Five food trends that need to die with 2012
This year has been an interesting and generally productive one for food trends, with global tastes well-established, house-made fruit and vegetable pickles all the rage, gourmet burgers and craft brews holding steady, and Peruvian and Thai fusion cuisine everywhere. But with the good comes the bad, and there are definitely a few food trends that have outlived their usefulness, and need to be put out of our misery.
Die! Die! Die until you are dead!
Here are the top five food trends that should end when 2012 does. Cupcake-sized caskets, anyone?
We have had economic crisis-inspired, extreme comfort foods there to cuddle us through the hard times: dishes like fettuccine Alfredo with bacon instead of pasta, mile-high meatloaf stacks with buckets of gravy on the sides, and macaroni and cheese made with seventeen different kinds of cheese -- including Velveeta -- loaded with sauteed onions and green peppers, a fried egg, three apple turnovers and topped with an entire pot roast.
Diners need to get comfortable with the idea that it's okay to say that nostalgia foods have gone too far, and get back to eating regular, high-calorie/fat-loaded/hibernation-fuel macaroni and cheese.
4. Extreme couponing needs to have an extreme demise.
Coupons are awesome -- they really are. Saving money on groceries and dining out never goes out of style, but showing up at the checkout line with a wheelbarrow full of coupons for shampoo, granola bars and Virginia Slims, saving $113 and spending $4.15, and then posting the receipt on Facebook and gassing on about how clever, frugal and hip you are...well, it's time to turn those coupon-cutting scissors on yourself. That, or get some other hobbies, or consider using a few of your stray pharmaceutical industry coupons to sample the latest OCD medications.
Cake pops, micro-brownies, layered pudding things in shot glasses, tartlettes and breath mint-sized cookies all need to be Miracle-Grown back to regular-sized desserts. Because while the portion sizes may have shrunk, in many cases the prices sure as hell haven't. Self-control is a lost art form, to be sure, but mini-sweets have helped to marginalize the old-fashioned, tried-and-true solution to monitoring sugar intake: You take a knife or other suitable cutting device, cut the regular-sized dessert into two or more servings, and don't eat them all at the same time.