As we ring out the old year, and bring in the new, I've been mulling over several food trends I'm really happy to kiss goodbye. Things I don't want to eat, drink or even think about anymore. I'm sure I've missed some of your "favorite" duds, so please feel free to jump in and add them in the comments section. (For a post on all the foods I really hate, go here.)
Kombucha’s been touted as “the new yogurt,” by the probiotics crowd, but since this so-called “health” drink is sour, slimy and looks like pond scum, I’m inclined to dub it “the new sludge” instead. Few medical experts think that the gut flora replenishing and energy boosting claims have much merit. And considering that nasty gelatinous glob of microorganisms floating on top I don’t see how this grim brew can be promoted as a “perfect alternative to coffee, tea, beer, or soda,” and sold for $3 a bottle with a straight face. But maybe it’s just me—I get squirmy just watching those Jamie Lee Curtis Activia commercials.
I’m not sure that eating insects really was a hot 2011 food trend except on “Fear Factor,” but the Huffington Post said so here, so it must be true. Even if, as is claimed, insects are good for you, full of protein, and have low environmental impact, I’m not going to grow a crop in my garden this year, at least not on purpose. Should any creepy-crawlies turn up, I won’t be cooking ‘em. And hopefully nobody else will be in 2012. Aren’t insects for the birds?
I know cucumber quaffs were trendy in 2011 because I kept hearing and reading about them and was even treated to a too-cool cucumber margarita earlier this year at a culinary conference. Neither I, nor the tequila, was happy about it. And I’ll bet the inventor of the margarita was appalled. I don’t even think the cucumber was pleased. The most positive thing I can tell you is that the concoction was green. And you know what Kermit said about that.
Bacon in Everything
I like bacon, even love good wood-smoked bacon. Tucked into a BLT, or livening up a potato chowder, or paired with a stack of hot cakes or scrambled eggs, a few crispy slices are one of the hog’s great gifts to humankind. But in caramels and cookies? On hot fudge sundaes and coconut cream pies? Yeah, these dishes are not really bad with bacon, but if you like a nice hit of salty or smoky, add some roasted, salted, smoked nuts instead. They won’t garner any media attention or earn trendiness points, but they deliver more crunch and less grease. (My proof: I tried, really tried to make bacon cookies, and every time they came out better when I replaced the bacon with nuts.) In 2012, let's vow to keep bacon where it belongs.
The gourmet food peeps claim that all those new, exciting, crispy chips concocted from pinto beans, naan, peas, mung beans, kale and wild rice made ordinary potato chips passé in 2011. If that’s so, Lord, I hope that the spud ones bounce back in 2012. (Which seems likely ABC News predicts that 2012 will be a big year for the potato. Really?) IMHO, nobody ever invented a better vehicle for ingesting salt, fat, carbohydrates, and calories than the plain old potato chip. In the spirit of not messing with a good thing, I’m skipping the Madagascar sea-salted, artisanal barbecue, copper-kettle-cooked, chipotle-lime versions of potato chips, too. Why not join me, and we can make this a hot 2012 trend?