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Features

14 Foodie Phrases That Have Lost All Meaning

foodies-say-what

We now live in a food culture where no phrase can be uttered without being a stupid pun or insider slang, and in the process, we’ve developed a culinary lexicon has become so convoluted, reading a menu sounds like a cross between a science book, a travelogue, and a lost diary from the Oregon Trail. In short, we need to clean up our f*****g language, starting with these phrases.

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“Farm-to-table”

farm-to-table

We appreciate the idea of freshness as much as anybody, but this kind of gives us the suspicion that we’re gonna get a plate full of dirt clods. Every place that doesn’t use frozen veggies (except the really hip ones without tables) is now using this, and it’s making Old McDonald’s kids feel less special at Sunday dinner.

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“Deconstructed”

deconstructed
“Oh no, that’s not a salad, that’s a deconstructed chicken sandwich with avocado, spinach, baby carrots, ramps, a light raspberry vinaigrette, and lemon zest. See, the roll’s over there, on the side.”

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“Kitchen-driven cocktails”

kitchen-driven

Whoever is driving with cocktails should be reprimanded. Except in Wyoming, where you can get drive-thru ones.

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“Carefully curated”

menu-list
A “curated” menu is just a menu with a pretentious name. Every menu is designed for somebody. Serving crepes doesn’t make you the Louvre.

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“Market-driven”

market-driven
“Seasonal menu” is a little too lowbrow? Or do you want us to be concerned about the commodities exchange while we eat a foraged salad? Because, if that’s the case, foraged salad bonds are going down.

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“Re-imagined”

lightbulb
A term used for movie remakes and putting some non-gravy sauce on fried chicken. You’re not really re-imagining anything… you’re just changing things people eat all the time. That’s just called regular imagining. Or using the ingredients on hand.

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“Riffs on classics”

riff

Riffs on classics should be reserved for somebody ripping a bitchin’ guitar solo during a rendition of “Slow Ride”. Not a beef Wellington that uses truffles instead of button mushrooms.

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“Pan-Asian”

panasian

Unless you’re incorporating ingredients from Russia, Taiwan, Iraq, and beyond, you probably don’t want to use this phrase. Especially if you’re just plopping some soy sauce on something. “Asian” is fine.

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“Slow food”

slow-cooked

Makes it sound like your pasta was held back a grade.

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“Artisanal”

artisanal

When it first started appearing on menus, it came with the promise of ingredients lovingly transformed by a culinary master. Now, “artisanal” is a descriptor on frozen dinners and canned soup. Those can artisans apprentice for decades!

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“New American”

new-american-food

Apparently, this now means putting weird ingredients on diner food. How… classic.

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“Molecular gastronomy”

molecular-gastronomy
When you’re eating something under the molecular gastronomy name, you know you’re getting some mad food science; they’ll use beakers, break stuff down into elements and reassemble them, and basically behave like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew in the kitchen. It’s awesome. And it deserves a better name than this, which sounds like a boring-ass college course or a procedure in which a tube is inserted in your throat.

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“Chef-driven”

chef-driven
Who the hell else would be driving? The busboy?

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“We just want to be a neighborhood spot”

neigborhood-spot
Well played. You’re in the neighborhood. And you’re a spot. If I live in a different neighborhood, can I please still come in?

Categories
Fast Food

Watch How McDonald’s Makes Their Fries

McDonalds-Fries

Everyone knows McDonald’s cuts their fries from the surface of the moon, ships them back to earth, deep fries them in gasoline and spray paints them yellow. You didn’t know that? Well, then how do you figure they last so long? Moon fries, baby.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

‘Farm-to-Table’ Discussion: Do You Care Where Your Food Comes From?

In light of the election season, many a pro- and anti-agroecology interest group has come out guns-a-blazing, seeking either to implement or strike down regulation in favor of more sustainable, organic grassroots farming methods. But here’s a question: is a broad-scale FTT model worth it, or better yet: is it even possible?

Many chef-driven restaurants have embodied and valiantly promote a farm-to-table (or “farm-to-fork”) movement that involves producing and delivering local food to local consumers. Whether it be at a market level or via quick-service restaurants, the movement is often associated with organic farming initiatives and sustainable and community-supported agriculture.

Among other things, advocates argue their food tastes better and is better for you, citing a certain level of intimacy that’s unavoidable when you know exactly where your food came from and how it’s produced. Check out the infographic below by for a quick 101 (click for a larger image):

While doing little to hide its Pro-Agroecology slant, the infographic, courtesy of the Christensen Fund, does raise plenty of compelling arguments, including an increase in grassroot employment, a drastic decrease in pollution and an overall improvement in nutritional diversity and public health. But what it smartly leaves out is any reference to the costs not only to maintain such a system, but even to implement it in the first place — all of which begs the question of whether the efforts of the farm-to-table movement might just be too little, too late.

50 years after the release of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and 250+ years since the Industrial Revolution, our current Industrial Agricultural model has so completely enmeshed itself into the international food system, with financial straits and market trends offering producers and distributors little to no incentive to change.

As is the case with the Bacon-ocalypse, it seems as if the only (and, arguably, only loosely-feasible) way to inspire any effective advances would be for consumers to buckle down and sacrifice convenience, savings and in many views, “taste” in favor of an experimental model for which it may take years to reap any benefits, as bountiful as those benefits may be.

In this way, FTT advocates and critics find themselves navigating the same Catch-22 rhetoric as their global warming counterparts, asking people to change their ways now to maybe benefit their children later. Are consumers willing to pay a $1 to $3 premium, shop only on Saturdays and probably bump up their tax rates in order to ensure their dinners are pollution and chemical free? Would you?

It’s a hard stance to take, so we at Foodbeast are asking you. On a scale of ehh to why are you still asking?, how much do you care whether your bananas come from one or 50 miles away? And why?

[INFOGRAPHIC: by The Christensen Fund]