The past year has been a hard one to swallow. Everywhere we look, there is some new abomination disguised as an innovation in cooking or dining. Before we start buying Tums in bulk, we'd like to suggest a few food trends that shouldn't make an appearance in 2011.
As far as fans of fat and salt are concerned, there's little that bacon won't improve, but you don't have to be a pork purist to get grossed out by bacon ice cream and other pairings that are good only in theory.
2. Magic Sizing
Instead of raising prices, sneaky manufacturers have punched big dents in jar bottoms, narrowed boxes and bags, and otherwise played Houdini by making contents disappear from food packages. Now we're buying 12-ounce "pounds" of coffee and cans of tomatoes that have shed an ounce.
3. Mangled Menus
Waiters have to recite not just the daily specials, but also translate the cryptic descriptions of everything else on the menu. When we see "soy" on the menu, we have to guess if it means beans, sauce or milk.
4. Cupcake Mania
We've been saying this for, what, three years? We're all for portion control when it comes to frosting-laden desserts, but it's time we idolized some other form of pastry.
5. Sick Food
Try to think of any fresh grocery product that hasn't been subject to a recall and you come up with....what? Nothing. No wonder we eat so much processed food; it's been cooked, powdered and fried so much, pathogens don't stand a chance.
6. Fiber-Fortified Fluff
Letting junk food producers blow the equivalent of sawdust into our Corn Puffs is just another cheap method for disguising fake food as healthy food.
7. NSFW Sleazy Fast Food Ads
We hereby declare that charges of misleading advertising are warranted when the hamburger bun is bigger than the spokesbabe's bikini bottoms.
8. Small Plates, Big Prices
Sure, the $9 lamb tagine seems like a good value, except when you have to order the $7 side of rice, plus six other microscopic sides to constitute a meal.
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9. Crazy Cooking Competitions
First, let's all learn how to cook well. Then maybe we can add feats of endurance, improbable ingredient mixing, and nasty personalities. This is beginning to sound like the school cafeteria all over again.
10. Home Economics Meets Science Fiction
What hell hath foam wrought, when the latest molecular gastronomy experiment looks like something out of your Easy-Bake Oven? Just because you can take something that used to be slimy and wet, and turn it into something stiff and dry, doesn't mean you should.