Food trends have been quite, well, trendy as of late. There is always something new that is "all the rage" and Chicagoans buy into the trends (literally and figuratively) whole heartedly. Are we jumping on the bandwagon because we are yearning to try new and interesting foods, or are we absorbing all of these calories just because it's what everybody in town is doing? Which brings me to the next point... Are these trends making us fat? Are ANY of these trends healthy? How long can these trends be sustained?
Meat. Ahhh meat. So delicious, so satiating, and so controversial. If you follow my blogs you will know that I have recently become outspoken on trying to be more socially responsible with my meat intake. For now, I'll put this aside. Chicago is a meat city, and these meat trends have been on a steep incline. Is bacon something new? No. Is seeing it in and on everything imaginable new? Yes. A few years ago, you didn't see bacon on your doughnuts, and in your chocolate, and garnishing your martini. Yes this CAN BE delicious. But an immense intake of bacon can't be good for us and our waistlines, correct? What has come along since bacon became so En Vogue? Pork Belly. This fatty splendor can be found everywhere. On burgers (as if that's necessary), in tacos (this I have ZERO qualms with), in eggs, and in/on pasta and pizza. This is where trend separates from indigenous foods. When you see a pork belly taco, that is a regional Latin American specialty. When you see pork belly on a 1/2 lb "Santa Fe" burger at a local "gastro pub" it's a food trend. This all becomes silly and unnecessary when people start throwing bacon and pork belly and foie gras on EVERYTHING just because it's a fad. Maybe I don't want foie gras on my PB&J!!!!
What is up with the doughnut and cupcake trends?? I mean, yea they're freakin' delicious, but could we be shoveling our faces full of anything worse for us? The problem is; that because you just HAVE to try Doughnut Vault, or you haven't lived until you've had Sprinkles or Sweet Mandy B's, people flock like lemmings to these places and consume vast amounts unaware of how bad it is for us. The occasional dessert is fine, if not necessary. But to have full venues, restaurants, and shops dedicated to these trends may be too much. I think the public is starting to speak, however, when entire chains like Crumb's Bake Shops are going under. Maybe a 2,000 calorie cupcake isn't on OUR menu anymore. Also, stores like Sprinkles and Glazed and Infused which had lines around the corner or were sold out by 11am, now are much more tame. Is the trend on it's way out? Are we becoming more health conscious, or just sick of certain trends and waiting for the next big one? What are your thoughts friends? Does Chicago have room for a potentially healthy food trend? Why can't omelets or healthy soups be the next big thing? Don't throw "but Kale and Brussels Sprouts are huge right now!" at me... entire restaurants or menus dedicated to these items aren't springing up left and right... they're just side dishes... and half the time they're loaded with bacon and pork belly anyway.
I'd love to know your thoughts! Leave me a comment!