Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Food trends that do/don't justify the hype

Sometimes a food item becomes so hyped that it almost becomes a guilty pleasure (which is why I tend to get into wildly popular TV shows years after they're wildly popular- allows me a more objective assessment). Here's my opinion of what is and isn't worth the hype.

Guilty pleasures:

1. Donuts- Chicago is sadly unrepresented in this category- Who can resist a warm donut? The market is dominated by Dunkin' Donuts, which frankly sucks compared to Krispy Kreme, Voodoo Donuts in Portland, or the mom n' pop shops in Berkeley (notably King Pin on Telegraph ave...omg). Mindy Segal at hot chocolate does buffalo milk ricotta donuts that are pretty tasty though.

2. Bacon- What is it about bacon and hipsters? I know the occasional Kosher Jew and vegetarian who make exceptions for it too. Bacon has become a parody of itself with bacon chocolate, bacon toffee, bacon apple pie, bacon salt, all you can eat bacon brunch- and yet, it's still that good. Salty meat crack.

3. Craft Beer- am I a pretentious yuppie douche for preferring craft beer? All I know is six months ago I didn't give a damn about beer and now I'm obsessed. And Goose Island makes it easy to indulge since even friggin Giordano's carries it.

4. Brioche anything- really, as pretentious as brioche is, it usually is hell of delicious.

5. Fois Gras- yes, it's cruel. So is factory farming.


6. Sushi- Sushi is for the most part a sad joke in Chicago, and not worth eating. But take me to Itto Sushi or the burbs and it's on. And yes, I secretly like those cream cheese and tempura rolls.

7. $3 Truffles at Vosges or Coco Rouge- delicious, but not really in my budget.

8. Pork belly- zomg delicious but KILLS my gallbladder.

Skip it

9. "Truffled" anything- can you actually taste the truffles? Was it worth the extra $5?

10. Duck fat fries- I really want to like these. But honestly, I don't taste the difference.

Unrelatedly- this is the midwest, and I am seriously befuddled by how many SKINNY chefs, bakers and brewmasters I know here. Probably because they run around like a chicken with its head cut off producing their wares and I just sit around and eat them.


The Snarky Nutritionist said...

There are little chocolatiers popping up all over the place with weird flavors of chocolate. My newest favorite from Chocolatier Blue is grapefruit. I feel like a wine taster eating their stuff, all sort of various flavors appear as you take a bite. I'm usually standing in front of the Firestone on University Ave as I'm having this experience. I need to make myself walk to the park before I start my reverie in the future.

Vally Val said...

Guilty Pleasures:
1. I need to expand my baking into donut making. I made homemade donuts fried in butter years ago and almost gave Dad a heart attack but damn were they good.
2. Bacon is cheap, or at least can be. Cheap bacon tastes better than equally cheap ham or sausage and it crumbles nicely.
3. I'm not much of a beer drinker anymore but I do love the beers available at Piece.
4. I will admit, I have no idea what brioche is.
5. Don't think I could do it.

6. I like the Caterpillar Rolls at Fox & Obel, rolled in avocado instead of seaweed and about as authentically Japanese as I am (I mix the ginger, soy and horseradish when I eat it much to Kurt's chagrin)
7. Gotta ask, do the truffle candies really have any mushroom in them or is it the preparation?
8. Mmmmmm....now I want to make a mess of greens and corn bread!

Skip It:
9. NOTHING is worth an extra $5
10. That's kind of a shame, kind of a relief as I have yet to try them and now I don't feel like I'm missing anything

*I'm mulling over a bacon donut recipe-don't hate ;p