When it comes to food, simple is often best. Traditional Victoria Sponge, good old steak and chips, comforting cheese on toast, or early morning bacon sarnies on really good bread – all these things can be perfectly executed with little need for fuss. Every now and then though, I just need something, well, different.
Tonight I'm off out to a restaurant near MrF’s hometown, where the menu consists mostly of burgers and steak. Not just any old burgers and steak though, seven different cuts of steak (or a mixed grill if you simply cannot choose) and eighteen, yes EIGHTEEN, variations of burger. There are small plates and salads available, but when online reviews promise the “best burgers” in the local vicinity, which are “to die for & on par (if not better) than high end London restaurants”, well, what’s a Foodie to do – I'll take one of those thank you very much. In fact, I'm currently struggling to decide between “The Frenchie”: topped with pan fried Foie Gras, gingerbread and truffle mayo, and the “Crabby Patty”: a pan fried crab burger with baby herb leaf, tomato and spicy mayo. Decisions, decisions.
The trend for gourmet burgers with endless topping choices clearly isn't a new thing; neither is pulled pork, which seems to be on 90% of all menus these days. But some trends do stick around for a while, ultimately ending up shoehorned on mainstream chain restaurant menus, in a sad kind of ‘child star’ style downward spiral.
|How to do pulled pork...|
'The Angry Texan' from The Rusty Bicycle
2012 trends predicted by The Telegraph included: cheap cuts of meat, slow roasted and served up with store cupboard essentials; all things pickled, inspired by kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage); meatballs; salt beef; casual dining (think minimal interiors or supper clubs); and doughnuts. All recession-friendly and easy on the pocket.
Jump forward to 2014 and slow cooked meats are still on menus, you'll likely still see kimchi and salt beef kicking around and supper club popularity continues to rise.
According to The Guardian though, future food trends are much scarier. Kale ice lollies? Please God no. Smart knives that can check the levels of harmful bacteria while you're cutting? Too much information. Alcohol awareness ice cubes, which warn you if you're drinking too fast? No thank you. Sensors embedded in your teeth that report your diet and smoking habits back to your doctor? No. Freaking. Way.
There’s a fine line between genius and crazy, and you sometimes have to go a little crazy to find the genius ideas. Personally, I can’t wait to see what comes next , and I'm all in favour of a little crazy – you just won’t catch me near the kale lollies.
Published in the Sept/Oct edition of Vale Life Magazine