Food Trends That Need to Die in 2014

Here are a few food trends that have become ubiquitous and shed the sheen of novelty — now they're just dull and sometimes annoying, in spite of exciting debuts.

The Cronut Craze

By his own account, Daniel alum Dominique Ansel opened a bakery because he saw gaps in New York's pastry offerings, and he was eager to expand the sweet horizons of his fellow New Yorkers. After capturing a loyal local following with his freshly baked treats, he began thinking about how to elevate the doughnut. Two months of experimentation begot the Cronut, which he unleashed upon the city back in May. Twenty-four hours later, the mania began — and with it came lines so long you'd think the guy was giving out money. If mimicry is the highest form of flattery, Ansel had fervent admirers: Knockoffs proliferated so quickly he was forced to trademark his invention's name; that fans still flock to his tiny shop daily for one of 450 treats is testament to the staying power of the original. Ansel is a pastry genius, and he's humble about his success — so we'll happily ride his train until it leads us to the next mania-inducing snack, which will almost certainly come out of his tiny kitchen. As for the knockoffs? We'll be happy to see those die. And we wouldn't mind if the food tourists took interest in some of the baking wizard's other projects, thereby dispensing with the insane wait.

Putting a Fucking Egg on Everything

This season on Top Chef: New Orleans, editor of Food & Wine magazine Dana Cowin declared that — along with kale and bacon — she is completely done with the "eggs over everything" trend. The chefs sighed, heartbroken, while we found ourselves yelling back at the screen "Thank GOD somebody finally said it." We get it, chefs: It looks pretty, the yolk adds a dollop of fat and flavor, and there's a long list of classic dishes that call for a barely cooked egg — atop pizza and classic steak tartare; dropped in soups, rice bowls and congees. But it's gotten a little fanatical. Just about anything can be ordered "sunrise"-style these days, and eggs are showing up on all three courses of our meal. It's boring us to tears.

Sriracha

You can almost hear the hipsters groan: "I was into sriracha before sriracha was a thing." But it's true: Sriracha, that spicy stuff we all used to feel mildly smug about having in our stoner-food arsenal (my favorite: Velveeta shells and cheese with sriracha) is now everywhere. There are sriracha-flavored potato chips. There's a sriracha documentary. In Los Angeles and Minneapolis, there are doughnut shops that use sriracha as a topping. When news came down that the factory in California might have to close, people freaked out. Someone is trying to sell a package of sriracha on eBay for $10,000. It's on Subway sandwiches. It's like the hot sauce that ate America.

Sriracha is such a trend that the backlash has already begun: In recent months, bloggers have penned such posts as "Sriracha Sauce Is Massively Overrated," "There Is Nothing Cool About Sriracha" and "There's Nothing Punk Rock About Sriracha Anymore." Do we hate this trend or love it? It's hard to get worked up about it either way — it's hot sauce. Just hot sauce. Chill out.

Kale

We blame the cupcake and pork years of the late aughts for our present bitter green situation — we wanted a vegetable on our plates, too, after what felt like eons of butter and animal fat. And while we're still for produce, let's all agree to call a moratorium on the kale salad. Packed with antioxidants as it might be, this joyless pile of greens sports the texture of well-worn shoe leather, and, what's worse, it's usually prepared the same way everywhere, from the reclaimed-wood-bedecked hipster halls to the white-tablecloth-adorned fine-dining temples: That combination of fruit, sharp cheese, nuts, and a light citrus dressing is not as novel as you, dear kale salad-maker, think. And if one more chef tells us that his or her kale salad is exempt because it was the first kale salad in the universe, we're going to squirt lemon vinaigrette right into that smug a-hole's eyeballs. Let it go, our friends. Put your energy into making something new.

Haute Chicken and Waffles

In a 2008 episode of his television show Fatherhood, Snoop Dogg took David Beckham to his favorite dining spot, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, for a taste of L.A.'s famous soul food. The tables were Formica, the menus were covered in plastic sneeze guards and a wine pairing meant ordering a Bartles & James from the beverage list. Roscoe's wasn't being ironic. It was just serving honest soul food, smothered in syrup and grease, to those looking for Southern-inspired comfort. Fast-forward five years, and this once humble fried fare has found its way onto the chicest menus in town. Sandwiched somewhere between foie gras and truffles, chicken and waffles has achieved haute status. No longer is simple maple syrup sufficient for such an elite dish. Now highbrow, they come topped with everything from poached quail egg to sriracha aioli. There are online resources dedicated to chicken-and-waffles wine pairings, and even the venerable Thomas Keller has gotten in on it. Granted, some of the world's most notable dishes had humble beginnings — think cassoulet or pizza — but this seems like more of a short-lived trend than a permanent fixture on upscale menus. Any excuse to don eveningwear and dig our manicured fingers into a platter of diner food is good by us, but being charged a week's salary for something we can get at IHOP feels a bit like a rip-off.

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8 comments
cliffd972
cliffd972

I'm sorry... I was agreeing with everything you wrote until Sriracha. I get that it is getting way too trendy for hipsters but that's not a reason to dislike it. Sriracha is a staple of Southeast Asian cuisine. I pretty much put it on everything and welcome the fact the more people are getting turned onto it because it gives some people, who have never been exposed to different cuisines, a chance to broaden their palette. Other than that, this article was pretty much spot on.

Sher
Sher

You fuckers. Eggs on everything is good. You are bad.

bobbyvdallas
bobbyvdallas

SPOT ON about the chicken and waffles..another cultural delight ruined by white people. Chicken and waffles was a delicious cheap meal for working class people. Now that it's been "popularized", sometimes I don't even recognize what it is when I see it, not to mention I got an order of chicken and waffles at an Uptown spot once that wasn't even that glamorized (or all that good) that cost $25!!!! 25 effffing dollars for chicken and waffles...White People Puleeeeze!!!

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

Can you please put a warning at the top of the article when it's NSFW?

mdd0124
mdd0124

@AdamsonScott what on EARTH in this article isn't safe for work?
I ask because I'm reading it at work.

nd68
nd68

@mdd0124 I think this heading would do it...Putting a Fucking Egg on Everything

 
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