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Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Food Faux Pas

Fine dining is like fashion. It has phases like seasons that come and go. Fresh, creative styles are last night’s casserole faster than we can realize we’ve missed them. Any culinary connoisseur needs an ever-adapting palate to suit the relentlessly changing edible of arts. So what makes it into food famedom and how? Who knows, but it sure is easy to poke fun at!

With each erupting food-fad, masters of the craft instantly rise to fame, only to inevitably fall back into the forgotten realm of recipe remission. Remember tapas? How about going out to a restaurant and in stead of eating at a table, customers kick off their shoes and eat in a bed? It seems silly now, but they were all the rage in their prime. Here are a few examples of short-lived, comic fare.

Someone recently decided food might be more adventurous to eat if it were taken apart. The word used to describe this twist is “deconstruction.” Any and everything could be deconstructed and formed into piles of ingredients on a plate. Doesn’t that sort of defeat the purpose of having someone prepare the food for you? I like my chicken, my noodles, and my broth together in the same bowl like soup. . . because it’s soup! Imagine a plate with a sticky glob of peanut butter and a dollop of sweaty grape jelly next to conveniently-sliced (but not spread-upon) bread. Voila! Deconstructed peanut butter and jelly! But that’s not all! It has to be fancier, so instead , you’re served fire-roasted Turkish Pistachio spread and late-harvest Oregon merlot jelly on pygmy-harvested rye sourdough. Oh, and it’s a hundred bucks. I love a good savory safari, but I don’t want to work for it.

Even more recently, comfort food swept the nation. You might have encounter vine-ripened tomato gazpacho with a grilled goat cheese finger sandwich on the side. How would you like an Herbes de Provence Porterhouse meat loaf with a side of Peruvian purple potato hash? Bottom line, though, it’s still comfort food. I go out to eat wanting food I can’t cook at home. The phenomenon kind of died off when patrons began to realize that grandma’s potato soup recipe is every bit as good as that vichyssoise at the five-star downtown!

Maybe you like your vegetables vertical, your pastries painted in chocolate, your foie gras extra fatty, or your meticulously-massaged-before-butchered beef. Well enjoy it now, because the next trendy cuisine is just around the culinary corner!

By: S. Cole Garrett


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