Bacon Weave S'mores - © 2020 - delish.com

Cooking Trends That Will Seem Revolting In The Future?

I’ve posted flashbacks to the 1950s and 60s about food styles and fads that look ridiculous in the current light. But there are ‘modern’ foods we can identify as cringe-worthy now, without the need to view them through the ‘lens of history’…

Mason Jar Salads - © 2019 - nutritionistmom.comMason Jar Salads: Lovely to look at, hard to enjoy…

I don’t think anyone who reads this blog will disagree with the principle that post-war dishes such as jellied salads, banana ham rolls and any dessert with mayo in the recipe should never see our dinner tables again.

They were, by and large, artifacts of the huge post-war push by food manufacturers to get consumers to buy more of their products. Hence, a huge number of recipes from the ‘test’ kitchens employing Jello, Hellman’s Mayonnaise and certain produce items, notably bananas.

But the 90s and the Millennium have spawned a whole ‘new’ crop of foods and culinary customs that might as well be from another planet.

The worst of the worst…

For better or worse, I offer a carefully curated collection of ‘new’ foodie entities that should be caught and thrown in the cookbook dungeon now, before they do any more harm to our fragile culture..

Mason Jar Salads

They look pretty (many of them. at least) and I guess they taste fine. But they’re hard to eat, even when you try to turn them out onto a plate. Part of the late-20th Century mania for new ways to use Mason Jars.

Overnight Oats

A great idea. But I tried them once, and almost gagged. I’m from ‘grand auld Scottish Highlands’ stock. And nothing will every replace my Mom’s classic, long-stirred oatmeal porridge. But I have to say overnight oats are buy far the worst substitute I’ve ever been had to endure.

‘Deconstructed’ foods

I warmed to this idea immediately when I first encountered it. But the principle of ‘deconstructing’ a dish has been warped and battered out of any resemblance to what it was originally intended to be. Some dishes lend themselves to the technique. Many do not. And most of the deconstructed dishes I see these days lack the beauty and finesse the iconic ones possessed.

‘Pumpkin Spice’ anything

I’ve railed about this one many times in this space. Pumpkin spice flavouring should be limited to pumpkin pies and eggnog. And maybe fruit cake or gingerbread. It doesn’t belong in most confections. And has done nothing more notable than stretch the heyday of fancy coffee drinks and shakes far past its natural limit.

Bacon-Topped or Wrapped anything

Bacon belongs on my fancy cheeseburger, and my BLT. In my loaded baked potato and my Quiche Lorraine. I also want it on my ‘big weekend breakfast’ platter. But not on everything under the culinary sun. Do we really need Bacon-Weave S’Mores? (See photo, top of page.) Bourbon Bacon Brittle? Chicken-Fried Bacon?

Meal Kits

Dare I invoke the phrase, ‘flash in the pan’? You don’t hear much about them anymore. A few years in the food news headlines then – oblivion. I’m sure they’re still out there. But they were always an expensive option. And with food prices as high as they’ve risen, I can’t see meal kits as appealing now to anyone but wealthy folks who view cooking for themselves as a novelty.

Cauliflower Pizza, Wings

Cauliflower anything, actually. Anything that’s not supposed to be a Cauliflower dish. Bake it, roast it, pickle it, steam it. But keep it off my pizza. And under no circumstances make the crust out of it. Make mine steamed florets, with a thick, creamy cheese sauce and caramelized onions on top…

‘Nouveau’ charcouterie

Charcouterie was rediscovered around the Millennium, after many decades in culinary hibernation. It was hailed not only as the rebirth of a classic, but the successor on trendy tables of the cheese board. Alas, the original concept of the Charcouterie plank has become as corrupted as the original idea behind ‘deconstructed’ foods.

Authentic Charcouterie is cured and preserved meats accompanied by cheeses. Often with grapes, olives, pickles and/or crackers on the side, to help build a balanced bite. No breakfast foods, desserts or Keto versions. And no Butter Boards.

Calling Stock ‘bone broth’

Let’s all harken back to the old days, for a moment. ‘Broth’ was what they called stock back then. It was mainly rendered from scraps, bones, fat and gristle from left over from roasts of beef or poultry. But now, the food-forward types have taken to calling stock ‘broth’ again. Just because it sounds so retro and ‘vintage’.

But the stock we make and use today is far removed from – and improved over – the the simple broths of yesteryear. And it should be accorded the respect it deserves. There IS a difference: Stock is cloudy, has a rich, complex flavour, and boasts a gelatinous tongue feel. Authentic broth is clear and simple, and tastes only of the meat from which it was made. Consommé is broth’s highest and most perfect expression.

My take

The foregoing are just some of the contemporary foods and culinary styles that – like Victorian children – are better off neither seen nor heard (of).  may be old and crotchety. And fixed inb my ways. But I know what I like. And I know what is clearly culinarily crazy…

Maggie J.