alias_sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
A while ago I wrote this post about predicting food fads, then didn't get around to posting it. In the meantime [tumblr.com profile] yiduiqie posted links to two different new "Asian food is the new Western food" fads that bear no resemblance to my predictions whatsoever. I am thus posting this now before I look even sillier :)

So! I sometimes ponder what foods will become the new shiny food in Australia next.

The general trend seems to be taking something that is commonplace in an "obscure" subculture (the poor, an immigrant population, etc) and "discovering" that it is in fact healthy and/or delicious. Sometimes a little renaming is in order: agar becomes "vegan gelatine" and so on.

The other factor is conspicuous consumption: whatever is hard for poor people just happens to be the only way to be healthy/ethical/cool. Since poor people these days work long hours and have small gardens, the fad is for time/space consuming things like slow cooking and home grown vegetables.

Here's some arbitrary predictions based as much on wishful thinking as anything else (obviously the racist/classist etc aspects of food fads are bad, but if they must happen, it would be nice if it was in a way that was convenient for me):

I feel like lard and dripping must be due their time in the spotlight: they combine the slow cooked fad with the desire for new Healthy Fats. I mean, I'm not sure how you'd spin them as healthy, but they managed it with coconut oil. If I'm unlucky, people will go for ghee.

Foodies are still tying themselves in knots to be into "umami" without supporting msg, which has too much racist baggage, but if they can find some "natural" version it'll be off like a shot.

I'm hoping vegetable gums become the new Toxin To Avoid because they make me naseous, carageenan in particular does seem to be losing favour.

We've been having Exotic South American superfoods for a while, it may be Africa's turn next. I am not super familiar with African foodstuffs but have seen some interesting vegetables at import grocers. Something like that: not actually obscure or hard to get, but just unfamiliar enough to white people to seem cool and exotic.

I'm not sure what lower class food will be "redeemed" next, we've had burgers and beef soup, maybe meatloaf? Roast? Liver and onions?

Sweet potato's had it's time in the spotlight as the Cool Version Of Potato, maybe turnips or parsnips will be next? Which would suck for me, I digest sweet potato much more easily, but what can you do.

I like to think that people will eventually realise that bitter greens are gross and go back to Actual Lettuce but am not holding out hope.

And the two actual new fad foods linked by [tumblr.com profile] yiduiqie:
Dhal (is it time for Indian food to be the New Thing again?)
Jackfruit as meat substitute. Since I'm not vegetarian I hadn't thought about the search for new meat substitutes. Gluten will have to be rehabilitated before anyone "discovers" seitan, which is a pity for me because it's one of the few I can eat.

Edit: natural umami!

Date: 2017-08-06 08:46 pm (UTC)
leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)
From: [personal profile] leecetheartist
tef, the African grain is becoming increasingly more available.

Date: 2017-08-06 11:52 pm (UTC)
pedanther: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pedanther
I have seen an article recently laying the groundwork for dripping to be a new Healthy Fat. If memory serves, the thesis was that the research which originally made it an Unhealthy Fat was ideologically biased and flawed and newer research is showing that the things that were promoted as healthy substitutes are really worse for you.

Date: 2017-08-07 02:46 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
I was buying olive oil at Woolworths today and saw a jar of duck fat, so you may be right!

Date: 2017-08-07 06:29 pm (UTC)
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pebblerocker
Too many memories of dhal for lunch and dinner when I was young and strapped for cash and didn't have time or energy to cook anything interesting! The article talks about dhal not needing to be very spicy as a good thing, but WOW I was sick of dhal cooked with the same spices every time and little effort spent on making it come out nice.

As a vegetarian with absolutely no reason to seek out recipes, I have run across more than one mention of lard or dripping being the healthy new thing already.

Date: 2017-08-08 09:51 am (UTC)
sami: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sami
*confused face*

How does MSG have racist baggage?

It's like... some people like it, some people don't, some people react badly to it? (It gives my mother migraines.)

Meanwhile:

I'm not sure African foodstuffs are going to be taking off that soon. Apart from anything else, most of the ones I know are going to be *way* too meat-based for most of the faddists, or too boring (maize is so pedestrian) or too culturally confronting. (What, you don't *want* your nice drink of blood?) And a lot of the rest are kind of local/seasonal foods - traditionally, there aren't many "let's settle down in just this one place and farm" societies in Africa. You can't sustain your herds that way.

Plus, the people who like to piously over-pronounce the names of "exotic" foods aren't going to be able to cope with clicks, and using the white people versions would be, like, such cultural imperialism in a way that somehow treating other cultures like fashion accessories isn't.

That's a serious element of my theory as to why African cultures are so rarely considered for this crap. I mean, anyone can badly mispronounce Chinese or Japanese to "access" the "wisdom" of their cultural history, but you can't show off your appreciation of the wonderful music of the Xhosa people if you can't pronounce Xhosa and call Qongqothwane "the Click Song".

Even though it's one of the world's must beautiful songs. (Check out Miriam Makeba's version, it's wonderful.)

Date: 2017-08-09 03:29 am (UTC)
sami: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sami
But... not all Chinese food has MSG in it?

The Best Chinese Restaurant In Perth Seriously Fight Me On This You Will Lose is called Sing Garden. It's in Padbury. Their food has never had MSG in it. Like, way before it was a Thing, they never did.

Date: 2017-08-09 12:07 pm (UTC)
sami: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sami
Just... what.

I mean, when I say my mother gets migraines from MSG, I mean she gets migraines *from MSG*, she loves Chinese food.

Date: 2017-08-09 04:11 am (UTC)
sami: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sami
Not for nothing, btw, it's probably for the best for pretty much everyone I know that African things don't get faddy - none of you want the volume of rage-posts that would generate.

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