July 25, 2014
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Moving On: Food Fads That Need to Go in 2013
Pay Chen: Is it time to say farewell to bacon?

I don’t attempt to predict trends. I can’t even predict what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow without consulting my Magic 8-ball. That being said, I am pretty good at looking back at what was. Aren’t you supposed to look ahead and not back? Yeah, well, I’m doing it backwards. I love the food culture in this city and am happy to promote and encourage people to experiment with their dining options. But there are a few things I’d be happy to say goodbye to in 2013. Crowd-sourcing on social media (which is always 100% accurate) revealed that many people are tired of the same things. I’ll preface this by saying I actually love many of these items — but let’s move on instead of trying to reinvent something that isn’t original.

Cupcakes

There, I said it. And I love cupcakes. The owner of a cupcake shop told me she is “over” the hype. We have plenty of fantastic bakeries in Toronto who pump out great cupcakes, but I think we’re good. We’re full…we need another cupcake shop like we need another Starbucks.

On a similar note: cake pops. They are cute and they are tasty. But I know you’re just cleverly serving me stale cake by mixing it with icing.

Bacon

Bacon is good. It is tasty. But good grief, you’d think it had just been invented by the way we shower attention on anything bacon-shaped, scented or flavoured. As one tweeter put it, “I wish bacon could just be bacon again.”

I know I am bad at predictions but I think the next step is to offer bacon moisturizer for our dry winters. And bacon spa treatments where you’re slathered in bacon fat and wrapped in a heated bacon blanket so the fat can be absorbed into your skin. It’s like a bacon-wrapped scallop– but you are the scallop.

Sliders and mini burgers

I’m done with mini burgers. They’re not even that easy to eat at a party when everything oozes out the back end as you simultaneously take a bite and shake someone’s hand. But secretly you wish you could use that free hand to catch the burger ooze because you wore your good shoes.

However, I am still a big fan of mini grilled cheese sandwiches. When they’re hot. (Ed note: And when they actually have respectable amounts of cheese in them!)

Kale

This one cuts me deep. I adore kale. I love this leafy green and eat it almost every day, but alas, I agree with much of the feedback and think the kale hype needs to calm the F down. Kale is to vegetables what quinoa was to grains a few years ago. The go-to solution for making something healthy. Add kale to your stew! Eat this kale salad! Make kale chips! Add kale to your smoothies! Make cake healthy with kale buttercream! (Alright, I haven’t seen that last one…yet.)

“Foodies”

The general term for someone who loves food. Yet, many “foodies” hate being called the F-word. If you like calling yourself a foodie, that’s cool. But just remember that the term refers to someone who has a passion and interest in food. It doesn’t mean your palate or opinion is better or more important than anyone else’s. You know one of those.

Food served in cones

This is a personal pet peeve. I think it’s a great way to present food at a cocktail party. But it is not practical because you can’t put a cone down the same way you can put down a plate; whether it’s to switch hands, grab a napkin or fetch your phone to Instagram the cone food. Once you pick up the cone, you are committed to the cone until it’s empty.

I would like to see more food served on sticks. Because pizza on a stick was really just the beginning. There needs to be more salad on a stick. I would like to see someone open a stick restaurant, where everything comes on skewers. I want spaghetti on a stick. And soup. Give me soup on a stick so I can eat it on the subway without making a mess. Maybe I really can predict trends after all.

____

Pay Chen is a TV host, writer, and producer who puts a lot of things in her mouth. If you have a favourite spot in the city to share, follow her on Twitter at @PayChen.

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