          3. re: Bkeats

            I like good beers, and I'll try any beer. Heck, I once spent a week in Brussels sampling as many as I could.

            I just object to people killing each other for the latest beer that scored well somewhere somehow:

            i.e. the recent Heady Topper Craze:


            Where cans were going for $10 and up... A friend by sheer coincidence had a six. Tried it. It was really good. As good as two dozen other really good micro-brews I've had in the past year. But NOT the best beer in the world.

            This is also similar hoooey. Not sure if it is the same brewery:


            It's beer people! Tasty, yummy, carefully made, from very good ingredients, but it's beer.

            1. re: Bkeats

              In a perfect world, wouldn't everyone want to eat farm to table? Just asking.

              1. re: c oliver

                Sure in a perfect world where avocados, passion fruit, maple trees and strawberries grow side by side.
                I eat pretty seasonally at home, so when I go out the last things I want to face by this time of year are winter squash and Brussels sprouts. We won't get much in local until late May and even then it's pretty sparse until July.

                1. re: c oliver

                  No. It would be impossible to have the quality and variety of food that we (in the developed world) take for granted today.

                  1. re: GH1618

                    I don't know if I got deleted or if my post didn't post.

                    I used a figure of speech "in a perfect world," and I believe we're also talking about dining.

                  2. re: c oliver

                    I'm unclear what the problem is with this as well.....

                    1. re: enbell

                      This is my #1 most annoying. As a concept it's obviously a good thing. But it's become outrageously cliche. If I read about one more restaurant opening that touts its focus on farm-to-table I'm going to lose it.

                      1. re: Niblet

                        We have our favorite restaurant and they're sourcing easily two dozen meats and foods from local farmers and ranchers. They don't call it farm to table but they do list on a blackboard all the places they're buying from.

                        1. re: Niblet

                          My point exactly...

                          I shop at farmer's markets obsessively in the summer.

                          But the Farm to table resto concept has jumped the shark.

                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            So are you saying you're cool with buying local food for your personal use but you don't want restaurants to? I'm really confused.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              It is the pretentious touting of farm to table as some holier then thou credo that I object to. It's all food people.

                              At home I eat local when I can and chef boyardee when I feel like and I don't preach about either being some divine path to culinary salvation.

                              When folks flip out because I am serving industrially produced produce, or eating a Dorito, well...

                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                I grew up in N California in the 60's listening to the unbathed hippies spouting *You are what you eat*. Nobody will ever equal those food militants. I believe they were the original *food police* that you are alluding to. If someone is actually ignorant enough to cross such a personal boundary and comment about the foods you ingest (unless it is your SO etc.) then obviously their social skills are impaired.

                                1. re: MamasCooking

                                  I know the people to whom you refer, because I knew them, too. While I don't disagree with your take on them, I never found much wrong with the (admittedly simplistic) slogan "you are what you eat." But the interest in purer (poison-free) food began not with them, but with the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962. They were just one part of the reaction, as was Alice Waters' opening of Chez Panisse in 1971 (I believe), as was the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1974, and many other things that, taken together, have given us a healthier and safer food supply. That there are a few goofy ideas about food here and there is not significant. The big picture is that we have better food and a safer environment today than we did half a century ago.

                                2. re: StriperGuy

                                  but then, you don't have 100 people sitting in their living room trying to decide if you're going to serve them locally-grown produce or a can of ravioli.

                            2. re: Niblet

                              I don't like it when a restaurant uses "farm to table" as a substitute for creativity and technique. The "fig on a plate" paradigm (apologies to Alice Waters). I think it's great if fresh and seasonal food is the starting point, but I don't want it to be the ending point as well.

                              But then, I do live in California, so local farm to table food starts out as being pretty varied.

                        2. re: Bkeats

                          #5 Gluten Free - strongly agree (unless you really happen to have celiac')

                          Which only 1 out 900 people do according tomy sisters gastrologist( she is not celiac)

                          most people who think they need to eat gluten free are actually suffering from " streatched bowel" to put it simple... and they need to retrain their system so to speak.. ( my sissy is going through this now) it has more to do with lifestyle than eating habbits

                          1. re: Bkeats

                            I think you captured my sentiment perfectly… although I'd like to see continued creativity in the cocktail realm...

                          2. Somewhere on a secondary list somewhere has to be this whole thing about putting salt with candy. Salted caramel, salted Chocolate, cocoa with Sea salt, blech. I got over Snickers bars when I was twelve. Enough already. It's interesting the first time. It's gross and boring and unimaginative the 22nd.

                            Oh and by the way fuck macarons.

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: acgold7

                              Two awesome additions!

                              And how could I have possibly forgotten macaroons?

                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                Macaroons I don't mind, macarons are passe!

                                1. re: melpy

                                  Not in my kitchen. I'm still trying to perfect them. It is not as easy as one might think.

                                  1. re: Candy

                                    They're a fun challenge if you're a serious baker, but boring to eat. Unless you're at Pierre Herme.

                                    I love salty sweets, though. Always have, always will.

                              2. re: acgold7

                                Macarons. On the cover of Martha Stewart Living this month. Nuff said.

                                1. re: mwhitmore

                                  LOL :) I had my very first ones (shows you how un-cool *I* am) at Jean-Georges a few weeks ago. They WERE quite good.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Yeah, they're okay. But nowhere near worth the orgasms being had over them.

                                    Now Macaroons I can get behind. But that's a different thread. And it's not Passover yet.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Did Cindy tell you I gave her a Macaron kit and a book on them for Christmas?

                                      1. re: Candy

                                        No. Need to put her to the test.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          I made a batch last week to give a try. They were good but needed to be a bit larger. I've promised the little girl next door that she can help me.

                                          I ordered Ateco food colorings and they came a couple of days ago. The are much brighter and stronger in color.

                                  2. re: acgold7

                                    Salt, especially on dark chocolate, is without a doubt one of the culinary world's greatest gifts. Also in that category is Kettle Corn, Choc covered pretzels, and Take 5 bars.

                                    I can do without choc covered potato chips. Never had a good one.

                                    1. re: redips

                                      In my experience, chocolate covered potato chips are a Must Eat Now item. Think chocolate fondue. Pick up a fantastic and thick chip. Dip in melted chocolate. Eat. Repeat.

                                      1. re: Kelli2006

                                        I love bacon as much as the next guy but bacon vodka...stahp.

                                        1. re: Kelli2006

                                          Nothing good about over done bacon.

                                          1. re: thegforceny

                                            How did I miss that?

                                            Though upon reading that thread it is not really the same. It's more about REALLY tired OLD menu items as opposed to the latest trend that you are just plain sick of.

                                            1. re: StriperGuy

                                              Oh, in that case, here's one entitled "What Food Trend are You So Sick Of?" with 1033 replies.


                                              1. re: thegforceny

                                                Just out of curiosity because I am newish on CH. Is there a rule about starting new threads about subjects that have been discussed in previous threads? Is it prohibited? It just seems that new people would be interested in a new thread not an old dead one. Just asking about the rules.

                                                1. re: MamasCooking

                                                  Sometimes an old one is the same tip so worth just jumping on the bandwagon. Old is not always dead.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    So it is not prohibited? Good to know. I think a fresh perspective should always be welcomed:)

                                                    1. re: MamasCooking

                                                      There really aren't rules in this regard. Sometimes old ones are still valid and go on and, as in this case, someone either doesn't know a thread exists or wants their own. The regional boards seem to generate more new threads.

                                                      1. re: MamasCooking

                                                        Sometimes a redundant thread will be started soon after the original thread on the same subject. In such cases, the moderators will direct posters to the original thread and lock the duplicate.

                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                          I understand not having several concurrent threads running. Makes sense.I can barely manage keeping up with just one lively one.

                                                        2. re: MamasCooking

                                                          It is not prohibited but if there are already two similar threads with nearly 2000 posts, what is there new to add to the conversation?

                                                          1. re: thegforceny

                                                            New people come to the site all the time, with new perspectives, information and opinions. All are welcome, and that's why it's fine to start new threads on topics that have been covered in the past.

                                                            1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                              I've always taken the posting of similar threads to just be offering up additional information.

                                              2. KALE

                                                BRUSSEL SPROUTS

                                                GOAT CHEESE


                                                20 Replies
                                                1. re: laliz

                                                  I like Brussels sprouts but I wasn't aware that feta was ever popular.

                                                  1. re: Kelli2006

                                                    Feta is "popular" in that a whole culture uses it as a staple in their cuisine. Not sure why @laliz thinks it's a trend.

                                                    1. re: Kelli2006

                                                      Actually, I wasn't aware any of these four things was a "trend".

                                                      1. re: jmckee

                                                        I definitely think that kale has been "trendy" for a few years now.

                                                    2. re: laliz

                                                      But I'm not sure those are trends, just foods that are popular with some people/places but not others...

                                                      1. re: laliz

                                                        How are these trends when people have been eating them for years and are staples of many people's regular diets?

                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                          I would never have 'discovered' kale had it not become trendy and for that I'm VERY grateful.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            I second that emotion … except that my gratitude is for the fact that the available-only-at-*hole-Foods Tuscan kale is now in the regular grocery stores and CHEAP!

                                                            Actually, I love everything on laliz's list, and most of what's on StriperGuy's. "Farm to table", for instance, doesn't have to mean every day all year; there are several restaurants in our former hometown of Nashville that either have their own farms and/or gardens, or contract with farmers and gardeners, and we've had some pretty splendid meals there. I'm sure they hit more conventional sources when one of those springtime ice storms comes along!

                                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                                              YES! re availability. I finally talked to our local Safeway produce manager and now they're stocking the 'good' kale.

                                                              1. re: Will Owen


                                                                Yes and you have to get to Husk in N'ville. Then you can take a side trip to Birmingham. Frank Stitt's Highlands Grill & Chez Fonfon & Bottega. Still hungry? Get yourself to Chris Hastings Hot And Hot Fish Club. Ate all last summer. Goodness are they pushing themselves out of business for using locally sourced food? The pig's ear noodles my DH had still stand out...local pigs. I will not forget the fried chicken skin appetizer I fad drizzled with honey and Frank's Hot Sauce, local chickens too. I need to make the chicken skins for a party soon. You cannot stop eating them.

                                                                1. re: Candy

                                                                  I read Pat Conroy's cookbook and he talks glowingly about Frank Stitt.

                                                            2. re: laliz

                                                              I have bought kale 3 times and never gotten around to doing anything with it. I'm going to let that fad go by without me.

                                                              1. re: Candy


                                                                I made this last night and it was SO good.

                                                                And here's a video of our fave kale salad that I now make at home thanks to the video:


                                                                  1. re: Candy

                                                                    I like/love chickpeas but don't care hugely for hummus. When we were in Israel recently, we were never served the peas, not the hummus. Go figure.

                                                                1. re: Candy

                                                                  Oh my. I became a kale convert when I first joined a CSA about 11 or 12 years ago. Just love the stuff. This time of year, one of my favorite dinners is creamy polenta topped with sauteed kale and a poached egg.

                                                                  Yesterday I made a kale/avocado/mango salad for a work potluck, and it was widely well-received.

                                                                  But of course it is fine for you to not like it. I just don't understand it. ;)

                                                                  (And I don't get the kale chip love. Tried it many years ago when I first saw Jaques Pepin do it on a cooking show. They were fine, but it seemed an awful lot of work and an awful lot of kale for not enough pay off.)

                                                                  1. re: debbiel

                                                                    I first cooked kale when we had it in our food co-op in the early 80's . While we ate a lot of fresh vegetables growing up we didn't consume much in the way of cooked leafy greens, so this was a learning period for me. As it was for a lot of the other co-op members - a lot of people complained about having kale appear in their order! It's been a part of my diet for so long now that I was sort of bemused to see it become trendy.
                                                                    And I don't get the kale chip love either! The great thing about kale is that it needs, and thus withstands, a lot of cooking relative to other greens, yet isn't acrid the way collards and turnip greens are, which also need to be cooked for a while. So it's just great in soups and mixed with legumes (my personal favorite - beans and kale in almost any form are the bomb!) Kale chips seem to be designed for people who believe KALE is some all-healing superfood, but hate vegetables.

                                                                      1. re: melpy

                                                                        Well, then that, as they say, is a whole nother movie.

                                                              2. If it's done well, it's not overblown. A farm to table, Heritage (Korabuta) pork chop, prepared sous vide can bring a tear to my eye. It is that good.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. #10 Personally, I love microbrews.
                                                                  #9 Hasn't the confit preperation method been around for quite a while? I don't consider it a trend.
                                                                  #2 Isn't farm to table a smart way of eating and what a lot of the rest of the world has done forever? Didn't we do it here in this country for many years before the advent of convenience foods? I think it's a good trend!

                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                    Oops, I should have finished reading. I'm totally with you on #2.

                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                      People who depended on farms in their own region for their food supply were from time to time beset by famine due to drought or pestilence. Some famines killed millions.

                                                                      Even in the US in relatively recent times the farm-to-table economy has caused great hardship. Have you never heard of the Great Dust Bowl?

                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                        Could you connect the dots please connecting farm to table dining to the Great Dust Bowl?

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          For a decade, agriculture in a large part of the lower midwest was devastated. There was not enough food and people who depended on the local or regional farm economy for their food were forced out. Livestock were slaughtered by the millions because they couldn't be fed, but they couldn't be sent directly to the table. They were processed and canned and distributed where needed with government assistance.

                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                            With respect, I think I have to echo MamasCooking and say "huh"? I just don't get how that links to farm to table dining, where the food is sourced as locally as possible.

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              LOL C. I thought that the drought and the intrusive plowing of fields set up an environment for *The Perfect Dust Storm*! And I can not wrap my brain around *canned cow*!

                                                                            2. re: GH1618

                                                                              The Great Dust Bowl was not a result of farm to table dining. It was a result of the opposite really, of big ag destroying land, and a lot of other policies. But most certainly not about farm to table or local dining.

                                                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                                                The issue here isn't the cause, but the consequences. In a true farm-to-table economy, people are vulnerable to events which interrupt their food supply, whatever the cause. In a modern context, "food-to-table" is a boutique economy within the vast modern food economy of producers, processors, distributers and marketers. Nobody, not even the food-to-table devotee, is at significant risk of famine in modern developed countries because of the redundancy in the food economy.

                                                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                                                  With respect, I think you really are missing the point. "Farm to table" as a trend in restaurants is, to be brief, simply sourcing locally. If you want more info, here's a good article. It is IMO a philosophy but nothing like an economy.


                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                              I don't come here for political debates. I simply stated that eating farm to table is something done in a lot of places with positive effects and that it is not really a "trend." I'll let the others debate you if that's what you are up for. I'm not. Thanks.

                                                                            2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                              When restaurants list confit of vegetables (impossible) then the meme has jumped the shark.

                                                                              OF COURSE farm to table is a smart way of eating. It's the relentless touting of it that I am sick of. In a modern world, True farm to table living is downright impossible in the developed world. I'd love to see New York City or even Boston try to get even 50% of what it eats from less than 100 miles away....

                                                                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                why is a confit of vegetables impossible? confit just means "cooked in oil or syrup".

                                                                            3. I'm indifferent to most of these, but I definitely don't see #6 and #2 as overblown trends that I wish would go away. Isn't fresh, locally made, quality food a good thing taht should never go out of style? Contrast that to say, bacon in everything, as mentioned by another poster. That's something that I do think is overdone and I would like to see less of.

                                                                              1. # 2 and # 6 need to remain intact. They are not a trend at all. More like options.I do agree the label *artisanal* can be and has been over marketed @ times, however I want to have access to foods that are *hand* crafted, artisanal, etc, versus mass produced. Farm to table is a great food goal for all of us to implement when possible.

                                                                                1. All the dessert trends...

                                                                                  frozen yogurt

                                                                                  27 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                    and Satan said " put letters in math and how bout create cupcakes"

                                                                                    1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                      Gee, what did Seitan say? "create cupcakes with vegetable protein!"

                                                                                    2. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                      Why are cupcakes and pies a trend? I'm 53 and have seen these deesert items on menus, in bakeries and at home all my life.

                                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                        Have you seen entire shops devoted to cupcakes your whole life?

                                                                                        1. re: debbiel

                                                                                          No. But I never saw chain stores that sold only coffee when I was younger, but there seems to be a lot of those around now. If there is a market for a shop that sells only cupcakes, so be it. I for one love cupcakes; in fact, I am baking 2 dozen this weekend for my birthday. :)

                                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                            Chock Full O' Nuts was a chain store devoted to coffee from 1926 in New York (I was a counter girl in one shop around 1977). They also had split pea soup, cream cheese on raisin bread sandwiches and doughnuts.

                                                                                            Sort of like a Starbucks selling sweets would or a cupcake shop selling coffee and soft drinks.

                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy


                                                                                              A recent cupcake lover here...I don't think it is a trend anymore, I think it is here to stay. Just another specialized bakery now.

                                                                                              I have never really liked cake, but I love cupcakes now. I like the small stature of them, no waste, purchase the exact number you need, the variety means there is something for everyone in your group, easy to eat/neat and clean, no dry exposed edges, good frosting ratio for me (just on top) and if too much it is easy to knock off a bit from the top. And....they are attractive.

                                                                                              I have become a cupcake convert.

                                                                                              ....Long live the cupcake shop ;)

                                                                                        2. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                          I have been over the cupcake trend since it hit my town. How does it have such staying power? The donut trend...that can stay forever (donuts not cronuts). And in a perfect world, you could get a slice of pie on every corner. But cupcakes...I can't remember the last time I had a truly good cupcake.

                                                                                          How did frozen yogurt make a come back? I feel like I woke up one Saturday and suddenly there were multiple new froyo shops in my town.

                                                                                          1. re: debbiel

                                                                                            I agree, let's have more pie. And not like $24 a pie pie, but lets have nice big locally baked, full sized pies for $14 or so.

                                                                                            1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                              What is so trendy about pies? I've been making them for about 40 years. I'm going to make a crust for the rhubarb I bought yesterday and get that thing in the oven this afternoon.

                                                                                              1. re: Candy

                                                                                                I guess I jumped the gun a little on the pie thing. It seemed for a while that pies were going to become the new "it" thing like cupcakes. Maybe we successfully avoided that one?

                                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                  Or the pie trend might have just been delayed due to cronuts, cragels and bruffins....

                                                                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                    I'm a bit sad that we missed out on this one. But I'll make a pie or two tomorrow to drown my sorrows.

                                                                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                      Make it warm blackberry and serve it with cold vanilla ice cream ...and I will be right over with the fresh coffee!

                                                                                                      1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                        Foraged blackberries are even better.

                                                                                                        1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                          When I was a kid we used to roam the neighborhood and pillage blackberries and cherries and strawberries.

                                                                                                          1. re: grampart

                                                                                                            I used to pick blackberries off the bushes while riding through the country side. Though you did have to get off that horsey to get to the blueberries :-)

                                                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                                                              I still do it every summer at my *secret* spot 25 miles east of me here in N California. I can not roll out a decent pie crust but I still make a pie with them. I also either add a simple syrup or sugar them and serve over vanilla ice cream. I will be doing this until there are no more wild blackberry bushes for me to forage:) I have been doing this all over N California for decades. So worth it.

                                                                                                              1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                Oh my, the joy of finding a patch of blackberries!!

                                                                                                                Whenever I pick blackberries I have these dreams of baking cobblers and pies. But I usually get a bowl full and pour a bit of amazing cream over them. I say I'm going to do that just for my first taste of blackberries for the season, in honor of my father who loved it, but have that dish once and I'm lost to it for the entire blackberry season.

                                                                                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                  The reason I said "pillage" is that these goodies weren't growing wild and we did a lot of the pillaging after dark.

                                                                                                    2. re: Candy

                                                                                                      Trendy doesn't mean new. It means...trendy. Steep incline in the number of people who want/proclaim love/availability/etc. So, while kale has been around for quite some time, you see it and its products everywhere now.

                                                                                                      1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                        thank you. I did not mean to imply or state that kale; brussel sprouts; goat cheese and feta have not been around for a long time ~~ its just that they are on every menu I real it seems like, and that is what I thought of.

                                                                                                        I'll see something that looks good, served w/goat cheese and I'll say "no"

                                                                                                        Happens all the time these days, hence my answer.

                                                                                                      2. re: Candy

                                                                                                        My husband's grandmother makes several pies a week. They cut pie into 4-6 pieces and eat it after every meal.

                                                                                                        1. re: melpy

                                                                                                          I want this woman to be my neighbor, please.

                                                                                                          1. re: melpy

                                                                                                            Are they fruit pies? Oh how I would love to score an invite to their house. I have not had decent pie since my MIL left us in 1996.

                                                                                                      3. I actually feel everything should be farm-to-table. Never enough of that! Nothing makes more difference to a meal it seems like!

                                                                                                        1. BACON- It is not the duct tape of food!!! quit trying to fix your old tired menu by throwing bacon on stuff!

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                            Kid, I love bacon and I have fixed more sh*t with duct tape than most any man you'll ever meet, so, it is from that perspective that I offer my sincerest appreciation for your articulation - well put, my friend.

                                                                                                            1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                              "The duct tape of food"...GREAT comment! Totally agree-enough with the bacon.

                                                                                                            2. How did you miss "Comfort Food"? Leave the f*ckin' mac-n-cheese in the blue box on a shelf in the store. Thanks for taking short ribs out of the cheap meats category so that you can have a brainless prep in your restaurant and still charge thirty bucks for a plate. Ugghh!

                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                Could it be, perhaps, that the OP and many of us LIKE comfort food? And that we don't feel it's deserving of a near-obscenity laced rant?

                                                                                                                I'm curious about your use of the word "brainless" here?

                                                                                                                1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                                  Braising a collagen rich cut of flesh is incredibly brainless. Proportions, temperature, timing, etc are all incredibly fungible and forgiving. Sh*t, if the recipe said, place beef in a pot, add liquid, some salt, whatever spices you feel like, cover, and cook in the oven until the meat is tender to a fork, it would be sufficient.

                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                    it is -- but there are a lot of people who don't. know. how.

                                                                                                                    and damn, it's good.

                                                                                                                2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                  I wouldn't call meatloaf and mashed potatoes a trend. People have been eating those things for decades.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                    I have had the same reaction to many other things in this thread. I think people are bemoaning the fact that certain foods & beverages that have been around for a while have become popular to the point that they are no longer enjoyable. Except for a couple of things on the OPs original list, most of what he cites are foods or beverages that have been around forever, but have currently saturated the market. It's all cyclical and "everything old is new again" at some point.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                      Yeah, at Blue Plate specials for six bucks with over boiled "green" beans an a bottomless cup of diner coffee. Since September 11, and reinforced in the Fall of '08, they've been commanding at least twenty-nine and change in "real" restaurants.

                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                        There is an incredibly easy fix here. Don't order it if you think it is over priced.

                                                                                                                    2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                      I agree, add mack and cheese and short ribs (which I confess to loving) the list of overblown food trends.

                                                                                                                    3. Microbrewing - disagree. Why would having many more beers to choose from be a bad thing?

                                                                                                                      Confit - disagree. Honestly, I don't think I would consider this much of a trend anyway.

                                                                                                                      Cocktail Renaissance - I generally take my whiskey neat, but I don't have anything against cocktail making.

                                                                                                                      Liquid nitrogen - how much of this do you actually see? Ice cream made with liquid nitrogen tends to be good, though its also a needlessly expensive way to make ice cream. Cocktails made with liquid nitrogen seem to be mostly for show. But again, it isn't exactly common; it just gets a lot of press.

                                                                                                                      Artisanal - mostly a meaningless advertising buzzword. Though I still prefer to support small independent makers of high quality foods, which is what the word originally referred to.

                                                                                                                      Gluten free - seems overblown. Not much experience with it though.

                                                                                                                      Heritage breeds - again, what would you have against this?

                                                                                                                      Molecular gastronomy/Myhrvold - M.G. is already close to dead as a trend. And Myhrvold is not actually part of the M.G. movement (though he does incorporate/examine many of their techniques). I gather you probably haven't read his books.

                                                                                                                      Farm to table - also quick becoming a meaningless advertising buzzword at this point. As for its original meaning: locally grown specialties prepared freshly and simply... sure, count me in.

                                                                                                                      Sous vide - not going anywhere. A technique that's as good as the cook using it. Have you learned any more about it since last time you and I discussed the matter?

                                                                                                                      28 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                        Liquid nitrogen is not only an expensive way to make ice cream, it's inefficient when used to make ice cream to order. There is one of these places in SF which we tried once. First, there was a long wait to order because of a slow process and a long line. Then, after ordering only two servings, they couldn't manage to get them to come out anywhere near the same time.

                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                          You're basically missing my point across the board.

                                                                                                                          - When people are killing each other for $10 cans of Heady Topper then the micro brew thing is getting out of hand.

                                                                                                                          - When the term confit is used for stewed vegetables, no duckfat required (I have seen this more than once) than the term becomes meaningless.

                                                                                                                          - When it takes your artfully mustached barkeep 15 minutes to artisanally make a cocktail that doesn't actually taste that good, well we can cross two more off the list.

                                                                                                                          - I have no quibble with nicely raised old school breeds of hog per se, but when the discussion of the pork chop, and aunt betty who raised and home schooled little mangalitsa herself whilst singing Brahms to it every night is all spelled out in florid detail on the menu... then the heritage breed thing has gone too far.

                                                                                                                          - Like it or not, the molecular gastronomy trend and Nathan Myhrvold's self-indulgent vanity press tome have essentially fused in the popular psyche. They are both often mentioned together in the food press as parts of the modern / experimentalist / scientific (at least they both use gear more commonly found in a lab) trend in cooking.

                                                                                                                          But if you just posted to say nasty things in reply to my original post, your overall tone, is pretty unpleasant, well bon appetit!

                                                                                                                          1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                            Confit does not require duck fat.

                                                                                                                            1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                              In contemporary usage, until very recently it has generally referred to Confit of Duck. Strictly speaking according to the formal French definition of the term it is a way of preserving, well just about anything.

                                                                                                                              But what is served as confit in many restaurants is FAR from a true confit.

                                                                                                                              I see the term confit on menus these days used indescriminately/pretentiously to describe things that have clearly just been sauteed, or stewed.

                                                                                                                              That said, the term confit seems to be having it's moment in the sun. So I fully expect to see confit of oatmeal on the menu of the local greasy spoon some time soon.

                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                  "Cooking vegetables confit will achieve similar results—ultra tender texture, concentrated flavor—but takes far less time. Alliums—garlic, onions, and the like—make for a great confit condiment, and take about an hour to prepare, for instance."

                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                    My only point is that I have been served things that were clearly NOT confit (ted), but were called confit because that is the food trend of the moment. The duck fat comment was a bit off the mark.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                      Well, to that point, I have been served scrambled eggs that definitely were not properly scrambled. And omelets that definitely are not omelets made the correct way. And roast beef sandwiches that definitely are not made with slices of actually roasted beef. And grilled cheese sandwiches that were not grilled, just toasted. Etc., etc., etc. Just because a few restaurants do not prepare the food in the correct way it is touted on the menu does not mean a "trend" has to be done away with altogether.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                        agreed -- how about we rail against "me-too" restaurateurs who use whatever they deem to be the word o' the day without actually understanding what the word represents?

                                                                                                                                        "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. "

                                                                                                                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                I like and agree with your original list!
                                                                                                                                Seems like it's everything that might end up in a Portlandia skit.

                                                                                                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                  Your original post invited controversy. Listing as #1 Sous vide anything, to my mind, is ridiculous. I think you should stop frequenting the seemingly pretentious establishments you mention. jmho

                                                                                                                                  1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                    I eat at holes in the wall AND high end places.

                                                                                                                                    I'll admit to more often having satisfying meals at my local taqueria then at many of the new higher end places.

                                                                                                                                    When I do eat at a high end restaurant that serves beautifully prepared, delicious food, I love it.

                                                                                                                                    Here in Boston the level of pretense at many higher end restaurants often exceeds the quality of the food/service, which contributes to my overall world food view.

                                                                                                                                    That said, I stand by my comment that I think Sous vide anything has really jumped the shark.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                      I think your whole argument has "jumped the shark".

                                                                                                                                      1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                        I think the only time I actually saw sous vide anything on a menu was at STRIPSTEAK in Las Vegas. It was the best steak I have ever had but that may have been because of the quality of the meat.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                          "That said, I stand by my comment that I think Sous vide anything has really jumped the shark."
                                                                                                                                          Why? What exactly makes sous vide a poor technique that should be eschewed in all circumstances?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                            How has sous vide done that please?

                                                                                                                                          2. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                            I'm comfortable with sous vide as no. 1 overblown trend.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                Still waiting for anyone to make a compelling argument as to what exactly is wrong with sous vide (or any argument at all, actually).

                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                  I'm not going to make any argument. Have at it — it's your choice. The topic is whether it is "overblown." In my opinion, it is. It's just an opinion, there is nothing to be proved.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                    If someone posted: 'I ate braised food once - maybe twice now that I think of it - and I didn't like it, so in my opinion braising is overblown,' we would have the context to give their opinion the weight it's due. Your opinion is without context.

                                                                                                                                                    It has been my experience that the people who most readily complain about sous vide generally have very little knowledge of or experience with the technique. I would consider it overblown if it was either a poor technique or if it had become so ubiquitous that it was becoming difficult to find foods cooked via more traditional methods. Neither applies.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                              I understand your point - I just disagree with it. Which isn't a nasty thing to say. If you can't deal with controversy, don't court it.

                                                                                                                                              - If you have to invent extremes to paint a phenomenon (people *killing* each other for a can of HT), then maybe it's not as overblown as you'd like to claim. Maybe it's just a good beer - one of many.

                                                                                                                                              - 'Confit' doesn't mean what you think it means.

                                                                                                                                              - I already allowed that 'artisanal' is a useless buzzword in many cases, including your example. But are you claiming that the trend of paying renewed attention to detail in cocktail-making has resulted in worse-tasting cocktails? I'd disagree.

                                                                                                                                              - Again, when you have to make up exaggerations to show how overblown something is, it might not be so overblown in the first place. Where have you seen descriptions of animal husbandry anywhere near that overblown on an actual menu?

                                                                                                                                              - MG and Myhrvold might be equated in the popular psyche, but that doesn't make it true. More to the point, if you're going to call his book a 'self-indulgent vanity [project],' I'll again disagree. Why? Because it is large and expensive? Have you bothered to read it?

                                                                                                                                              While we're at it, what MG restaurants have you tried? There were never really that many MG restaurants around, and certainly never a ton of them doing the cuisine justice. There were, however, a bunch of New American and fusion joints that added in the occasional foam or dicked around a bit with sherification. Using one or two of Adria's techniques on a menu that's not otherwise given to MG does not make a restaurant 'molecular,' any more than including chorizo on a menu makes the restaurant Spanish.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                I've had Heady Topper. A buddy had a six and did not realize that he was holding onto 6 cans of the "beer du jour" that had generated it's own $10-a-can-gray-market here in Boston. It was a very good hoppy ale. I would drink it again. But it wasn't THE BEST. It certainly wasn't worth $10 a can at sort of retail.

                                                                                                                                                With regard to Confit, here is a great definition no duck fat required:

                                                                                                                                                I've eaten at Alinea. Some of it was delicious, some of it was silly, the tone was way to precious. Once was enough.

                                                                                                                                                Outside of the folks who took molecular gastronomy seriously, I completely agree, WAY too many chefs "dicking around" with foam, gellan gum and alginate. Half of it didn't even taste good.

                                                                                                                                                That you don't consider a 51 pound, essentially self-published-by-a-billionaire patent-troll cook book a "vanity project" is hysterical. If that isn't, what is?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                  "That you don't consider a 51 pound, essentially self-published-by-a-billionaire patent-troll cook book a "vanity project" is hysterical. If that isn't, what is?"

                                                                                                                                                  Answer: The Dallas Cowboys

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                    "That you don't consider a 51 pound, essentially self-published-by-a-billionaire patent-troll cook book a "vanity project" is hysterical. If that isn't, what is?"
                                                                                                                                                    It was also both highly profitable and extremely well made. Insult the author (one of them, anyway) all you like, but the books were high-quality and worthwhile.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                    We were lucky to have dinner at one of the Adria brothers restaurants in Barcelona. If I could eat that kind of food ALL THE TIME I could die happy. And it WAS a happy meal. No pretension.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                    I just have to pipe up and say that I am obsessed about where my food is sourced from. If I am dining out I want as much information as possible about what it is exactly I am about to consume. I do agree that some menu's are exceedingly grandiose and pompous in their presentation but many consumers take the hook and *buy* right into that marketing strategy. I myself appreciate food sources being listed on a menu.

                                                                                                                                                2. I disagree wit the OP saying it is impossible to confit vegetables.

                                                                                                                                                  Confit comes from the French verb confire (to prepare), The older usage of the words actually refers to cooking in oil or sugar water.

                                                                                                                                                  I know in today's usage it is almost synonymous with duck confit but there are other confits.

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mairebk1

                                                                                                                                                    I agree, upthread I have said as much.

                                                                                                                                                    Many restos use the term for veg that clearly have just been sauteed, because confit appears to be the "term du jour."

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                      so argue against the idiots who don't understand the word.

                                                                                                                                                  2. #5 Gluten Free

                                                                                                                                                    this drives me nuts - as every time some thing that is bad for some people trends as bad for all people

                                                                                                                                                    certainly labeling products so those who do suffer from celiac are able to make choices - and providing alternatives that work for them is great but I feel like "gluten free" is perceived as "healthier" I really don't get the whole war on carbs. Like "fat free" was years ago

                                                                                                                                                    Wheat gluten and bread making are fundamentals of human civilization - if there is a problem it is not with bread itself but how we make much of the bread we eat. There are lots of low quality wheat based products on the market this does not mean wheat itself is the enemy.

                                                                                                                                                    A gluten free muffin is not better for me than a traditional one, it is just yuckier.

                                                                                                                                                    1. My personal opinion on overblown is taking a fabulous looking pizza, burger, sandwich, etc and putting an egg on it. I love eggs, really. But they're getting tiresome.

                                                                                                                                                      43 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                                          Amazing!!! The best pizzas I've ever had have been in the last couple of years...with an egg on top. I love it when they ask if we want them to cut through or around the egg. Always through!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                I love egg on pizza and have yet to find it in the US. :(

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, you poor dear! I've had it in big cities. Earlier this year a new place opened in our town. It's a mere 10 minute walk for me. I went in the first time and saw the "add an egg to any pizza" on the menu and swooned. It was perfect. Just perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                    Where do you live?

                                                                                                                                                                    It's pretty wildly popular to do that in LA, and SF...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BacoMan

                                                                                                                                                                        Haven't found a single one in Florida.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                          I bet you'd find it in Miami. Shudder :)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                            but that would mean I'd have to go to Miami.

                                                                                                                                                                            I can make a pizza at home and put an egg on it.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                              I find that a WAY better alternative :) Or come to Tahoe.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                I'll get one in a couple of weeks -- I'll be back in Europe for work. :) :) :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                  Is there a particular country where it's common? I know you lived in France, a country I don't associate with pizza :) We'll be in Prague, Vienna and Budapest in about a month. Maybe have to go in search of pizza?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                    I've found it's pretty common in France, Belgium, and Germany...haven't been to Prague or Budapest, and have only changed planes in Vienna, so can't speak as to those.
                                                                                                                                                                                    French pizza (let's immediately clarify that I'm not talking about Pizza Hut or Domino's!!) tends to be very thin crust with very fresh ingredients -- very different from American pizza, but I generally like it. (there are clunkers everywhere...)

                                                                                                                                                                                    The place around the corner from where we used to live made one called, amusingly, l'Americain -- ground beef, *potatoes*, onions, cheese, and oregano -- recommended with a drizzle of barbecue sauce. They were utterly shocked when we told them that you would never find potatoes on pizza in the US...!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                      "They were utterly shocked when we told them that you would never find potatoes on pizza in the US...!"

                                                                                                                                                                                      Unless you dined at my house on pizza night.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                        y'know, I knew when I hit "reply" that someone would come back with a "yes, you can"...

                                                                                                                                                                                        But I'm pretty sure we can all agree that at a pizza restaurant, it's about as close to "never" as you can possibly get.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, no. I've been to lots of places with potatoes on pizza. Certainly nowhere near the majority of pizza places, but a potato-pesto pizza doesn't seem to be a rarity.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                          There's a place called Bar in New Haven, CT that adds mashed potatoes to some pies.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hah, my Italian wife often makes a potato pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, there are clunkers! The worst pizza of my life was in Paris. The little restaurant was packed too. People actually seemed to enjoy it. The pizza was so awful, we couldn't finish it. Me...not finishing pizza....almost impossible.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I still have no idea how they made everything about it taste crappy. Lol.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                              Come to Phoenix. Nice city not known for much besides the heat, so I'd like to nominate us for the "There's an egg on it!" capital of the world, haha :D

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                I know people love it, but I can't deal with the desert air - I was apparently programmed to only live in humid climates. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                So sure -- "Come to Phoenix: It's hot and dry, but we'll put an egg on it!"

                                                                                                                                                                                (spose the Visitor and Convention Bureau will buy it? Will the egg end up powdered?)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, no... the heat will keep it in a melted state, just like anything you left in your car :P
                                                                                                                                                                                  Btw, egg on pizza in not all over the place in Prague, but can be found. I highly recommend this place:
                                                                                                                                                                                  It's near the big central fruit market (someone can direct you). The pizza is superb, and while the menu isn't in English online, they'll have one there. I see a pizza with spicy salami and egg on it-- the Ungherese.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                    Very cool! Although the menu isn't in English, the pizza section at any rate is in Italian :) It sounds great and from a quick conversion reasonably priced. We'll be there for several days in early April and will have to check - haha - it out :) Thanks a ton.
                                                                                                                                                                                    PS: Have you posted about this on the regional board?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry, c oliver, I meant to respond to you with that part. No trip report yet. I've had so much going on since my December trip, but I need to get on it! And for more eggy goodness, definitely look out for the tartare in pubs as a beer snack. Egg on that for sure :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                        HAHA! Now you're talking. Tartare. Mmm. Thanks again.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                          Egg on pizza is heaven. Just heaven. Egg on burger...eh...no thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                            I love an over easy egg on a burger - delicious when the burger is cooked medium rare.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                                                                              But it sounds so messy!!

                                                                                                                                                                              Fine, fine, fine. Twist my arm. I'll try it.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                No messier than putting ketchup and mustard on a burger. The heat from the burger helps to solidify the yolk a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                            I like a lot of rich luxurious foods but I can not handle oozing egg yolk.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm guessing you don't like that in any way. Yes? So that's cool.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                I love rich foods but creamy egg yolk is too rich. It actually satiates my appetite almost immediately if I eat it. Hard boiled eggs too. However the pasta/ravioli dish with a whole egg yolk is on my food *bucket*list.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                              I guess I'm in the minority here. I don't mind it now and again, but I've found myself in a few situations (not high end or I would never ask) asking to not have the egg on items like pizza or a burger. Imho, you can possibly gild the lily a little too much.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                Well, it depends on the pizza for me. Too much gooey cheese with that egg yolk, and I agree. It can be a bit rich.

                                                                                                                                                                                I love an egg on a thin crust wood fired pizza, olive oil, coarse salt, pancetta and parm....mmmmm..... Even for breakfast ....with champagne.....

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                  And I do agree with this. If it's a perfect, true Neapolitan pie, with cheese here and there and some fresh basil, the egg kicks it up. Unfortunately, I've run into it on pies so cheesy they're greasy, all sorts of pig meat (which I truly love) and a fat ol' egg perched inside.
                                                                                                                                                                                  And that sounds like a dreamy breakfast :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree with both of you. A perfect Neapolitan pizza is enhanced by it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                      Nice to know what we're having for breakfast before our afternoon blackberry pie, sedimental.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd like a bit of spinach on that pizza, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                        Not spinach...'cuz kale is much more trendy ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                          Spinach and egg, regardless of prep, are a match made in heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Here's another... All the burger places on the order of In-N-Out, Smashburger, Five Guys, Shake Shack, ...

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not saying they aren't good (some are good!), just there are too many of those type of chains.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                      They are so easy to do, those kind of chains. That's why there are so many of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                        and if there's enough business to keep them all rolling, there's not too many of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                        There can *never* be too many of these...

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. I think food snobbery and "oh I'm sooo above xyz trend" is overblown. To each their own. Do food trends annoy me from time to time? Certainly. But not nearly as much as people bemoaning them. Sometimes it takes middle America longer to catch on to trends than we 'hounds. And that's fine. If you don't want to eat it, don't eat it. I, for one, tend to err on the optimistic side and think it's great that "average" people are getting excited about food. 'Nuff said.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. If your going to pull the microbrewing card . Then you have to say the same for wineries,and distilleries.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Most of these on the list has been around forever; they are not new trends. All it takes is for one person to harp on the subject and all of a sudden kale is "the" vegetable of the year. Give me a break.

                                                                                                                                                                                            None of these grates my nerves at all. I like some and some I don't. Those I have no interest in, I ignore. Those I like, I continue my interest but not because someone else likes it too. All things pass away sooner or later and something else will take it's place. It's not that serious...

                                                                                                                                                                                            Bacon is one of those things that have been draping other dishes since before this "new" trend came about..and will continue once, the trend is no longer new...thank God.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. My contribution:
                                                                                                                                                                                              1) Super heavy and greasy tonkotsu ramen
                                                                                                                                                                                              2) Nordic plating style... enough with the token nasturtium and inedible weeds for the sake of looking 'foraged/Nordic'
                                                                                                                                                                                              3) Foraging - are theses guys really 'foraging' or just buying off a farm
                                                                                                                                                                                              4) Organic - no way Walmart is sourcing that large volume of organic food..
                                                                                                                                                                                              5) $15-$20 priced 'small' plates. No wonder there are so many around, profit margins have gotta be terrific.
                                                                                                                                                                                              6) Misuse of the term 'Kobe' beef - probably old...
                                                                                                                                                                                              7) Overpriced food trucks - $10 for a sandwhich?!?!!?
                                                                                                                                                                                              8) Hipster holier than thou coffee joints!
                                                                                                                                                                                              9) Dirt of this and that

                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sgee

                                                                                                                                                                                                4 - While I'm no fan of Walmart, I believe there are very strict laws regarding the labeling of "organic."

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If anyone can change a shift in food, it's walmart. It takes land 3 years off of usual use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, to begin to be considered organic. The demand of organic has been around long enough for walmart to enter on most organic crops. The biggest companies have been switching over just to try to keep up with where the money is. People need to buy local more than anything to help the economy nearest to them first. As even local conventional food could be better than far away organic if eaten once bought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Keith141

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Excellent. And I get the fact that the organic 'label' can be an expensive thing to get so some farmers that are doing organic don't spend the money for the label.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've also made a decision. I have a local farm that has non-GMO eggs. But they aren't from pastured hens. I have another farm that's not labeled as non-GMO but their hens ARE pastured. I've chosen the latter for the huge nutritional benefit of those 'girls' Choices every day :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                      As there is no legal definition of wording like free-range and pastured, you can only find out the truth if you talk to an honest farmer or see the chickens. Technically, pastured could only be a choice of the chickens going outside on concrete--no joke. If you live where you can have chickens, get some! Chickens don't always make great choices on their own, they will really almost eat anything. No amount of greens and insects can make up for the volume of potentially bad grains they eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      My idea of the best chickens are fed non-gmo meal, greens, and insects. I hate that people think vegetarian chickens are a food thing. It's just not natural. Chickens will eat almost anything small enough that moves(not ants though), and will pick at anything bloody.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chickens are allowed in the city where I am. And while their movement is not what you would think of as a chicken on a farm, super-fresh eggs from an omnivore chicken are the way to go. I raise mealworms for the chickens, and that with the other insects they find when they get some roam time, I think makes them happier and lay tastier eggs. People that have chickens often have too many eggs, so look around locally from people too, But some people use too much non-nutritional rice or discounted/free bread, so always find out what you're eating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Keith141

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "I hate that people think vegetarian chickens are a food thing."

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you! This really annoys me too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Keith141

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Excellent info! The farm I buy from, through our local co-op, has the chickens out all day with the cows. They go into a mobile coop at night for protection. And they get moved around as the cows do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I believe you meant to say "good" thing or rather NOT a good thing regarding a vegetarian diet for chickens. That's NOT how it should be at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. #10 made me quite a nice living several times over the years.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  #8 makes me a very nice living right now, and I like it a lot.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  #7 is just plain fun, and useful for certain things.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  #3 can be lots of fun, but also impractical, depending.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 8. Without the guidance of people on the Spirits board and my own discovery of new/old cocktail renaissance. I wouldn't have nearly the palate or knowledge of alcohol I do now. As for being overblown not in this area, let me tell you it's all beer selling pubs or "-tini' places.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. $40 bottles of vodka...As the prophet said: There's one born every minute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Many years ago, the American culinary consciousness, fueled by a burgeoning literary class, had a massive appreciation for a classic Continental dish, know to all as "Langue dans joue". It brought great joy to gastronomes from The City to the Golden Gate, it was a source of glee for those who loved food in The Onion City and Beantown. It even left smiles on the lips adjacent to the most discriminating palates in every Blue Highway cafe in the land.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Apparently, appreciation for such a simple pleasure has been lost in a sea of glowing plastic-screened reports of social media trends, wardrobe malfunctions, and "foodie finds". Much like the way the rise of corporate chain, fast food fare that has overtaken the Interstate Highway system has ballooned to the detriment of regional subtlety, it appears that a significant proportion of the population has permitted personal preferences to prevent recognition of gentle farce. Have we all been so blinded by the flashes of friend's phones photographing food?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        If any of the foregoing may have been lost on anyone, let me be a bit less opaque: Lighten up, folks. This is fun. Who cares if you like anything Striper listed? The fact is, there are lots of things that have been blown out of proportion by our culture and it's ok to laugh at ourselves occasionally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        BTW - What do you guys think Kim K will wear to the Oscars? I know all the buzz is Vera, but I'm thinking' she'll surprise us all with some lesser known designer. Oh, and Jennifer Lawrence so DESERVES TO WIN!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you. Of course part of my whole rant was just havin fun... Have you read "Absurdistan?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have not, but, I recently dreamed, while logged in, that I lived there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Who says arguing in favor of the trend du jour is any less fun than arguing against it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. I am not big on molecular gastronomy, sous vide, or liquid nitrogen (as a personal preference). I don't know if those things are overblown or not because I tend to eat at places that don't offer them. I am not too interested in trying those techniques at home, although I did get a molecular cocktail kit as a gift... how trendy is that? .....It has been really fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The rest of those items, I really enjoy them and are happy that they are on offer in so many places from chain stores to "hole in the walls" to high end dining. I like it all. Yay for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I wouldn't consider microbrewing or confit a 'trend'. People have been doing it for ages......

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Fermented anything is rapidly becoming over done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. The Farm to Table thing annoys me somewhat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Historically, farm to table was the default for your average peasant. They ate what they produced, and if they didn't produce they didn't eat. Poor people in the city generally got farm to table, but only things that didn't spoil too badly as they came into the city (and the definition of "too badly" could get pretty gross.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eating imported stuff was mostly the province of the well to do, and was often a status symbol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now, it's pretty much reversed. Your average poor person is eating the imported, processed stuff because that's what's cheap and available. It's the well to do who are eating locally sourced, know the name of the meat you are eating food, and then being smug about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Then there's the math. Take the population of New York City, about 8 million people. Now try to feed that population on locally sourced, farm to table food. It doesn't work, because the density of people is too high- you can't produce enough food nearby. (And for what it's worth, the same was true in Rome at the height of the Roman empire). So farm-to-table, locally sourced will continue to be the domain of a privileged few.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I appreciate what you wrote. But why does it annoy you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The smugness that tends to go with people proselyting about it - a "We're so enlightened" attitude that doesn't take into consideration that they are actually quite privileged to be able to choose to eat that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Guess I'm lucky that I've not experienced that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Read anything by Michael Pollan. You will see it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I read "Omnivore's Dilemma" and thought it was brilliant. I just don't feel like anyone is looking down on others and saying that everyone must/can eat like that. After reading that book I only felt slightly guilty for a short period of time for not becoming a vegan :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh my goodness! Someone who thinks rationally about food production. As someone who lives in NYC, I've had arguments about what it would mean for NYers to live off food sourced locally within 100 miles. You would have to level all the suburbs (maybe not a bad idea). Turn everything into farmland and even then, only the wealthy would have enough to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In a farm to table economy, many people didn't have much to eat. Remember the war on poverty?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Farm to table concept is a upper middle class conceit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You're only arguing against a kind of militant locovorism (the kind which holds that EVERYONE should ONLY eat locally raised foodstuffs) which not many people actually espouse. Many people just eat local when they can and to the degree they can afford. Though you're of course correct that many areas couldn't support a population that ONLY ate locally grown food and that the price of such food is prohibitive for the poor, the reality is that prices are not truly prohibitive for the lower middle class at this time (depending somewhat on your area) because the demand just isn't that high. The people I know who are most into local foodstuffs (buying into CSA, sourcing directly from farmers, etc) aren't actually rich or even wealthy - they're cooks and waiters. They're people who care inordinately about food and make some sacrifices on that front.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And arguing against locovorism on the basis of food prices and 'what about the poor' is even more problematic than that when you consider the economics of food production. One of the upsides of paying more for locally grown foods is that it pulls money away from the big agriculture model where huge swaths of the workforce are paid below-subsistence wages while relatively few make enormous profits, and puts money instead into the local economy and smaller businesses, where the profits are spread more equitably. If you care about the 'war on poverty,' supporting small businesses is a lot more effective than enforcing rock bottom prices, when those low prices just mean someone else in the supply chain is taking it in the neck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            cowboy, you said what I would never have had the skill to do. Thanks. And plus one :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I’m going to give another boring lecture. I have a pretty good background in the commodity markets. I am all for eating locally sourced products and in season produce/vegetables. I still remember a local summer peach that I ate from a stand in La Spezia. It was the platonic essence of what a peach is. However, those who argue against large scale commercial farms don’t understand the economics of food production for a large population. I’m am not defending agro business. I’m just saying that large scale capital intensive farming is needed to make affordable food available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In 1940 the average production of wheat was 14.1 bushels per acre. I’ve picked this date as it represents a time before large scale industrialization of the US and farming. Mechanization was used but the giant combines had yet to come. In 2013 the yield per acre had jumped to 47.2 bushels or a 335% increase. This happened because of better technology. Better machinery, fertilizer, irrigation, weather forecasting and better understanding of farming in general. The technology for farming is capital intensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Let assume a city of 8,000,000 people at the center of a circle with a radius of 100 miles. That 987 square miles or 631,658 acres. Based on the 1940 production, that would result in 8.9 million bushels of wheat or using 2013 productivity, 29.8 million bushels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Per capita wheat consumption in the US is about 130 pounds so with a bushel weighing about 60 pounds, about 2.2 bushels. So just looking at wheat consumption and ignoring all other food items, the city of 8 million needs 17.6 million bushels of wheat. So 1940 production could not meet the wheat needs but 2013 could. However, that estimate assumes there is nothing else being done with the land in the 100 mile circle for any other purpose. No roads, homes, towns, suburbs, parks, trees, streams, lakes. Nothing other than wheat fields.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The percentage of arable land in the US is about 17%. So if you assume the same percentage of arable land for the circle, wheat production drops to 1.5 or 5 million bushels. People are starving. Even if you more than double the arable land to 50% you have production of either 4.5 or 14.9 bushels. People are still starving in the city.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The people of this city are living a malnourished life subsisting on bread/pasta/etc. No meat or any produce or fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As to the economics of small family run farms? I have a friend and his wife who gave up their jobs and bought a farm a few hours outside of a major city. They bought into the whole idea of farm to table. They’re struggling mightly to make ends meet. Right now, it looks like they’re going to lose the farm to the bank as they can’t make enough from the CSA, farmer’s market and other sales. I think the only way you can survive as a small scale farmer is to start with family owned land. Buying and working it yourself is a tough business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My point is that capital intensive agriculture away from population centers is necessary to feed large numbers of people. Obviously the way that is done can use improvement. But to think we can all live full and happy lives based on locally grown food is a denial of the reality of farming. It fine if you disagree and all I can say is that if that world does come to pass, I will still share my meager rations at a chowhound meet dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Is anyone here saying that we can all eat local all the time? If so, then I'm in disagreement with them. But the fact that we can't shouldn't be an excuse to not do what we can reasonably do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mea culpa. Just realized I have some bad math in here but it doesn't change my basic argument. I will post correct numbers when I have a chance. Serves me right for trying to simplify this. I am embarrassed that I incorrectly calculated the area of a circle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't like the smugness either and clearly its not possible for everyone in large cities to be committed locavores (Rat and pigeon would be NYC's ultimate local protein source though) I do though feel privileged to live in a region with excellent dairy, produce and meat and enjoy the opportunity to experience these things. As generic and global has become the norm the F2T allows a bit of luddite fantasy into our lives. Weather it is going to a restaurant or shopping at a farmers market it can be enjoyable to feel just a bit of connection to time and place. Indeed it is a middle class conceit but I don't think it is a bad one. Nobody really can eat like that all the time but that does not mean you should not do it some of the time. I am also grateful for refrigerated transport that brings good wine and citrus etc. You can enjoy something without making a religion of it. I don't want to spend all winter subsisting on dried apples and corn meal ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't think this trend will remotely hurt big AG but it will undoubtedly help the remaining small farmers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. - Counter dining at high end restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Restaurants with capitalized acronyms in their name

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Speck, beets, fingerling potatoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You're darn right! Speck can be wonderful. But Germans don't go all crazy for speck the way many Americans have gone bonkers for bacon, do they?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's generally not prepared for breakfast the way bacon is here, no.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But it makes many appearances diced, or wrapped around things..... or raw like lardo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: johnblacksox

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know what you would include in "high end," but I like counter seating at a good restaurant. If there is more of it, that's a good thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            eating by yourself is less of an exercise in being a pariah if there's a communal table or a counter. I like it, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We love bar and counter seating at high end restaurants, and unless it's a special occasion, always choose it. You have a somewhat captive wait person and I find the service to be less stodgy and much more personal. Plus, at the places we frequent in NYC, we have come to know the staff and our loyalty pays off in different ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love counter seating anywhere. I dine alone now and again, and appreciate the more personal service. And I hate the feeling of sitting at a table with the feeling that "look at me, I'm alone" is written on my forehead. Party of one shouldn't equate subpar food, ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Gluten Free, can never be overdone. The backbone of most european and american food is wheat. Diversifying is the way to go. And there's people that don't have an actual allergic reaction to gluten, but a symptom of the damage it can cause in some people's small intestine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GMO-Free can be important as it is still unknown what these foreign proteins in the gmo foods will do to us in the long run.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Organic, pesticide, and/or herbicide free all can be important to us to try to find out what is causing all these allergies in people, young kids, or babies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bacon, nowhere please
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Beef, I don't want beef flavor in anything
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pork, I don't want pork flavor in anything
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              veganism - we are omnivores
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Artificial flavors in everything
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Artificial colors in everything

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Keith141

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm fascinated by the beef and pork notations. You're an omnivore but don't want beef or pork flavor in anything. What does that mean please?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You could technically call me a semi-vegetarian. I haven't ate mammals since 13. The taste of the two were never good to me. While it's pretty rough for me to eat pig or cow because of the smell, I would consider eating sheep and goats or anything gamey, if I knew they weren't factory farmed, and ate only non-gmo though their life. And another thing I want to avoid is excess costs in meat(dollar, water, crop, fuel-wise, etc), so even poultry and fish is rare. I only want, what I want, and it's not ever the cheapest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So I'm one that spends excess time reading labels in stores when I'm not shopping around the edges. I'm often saddened knowing factory farmed beef flavor was added to something or that the only varieties of something is pork(like tamales, but I make my own).Lamb was the one thing that was never bad, but very rare to have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Keith141

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You have an awful lot going on there. If you don't like the taste of something, vaya con dios, and likewise non-GMO/non factory farmed etc. And by all means read labels. However, as a concept or moral principle I don't get eating sheep but not pigs, even though I have no interest in yucking your yum (or yumming your yuck). And I'm also with linguafood-beef and pork are in no way trends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Oh, and #12, people with ridiculous dietary restrictions.