10 Food Trends I Want to See Die in 2013

10 Food Trends I Want to See Die in 2013

So I really contemplated writing this post and wasn’t going to do it, but then I gave in to temptation (thanks for the Twitter encouragement – you guys know who you are). Then I contemplated actually posting the post, and who knows, maybe I’m still under the influence of the somewhat unexpectedly inspiring Lady GaGa concert over the weekend… but regardless I did it. This post is sparked by 11 Food Trends That Need To Die In 2013 by BuzzFeed.com.

As I mentioned in my Top 10 Vancouver Food Trends 2013, almost all “food trends” are just recycled ideas from the past with modern “twists”, so I’m not even keen on the “food trend” concept to begin with. Ironically, the term “food trend” could die too. Anyway I don’t want to offend anyone, but I also know I’m going to offend someone. My humour might be misinterpreted or not funny, but that’s okay.

This post is all in good fun… maybe more fun for me than you, unless you can’t wait to see these food trends die too. I don’t really want to see them “die”, but I wouldn’t mind seeing less of them… or I’ll settle for less hype around them too. Almost nothing was invented yesterday and most “trends” have been around for years if not centuries.

Just because it’s a “trend” it doesn’t mean it isn’t good either, but I just think these 10 food trends are overplayed and tiresome. They don’t affect me so I shouldn’t really care, but I do… well just enough to write this post. Everyone has an opinion and this is mine.

10 Food Trends I Want to See Die in 2013

Listed in no particular order.

Bacon Pops

1. Bacon

Okay, I think I just heard a crowd boo me louder than the crowd who booed Beiber at the Grey Cup. But c’mon guys! It’s always been there! Enough with these “bacon gods” and “bacon making everything better”. Yes, bacon is good, but it doesn’t have to go on everything! Before you think I’m hating on bacon, I’m not (except for the poor quality cheap stuff).

I’m hating on how bacon has become the easy solution to make things taste better when they’re not good to begin with. Or when it’s added to things for no reason… like a perfectly good martini.

I will retweet Bobby Flay’s parody account: “@AngryBobbyFlay: Throwing bacon on your piece of shit dinner doesn’t make it delicious, it makes it a piece of shit dinner with bacon on it”. Agreed.

We upset the “bacon gods” long time ago by using them as sprinkles on cupcakes. Yes, I still like some bacon desserts, but let’s try something else now. I get it. Bacon! Yay! Okay, now let’s move on. How about crispy chicken skin? Or Peking duck skin? Or crispy prosciutto? Let’s think outside of the bacon box.

Edible Canada BC Market (16)

2. Comfort Food with a Twist

This one has been going for at least a few years. Nostalgic food. Everyone loves comfort food and so do I, but lobster mac ‘n cheese, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, and crab pot pie are becoming so predictable. Or did I make a mistake? Is it not lobster mac ‘n cheese anymore? Then let me guess, it’s truffle oil mac ‘n cheese. There is no longer a “twist” when everyone is doing the same thing and now I just miss good old fashioned comfort food.

Sometimes that $20 burger or $20 mac ‘n cheese tasted like $2 too. It is a free pass for us “adults” to order off the children’s menu without being judged. The food is disguised and because we make wages instead of allowances it comes with an adult price tag too… and now I am uncomfortable with comfort food.

By the way, truffle oil isn’t that exciting either – see my post here.

Dirty apron Delicatessen (14)

3. Communal Tables/Long Tables

Your hand crafted wooden table from that old oak tree is gorgeous, but maybe I don’t want to sit next to Cindy or Joe. And very likely they don’t want to sit next to me either. My photo taking, obsessive analysis of food and attempt to dissect its history can be annoying. Let’s give everyone some space. And who are we kidding? Nobody is socializing with the randoms around them… unless someone is taking his or her sweet time with the communal barrel aged hot sauce. “Hey, are you done with that?”

And when it’s benches instead of chairs I feel like I’m in an outdoor prison or high school cafeteria. I’ll also admit I am lazy. Having the centre seat at a very long table sucks.

Sidecut Steakhouse Whistler (31)

4. Smoked Everything

I listed it in my Top 10 Food Trends for 2013 post and I’m already slightly tired of it. Do I still want a professional grade smoker for my home? Yes; but sometimes smoked ice cream isn’t necessarily.

foooamPhoto from Gizmodo

5. Poorly Executed Molecular Gastronomy

I know some of you wouldn’t mind seeing the whole molecular gastronomy thing die, but it might be because most of the time they are not being done right. Runny and watery foams, spheres that turn to gels instead of holding delicious juices, food that doesn’t taste like food, and sauces that are made into gels which should have stayed as sauces, the list goes on and on about why “molecular gastronomy” has gotten a bad reputation. However chefs who have practised the techniques and know how to do it properly, and use it with purpose, deserve some credit. It’s all about execution and just knowing what the heck you’re doing and more often than not it’s in the wrong hands.

 

GF

6. Gluten Free

I think I just pissed off a lot of people… or had loaves of bread thrown at me. I understand if you are celiac or have a serious intolerance with gluten and I sympathize for you; but there is a large majority of people using it as an excuse to go on a diet without saying they are on a diet. If I was celiac I would be a bit insulted that my unfortunate and very serious disease was a trend some people were pretending to have. There are pros and cons to gluten free and it is sad some do not have the choice.

Yes, gluten does not have many nutritional benefits, but avoiding it means cutting out many foods that contain gluten with nutritional value. Also, you might be thinking you are cutting out carbs and losing that “wheat belly”, but quite often gluten free products have more fat and sugar and less fiber and iron than products containing gluten. Gluten free is not “bad”, but it sure welcomed big corporations to profit off you nicely. And how did gluten free labelling get approved before GMO labelling?!

Recipe-to-Riches-Canadian-Pie7. Food in Mason Jars

For those of you who know this blog I should be one of the last to talk about this. I was the one who made Canadian Pie In-A-Jar on Food Network’s Recipe to Riches Season 1, but that was in 2011 (technically taped in 2010)! I didn’t invent the idea, but it worked and held everything together. Yes it’s cute, all vintage and environmentally friendly, and I know it would taste the same in a cup, jar, or bowl, but I actually miss seeing a good old bowl. Unless it is a gift, or filled with jam or actual preserves, or people are taking it to go, or it is from some roadside country farm in the South, the mason jar thing is not necessary and old news.

Judas Goat Taberna (2)

8. Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

It replaced the spinach and strawberry salad. This went from “trend” to a staple salad found on nearly every North American menu at any time of the year. I love beet and goat cheese salad, but it could use a makeover or some creativity. Are there no other cheeses that go with beets other than goat cheese? Are there no other nuts than walnuts? And are there no other vinaigrettes than balsamic or sherry in the winter and raspberry in the summer? I know some of you have changed up the nuts or are maybe using seeds, but still…

Olive et Gourmando Montreal (27)

9. Salted Caramel/Burnt Caramel

*Yawn*. Salted caramel ended even before big coffee chains started making mochas out of it. I’m not saying it isn’t good, I’m just saying we can stop obsessing over it. A lot of caramel recipes have always used salt, but now it is just more of it and they are not afraid to advertise “salt” in the title. Now your sodium intake can balance out your sugar intake.

Instead of salted caramel or burnt caramel I’d just like to see a well made caramel that is actually caramelized and not just liquid sugar or made with cheap GMO corn syrup. Also accidentally burning the caramel and calling it “burnt caramel” doesn’t work.

Salted caramel is not creative or interesting anymore. What’s creative is finding other ways to bring salt/savoury factors to caramels besides using the obvious. Personally I think places like Theo’s Mirepoix Savory Caramels nails it. They are the future of the “salted caramel” and even their video gets me excited!

See my article about “The Obsession with Salted Caramel” which includes salt alternatives.

X

10. The Bad A** Chef

This isn’t a food trend, but a trend in the culinary scene. I like Bourdain, but I’m tired of the chefs aspiring to be celebrity chefs trying to be the next Bourdain… or David Chang or Joe Beef boys etc. Many chefs and “foodies” want to be Bourdain, but the truth is nobody is Bourdain except for Bourdain. Excessive swearing, giving the finger, hardcore drinking, chain smoking and the “I’m too cool for school” or “I know it all” attitude just makes you come off  as an overly aggressive or cocky _____. It makes anyone doing it for no reason come off as one.

A few other trends too early/sensitive to list now: eventually everything I listed in Top 10 Food Trends of 2013 and Top 10 Food Trends 2012.

The following list will open a can of worms and they are much more controversial, but someone has to set them free… and I’m not first to say it.

  • “The BEST food” and lists – I’ve done them… while cringing. There is no such thing because food is subjective, personal and relative to what you have tried. Se my full opinion here.
  • “Food reviews”  unless you go to a restaurant over and over again and order every single thing on the menu every single time, is there such thing as a “review”? Most of us (including me) are just giving our personal restaurant experiences.
  • Eating local – of course I want to support local businesses and I DO NOT want to see this “trend” die, but sometimes global ingredients/products taste better; and without export/import everyone would be cooking the same thing with no global influences.
  • The word “natural” – which is just a buzz word now. It is green-washing in another form. The US Food and Drug Administration has not even developed a definition for the use of the term – see here.
  • Eating organic – yes it is a good thing and I DO NOT want to see this “trend” die either. It’s great to be educated about organics, but it’s often hard to participate without the $$$ and it isn’t a movement easily accessible for all social classes.

64 Comments

  • Nicole says:

    I love how you speak your mind <3 really though..how did gluten free labeling become such a easy transition on packaging..and we have to fight for a little gmo free label?? So sad..so is bacon toffee out too?? Lol…

  • LotusRapper says:

    Love this post, thanks Mijune. You really know how to nail it without pretense nor ambivalence, and you’re pretty much speaking on behalf of many of us 🙂

    A few trends (recent or long-established) I’d like to see go bye-bye:

    1) appies or desserts served on a porcelain soup spoon;

    2) dotting, swirling of sauces on a plate’s periphery;

    3) balancing of that single sprig of chive on a stack of food;

    4) exclusive use of square and/or rectangular plates and bowls by some restos to convey “sophistication” [gag me with a porcelain soup spoon ……]

    5) serving food (or bevvies) on a wooden board. Okay if you’re eating at Burgoo. Or actually in Oklahoma ……. 😉

  • LotusRapper says:

    Waiting for KimHo to chime in ……… 😉

  • Your rant on bacon made me laugh.

  • KimHo says:

    From your, ahem, “list”…
    2) Comfort food, I believe some “twists” are fine; however, I feel some of these twists are added fanciness just to make you pay more $$$. For example, grilled cheese sandwich with other cheeses or different breads or something stuffed with it. That is fine. Adding (synthetic) truffle oil to a mac and cheese…
    3) Long tables, have no problem if it is intended as shared space. See some ramen shops in Vancouver. I believe the problem is perception: some people believe such large table is solely intended for their use if they sat there first.
    4) Smoked… It should stop in either BBQ or to preserve food.
    6) Gluten free, you don’t have to be nice here and just say any allergen as an excuse to be picky or to participate in the next food fad.

    The “best” and “list” thing is usually something pushed by people who have short attention span and, rather than read the why, they just look at the list and go for it. Of course, it takes away the reasoning why some things were listed.

    The word review has been abused and twisted in some odd ways. Unfortunately, it is a matter of perception now what that is intended.

    Overall, despite you are somewhat cringing about it, I think this is quite a good “list”.

  • Scott says:

    Your entire list made me smile! I remember when I was living on the East Coast and sun dried tomatoes were all the rage. They were everywhere and turned into everything. Enough already! The same was happening with Chipotle peppers. I love Chipotle but chipotle everything common?

    Great list and I think you justified your list with great explanations.

  • LotusRapper says:

    @Scott – I remember that (sundried tomatoes) trend, LOL.

    I think truffle oil usage is abused, often just to jack up prices.

    Using other cheeses or breads for grilled cheese sandwich is not criminal in my view, if the intent is to showcase a signif. improvement and not for mere sake of making a “twist” and charging $15 for it or something.

    Hey Kim, what do you think of DougieDog’s $100 Dragon Dog ?
    http://dougiedog.com/press/

  • KimHo says:

    LR, sorry, didn’t see your first comment. Now, if I were to write a list of trends I wish it died, I might end up pissing Mijune and… Well, you know! 🙂

    But, how about I put some, just for kicks? 🙂

    1) Mislabelling (whether intentional or not). Quick example? “Kobe” beef.
    2) No reservations. Yes, Vij’s, we get it. But time is gold; I would rather do something else than lining up outside your restaurant. Efff…
    3) Overpriced sandwiches. There is a limit as to how much I am willing to pay for a sandwich, you know…
    4) Overpriced food trucks. OK, you had your run with the food truck hype. Can you start now serving “cheaper” food (compared to sit-down restaurants)? After all, you don’t provide much in term of facilities…

    As for grilled cheese, I am OK with some other cheese, such as mozzarella, gouda or havarti. But, yes, cheddar has to be in it! In terms of bread, I do give some flexibility, such as using a banh mi type baguette, in lieu of white bread. But no to brioche, as it changes the flavour profile.

    Dougie Dog’s $100 hot dog is nothing more than a publicity stunt.

  • Linda says:

    great list Mijune!!! I’d also add foams, I really hate foams lol

  • Mijune says:

    @Linda – thank you! That goes under “poorly executed molecular gastronomy”… Hamid does foam, but he does them well and with application! Most of the time foams are just done really poorly.

  • Mijune says:

    @KimHo – wow. Finally something we agree on!
    1) Agreed.
    2) I’m on the fence with this because they want to be a neighbourhood restaurant where resos don’t need to be made… but I guess when you’re so busy and have no room for the neighbourhood there is no difference.
    3) Fair… depends what’s in it.
    4) I read an article that their operation costs and almost the same as restaurants…. but I agree that if I’m paying more than $10 – I’d like a chair.

    I love brioche, but because i like sweet and savoury.

  • Mijune says:

    @Nicole – you are so sweet! I know many of you are thinking the same thing and I just had to get it out. Bacon toffee can work, but all with application! I’ve surely enjoyed it on ice cream before, but there are other salty things to use in toffee besides bacon too 🙂 There is a market for bacon toffee though. x

  • Mijune says:

    @LR – Thank you LR. I have to admit it was fun to write. Thank you for reading and adding! I agree with #1-5. I’m ok with #1 if it’s a catering event or an amuse bouche.

  • Mijune says:

    @Foodie Stuntman – couldn’t help it. 🙂

  • Mijune says:

    @KimHo – I’m very surprised you have nothing to argue… but thank you!!

  • Mijune says:

    @Scott – oh good! Monday’s suck, so I’m happy this made you smile. I can’t stand “lists” to begin with, but I REALLY can’t stand lists with no explanations. And totally agree with sundried tomaotes… Italians must have hates us. And chipotle peppers is STILL going on.. chipotle mayo… stop. Thanks for reading Scott!

  • LotusRapper says:

    @Mijune – agree, for some occasions the soup spoon is well-suited for.

  • Mijune says:

    @LR – Well said.

  • Phanyxx says:

    I’m digging this list. Couldn’t agree more that Bacon is played-out like moustaches at this point..

  • Andrew says:

    Nice article! I don’t know if I agree with bacon going away…. its bacon! Its yum. I don’t mind at All if it pops its way into certain dishes.

    And Mijune, communal tables: I don’t think they are meant for Vancouver. Honestly, I have had great times in LA, Portland, Seattle at communal tables. In Vancouver, no one talks to anyone else. We’re a cold cold people here. So I do agree, get rid of them here.

    And I hate gluten free 😉

  • LotusRapper says:

    @Andrew, I can’t help but totally agree with you. Vancouver is *not* a friendly city in that sense, contrary to what many travel/tourism surveys suggest. We can be quite helpful, when asked, but we’re not friendly in terms of making eye contact, saying random hello or smile to a person walking past you on the sidewalk, etc. Which is why we almost always prefer to travel stateside for leisure, as I find the Americans’ warmth and un-inhibited openness inviting and endearing, especially in the service & hospitality sector. Here, many folks who work in those sectors treat customers as if they’re doing the customers a huge favor.

    Sorry to rant 🙁

  • loved this article! And agreed with most of it…i’ll admit, i’m still a sucker for salted caramel..love the combination..always have and always will. But love to try new and delicious flavours too. Anything overplayed gets to be a bore! Travelled to Italy this past summer and what i loved the most? Each restie we visited was just about good food..no airs and absolutely no gluten free GASP!!!, just unadorned, darn good food served with a little italian love!!

  • Mijune says:

    @Laurel Edwards – aw thank you for commenting! lol Italy going gluten free would make headlines!! The pope would have a heart attack *touch wood*. I like salted caramel too! In fact I just had it yesterday, but just annoyed when people make a big deal out of it like it’s the newest thing 🙂 As you said “Anything overplayed gets to be a bore!”.

  • bruce says:

    Every chef should learn to cook with their own voice. Whatever they wish to embrace should become their “style” But only after much time, dedication and learning behind the stoves. The trend I am most tired of is people with a little experience thinking they are the next Escoffier without the technique to back it up. This is why we get repetitive beet salads, bad MG, and dodgy ideas being stolen by people of little talent or imagination.
    Lets see some fresh, clean cooking with good ingredients and some proper technique in 2013.

  • Nell says:

    Hi Mijune,

    I agree with your Gluten Free rant. My sister-in-law is a severe celiac (diagnosed with a proper blood test) and had to clear her entire home of gluten, i.e. new cutting board, wooden mixing spoons, etc. She has to make most of her own foods and is appreciative of the increasing abundance of gluten free products available. So she has a love/hate perspective of gluten free items. It is easier for her when travelling and doesn’t have to starve or pack slabs of cheese and rice crackers but many places serving gluten free dishes are not careful about cross-contamination. If they are serious about serving gluten free, not one little crumb can come in contact with the GF food. Believe me, my sister-in-law has spent enough time in emergency to know the agonizing results.

    She doesn’t eat GF by choice but because of necessity — it’s expensive ($7 loaf of GF bread) and risky unless you are familiar with particular brands and producers due to the dangers of cross contamination.

    I enjoy your blog. Thanks, N

  • Mijune says:

    @bruce – can I copy and paste that?! Said it better than I could. That should have been my conclusion. And I would love to cover Cowichan Valley and the Gulf Islands! I just need my compass, but I don’t discriminate against any city. Where there are people there is food.

  • Mijune says:

    @Nell – Thank you so much for sharing and writing about a personal experience. When I hear things like that it upsets me even more that people are marketing/abusing/glorifying/profiting off something so awful. I feel really bad for her and I’m so happy she does have more choices, but I’m with you… a lot of these places are not treating GF food seriously. There is so much cross-contamination and most the people will not be affected because most claiming to be “GF” are not, or only have a very minor allergy to it. Most do not have an allergy that is as life-threatening as your sister-in-law’s. Thank you for adding value to my post and I’m honoured you enjoy my blog! Cheers!

  • bruce says:

    Hi Mijune,

    Feel free to copy and use it anywhere you like. Drop in and visit Bruce’s Kitchen next time you are on salt Spring and I will give you the scoop on some great stuff happening around the valley.

    best

    Bruce

  • Steve T says:

    great read, this and weird kitchen stuff are prob my favourite posts so far.

  • Mijune says:

    @Steve T – lol thanks steve!!! So happy you’re still reading my blog!! Need to visit you in TO soon!

  • Hey, this post made me laugh a lot, especially that bit on bacon. One of my friend thinks bacon goes hand in hand with chocolate ice cream. Honestly, I think he’s a bit loopy.

  • chris says:

    I’ve been hearing gluten-free being called a fad quite a bit these days and I’m wondering why. I have yet to meet anyone who is on this fad diet. Those who are on diets just give up baked goods in general. Have you tried g-free products? bc most taste like crap.

    It’s possible that you’ve met dozens of people who’ve admitted to you that they’re on a g-free diet just to lose weight but I’d be really surprised that you have met so many while I’ve met … none. In case I’m right about this, let me help clear up your misconceived notion and if I’m wrong, please accept apologies.

    More and more people are being diagnosed now with gluten intolerance bc the science to support it came out not too long ago. And so more and more health practitioners are finally able to give their long-suffering patients an answer to their chronic fatigue, insomnia, bloating, migraines, unexplained inflammatory conditions, etc etc. It’s as simple as that. Actually it’s a bit more complicated but then we’d have to get into a discussion about leaky gut, chemicals in our foods, GMOs, etc etc. But I think this will do.

    to your good health,
    chris

  • chris says:

    Mijune said: “a lot of these places are not treating GF food seriously. There is so much cross-contamination and most the people will not be affected because most claiming to be “GF” are not, or only have a very minor allergy to it. Most do not have an allergy that is as life-threatening as your sister-in-law’s.”

    I’m sure you didn’t mean to but it sounds like you’re blaming cross-contamination on those with minor allergies to gluten. The fact that there are some who are only intolerant to gluten doesn’t negate the fact that there are others with Celiac Disease, so either restos can serve both of those groups or just one. It’s up to the restaurant. If the owner wants to properly serve both groups of GF eaters, then they HAVE to be a completely GF resto. Those who want to avoid cross-contamination will only go to those restos and not the others that just have some GF options on the menu.

  • cecrennison says:

    Oh, God – THAT is why I am following you.

  • Mijune says:

    @cecrennison – LOL. Thank you!

  • Kevin says:

    interesting list, not much (if any) to disagree with, appreciate the honesty – get the discussion going..
    here’s one that some might hate – can we add the reality food show trends in here as well? over the top/over produced/over scripted..,, I actually like Tony Bourdain and a few others..
    come on – sugar dome, sweet genius, chopped, next iron chef..pitchin in, chef Michaels kitchen -(whats with the dark moody thing?) his other show was great, Gordon Ramsay everywhere now?? everyone is doing back to basics cooking now.., sorry all, I had to vent on this…
    keep up the great work Mijune!

  • Mijune says:

    @Kevin – I welcome all rants 🙂 Thanks for the comment! People seem to love competition shows! For some reason cooking shows don’t speak to a generation that needs to be constantly entertained…. shorter articles, top 10 lists, competitions, drama…. that stuff “sells”. I think they’re reaching for a market that isn’t just the “foodie” crowd. Thanks for joining the convo Kevin!

  • Anabel says:

    This is perhaps one of the best lists I’ve read on a blog, or anywhere…thoughtfully opinionated and well reasoned 🙂

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