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Food Trends I’d Like to See Die in 2010, Part 2

17 Dec

Getting back to the Scroogery…

3. Cupcake Bakeries

Sure, cupcakes are cute, fun, and tasty. I have no problem with the product. In fact, I enjoy the occasional swing by  Kickass when I’m over in Davis Square. But we’ve reached saturation and there’s no more need for a bakery devoted solely to one product. Because guess what? Cupakes are made with sugar and butter just like every other pastry. They are not a separate class of baked good. Eating mini-cakes at a “cupcakery” doesn’t make them any more fun or virtuous than a brownie or lobster claw.

Hypocritical confession: I’m actually psyched that a new fro-yo place moved in down the street from me. I know we’re saturated there, too, but what can I say? It’s dessert without guilt.

4. Fake Locavorism

Word to the wise: When a restaurant tells you it serves “local, organic produce when possible,” or makes a big show of a single Verrill Farm tomato on the menu, be suspicious. Chances are, they’re not really walking the walk. The local/seasonal/sustainable mantra is hot stuff, but it’s a tough road to walk, much harder than just getting all your veg from a single distributor. Despite the efforts of many, New England lacks really efficient farm-to-table networks. Chefs like Tony Maws and Tim Weichmann spend a lot of time on the phone with individual growers, tracking down ingredients. Chefs already work crazy hours, and many aren’t able/willing to scout free time scouting. Others can’t afford the price differential.

So fine. Don’t do it if you can’t. But don’t try to snow us, either.

…to be continued.


Food Trends I’d Like to See Die in 2010, Part One

16 Dec

A new year, a new decade, and a good time to vent about all the overcooked food trends that have become a source of torment for anyone who eats out on a regular basis.

1) Comfort food

Until, say, 2 years ago, I liked mac n’ cheese, short ribs, and steak frites as much as the next emotional eater. Before they achieved ubiquity, these high-fat indulgences were a lovely, naughty, occasional treat. Now they’re just your typical dinner at an average mid-price restaurant.

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