Monday, January 27, 2014

The Noshing Neanderthal

According to an article in the latest Reader's Digest, egg yolks and lemon will be the new "big" things in eating this year. I'm not sure who, exactly, determines that egg yolks and lemon will be the new "big" things, but that's the prediction, nonetheless.

It's sad, really, because even though I'm an ardent food admirer, I'm not a particularly "big" fan of either egg yolks or lemon-flavored anything. Egg yolks are fine as a baking ingredient, or for omelets and scrambled eggs, but that's about it. And lemon's only purpose, in my humble opinion, is to make you feel better about the low-grade chemical furniture lacquer you spray all over your house when you're dusting. Neither item is going to win a popularity contest if I'm the judge.

But the article states there are other hot food stuffs to be watching out for this year, so perhaps I am despairing too soon.

Gluten-free pastas will hit the ground running, which is good for them because I'm likely to have a sizable head start when they arrive en force. See, I'm willing to scale back in certain areas for the sake of trying to save myself from gaining a few unneeded ounces, but I can't fathom the purpose of a gluten-free pasta. I'm not diabetic, or even pre-diabetic, or even predisposed to the potentiality of the possibility of becoming diabetic, so I'm not sure why I'm suddenly supposed to be excited about a variety of non-flour, carb-free, gluten-free, tough-as-hemp pastas that probably don't taste anything like real pasta.

It's also the year of dairy-free dairy products. Almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and any other artificially thickened watery extracts of non-cow origin are supposed to be all the rage, making real milk passé. Funny, but I like my milk to taste like milk, and fresh milk at that, not something that's left over when you accidentally leave a jug of milk sitting in the back of the fridge two weeks beyond the recommended expiration date. Again, I've managed to scale back from whole milk to skim milk, but I refuse to drink anything calling itself milk that didn't come from a mammal.

Unattractive poached chicken.
Then there's cooking methods. Seems steaming and poaching will make a comeback as people across the developed world embrace these healthier ways to prepare foods without depleting their nutritional values.

Yummy grilled chicken.
But have you ever poached anything? I haven't, so I looked it up. Poaching involves cooking in liquids at low temperatures. It requires patience and time, neither of which I have in any great abundance. Poaching a chicken breast can take up to thirty minutes. I can grill that sucker in less than ten, or five if I slice it thin and turn the grill on high. Carcinogens from burning the meat? Part of the price we pay for life at the top of the food chain. Besides, how many times has the Cooking Channel told me "color equals flavor?"

Maybe I'm the problem here.

Maybe my unwillingness to let go of the conventions with which I'm familiar in favor of the fun fads of the food industry makes me a culinary stick in the mud -- a noshing neanderthal. But no matter how many times I read about the power of kale to cleanse my intestinal tract and pack my bloodstream with four-thousand times the daily recommended allowance of every vitamin known to man, nothing is going to make me want to eat it. It's a bland, tough leaf and I'm not a rabbit.

At least kale is on the way out, or so I've heard lately. And that's the best news about fad foods -- their fifteen minutes of fame come and go fairly quickly. Wait long enough and perhaps a food you actually like will be the next "big" thing.

Of course, a food like chocolate doesn't need the PR. After all, it is chocolate.

© 2014 Mark Feggeler

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