10 Food trends that finally died in 2014
The culinary world has seen food trends come and go. Some of these food trends have been wonderful for diners and chefs and have led to amazing leaps forward in the culinary world. Other trends weren't so great and have finally, blissfully, given up the ghost.
For the most part, the culinary world has done a fantastic job of giving us food trends we've loved. Who can forget bacon, gourmet hot dogs and Cronuts (or more important, some mind-blowing combination of all three)? On the other hand, the world of food has also tried to push across a few doozies we're all really happy have finally gone away.
Don't lynch us! We're not antibacon. It's just that for a while there, bacon was getting mixed in with everything, in ways that were disturbing and, frankly, kind of lazy. Bacon is great for a dish's flavor profile, but chefs can do so much more than just slap it onto a dish.
2. Umami as a "thing"
It's great that we've discovered a fifth taste bud, and we understand why it was popular. However, things were getting out of hand: umami tasting parties, umami blends, umami tasting courses that were little more than repurposed Asian cuisine. We're just glad umami has taken its place with the other taste bud groups, so we can turn our attention to discover whether "chocolate" is really a taste bud.
Again, we love the mojito, but there's more to getting our drink on than lime juice, rum and special $50 mojito muddlers we got from a Williams-Sonoma catalog.
4. Cooking with ash
We kind of understand the obsession with the flavor of char. Grill marks add flavor to steaks and veggies, and heavily charred foods do take on a little extra taste. However, we were more than happy to see ash is no longer a serious ingredient in most dishes and that chefs have stopped burning the outside of their steaks and then calling it "gourmet."
5. Almond milk
This always seemed like a perfectly unnatural way to serve sweet, delicious almonds. Sure, people are still drinking it, but fortunately it's not ubiquitous anymore.
If someone can explain how tentacle-flavored chewing gum — aka octopus — was a thing, that would be wonderful. Seriously, stewed, sautéed, broiled, boiled, braised or fried, octopus is chewy and has less flavor than squid. Good riddance to this trend.
7. Deviled eggs
We all loved Mad Men. The drama, the fashion and the food were all part of experiencing the show to the point that Mad Men-themed dinner parties were all the rage. This included a number of gourmet variations on deviled eggs. This has since stopped, because there's no better deviled egg than the classic.
8. Raw veggies
So Americans decided they wanted to eat healthier. Then they decided raw veggies were a great way to do that. Then restaurants started serving raw veggie plates, and suddenly Americans were overpaying for the same raw veggies sitting in their refrigerators that they didn't want to eat in the first place. Nice try, but this trend is gone.
9. Cooking with breast milk
Because yuck. Let's pretend this trend never happened.
10. Truffle oil
Truffle oil used to be this fine-dining ingredient that could, supposedly, make any dish instantly gourmet. Then people realized it wasn't made with actual truffles (really expensive mushrooms). Then people realized it stank. Then we all stopped eating it.