Food trends come and go. As all things, cooking changes too. It is naturally so, and it may have great results as well. Not all the time, sure, but hey, it takes 10 awful inventions to discover a really important one, right? Food trends also include the annoying policies of some restaurants, which have grown to become usual and worldwide spread. Mix them all together and what you have is a list of things you hate in the restaurant industry. Here is a list of the 10 worst food trends out there, as rated by consumers. Let’s see which is really hateful and which is acceptable.
1. “Changes and modifications politely declined”
This is a disclaimer that can be found at the end of menus. It stops consumers from asking modifications to the dish proposed by the chef of the restaurant. While this can be useful, especially for those clients who ask for a certain dish, but change all the ingredients (I want the chicken soup with vegetables but with turkey instead of chicken and no veggies except for potatoes), it becomes annoying when taken to extreme. For example, refusing to remove the pork garnish in a dish, when asked by a Muslim is a bit too harsh.
2. Sous-vide technique
This is a trend that became one of chef’s favorites. Apparently, what you do is vacuum-seal the food in plastic wrap and cook it to low temperature for a longer period of time than it would usually require the –say-roasting of beef. While it is considered a nice, clean way to prepare a dish, because all the juices stay inside the meat and it looks perfect, not all people like to eat their main course tasteless, bloody and soft. Some people still like fire to touch their food…
3. Untranslated menus
Don’t you just hate it when you go to a Chinese, Arab, Thai restaurant and the menu is not in English? You stare at the Chinese characters, for example, and try to make a sense out of it. You won’t be able to, obviously. But even if it so happens that you master Chinese characters, you will most probably be disappointed by a strange name, that makes no meaning to you, such as “beauty of a sunny day” or something. This is one of the worst food trends out there and I hope that someday, restaurant managers will learn to translate their menus. It’s not so difficult, after all!
4. Molecular gastronomy
Molecular gastronomy is a style of cooking that takes advantage of the findings provided by the science that bears the same name. This science studies the processes that take place during cooking. The result should be an enhanced taste, texture and aspect. Many people enjoy it because it looks cool or because it was embraced by famous cooks, such as Will LaRue, Laurent Grass or Michael Carlson. Even though it is fun sometimes, no one really wants to eat it ALL the time. Not even those who make it.
5. When bartenders and chefs go too far
In their attempt of going over the top, of preparing incredible cocktails and dishes, some chefs and bartenders don’t really know when to stop. Yeah, we all like our dish, or cocktail to be exotic, to have some interesting ingredients or to look extraordinary tasty, but don’t really agree to not knowing what those weird looking/weird tasting/weird named ingredients are. Sometimes, less is more.
6. The endangered delights
Among the food trends that I really consider harmful is that of continuously cooking (and eating) endangered species. No one can oblige the chefs to learn all the endangered fish species and the ones that are really heading towards extinction, or take them out of their menus. However, not caring about such a detail, and constantly adding the bluefin tuna in your menu, when repeated warnings regarding overfishing are released, is negligence, in the best case. Do you really want to be fed by such a person? Who knows what else he is careless about…
7. The communal table
Who wants to share table with complete strangers? We don’t really seek the company of others when eating. We love to go out with friends, family or dates, persons we know, and side with, not seat next to some dudes we never saw before, who may have weird eating habits or completely strange discussion topics. However, communal tables are a trend today. Some people do like it, I guess. Maybe if you are lonely or traveling by yourself, it may become really funny. Maybe…
8. The yucky truffle oil
Everyone should agree that truffles, both the white ones (from Alba) and the black ones (which can be found in Perigord, France) are amazing, a true wonder of the art of gastronomy. However, the truffle oil has nothing to do with them. It is a synthetically made product which contains 0% truffles and will enhance your bill for that pasta you like, without giving you a sense of what truffle oil really tastes like. I have no clue either, unfortunately.
9. Celebrity cook
Don’t you just hate that the art of cooking isn’t actually an art anymore, but it became commercial and cheap? And aren’t you angry when you go to eat in the restaurant of such a celebrity chef, and he is not there to cook for you? After all, you came in the restaurant because you saw him on TV. Well, yes, there are many disadvantages, but, hey, we all like watching them cooking so give these men some credit. They are teaching you how to prepare delicious meals, not doing anything wrong, right?
Here is one of the food trends related to the modernist cooking: deconstruction. It means taking the components of a certain dish and eating them all, side by side, on a plate. Simple, isn’t it? I agree that sometimes, the result can be surprising- especially if the chef knows what he is doing. But I do hope that this weird way of eating will not replace the good old stew! As one time/ from time to time experience, it can be fun and enjoyable, though.