The world of gastronomy is as subject to the whim and whimsy of the "trend" as any industry, from fashion to music. Some foods are eternal, like pizza, and others come and go from our midst, for better or for worse.
Let's relegate the kitchen towel to where it belongs: the kitchen bucket.
So, we got together all of the food writers we could find and asked them what they thought the most overdone, needs to come out of the oven, stick a fork in them already food trends of 2013 were.
Since 13 is our lucky number (we like to live on the edge), that's exactly how many we came up with. Some we loved, some we hated, some we loved to hate, and others we just couldn't resist loving until we hated ourselves.
Here are thirteen food trends that have become ubiquitous and shed the sheen of novelty -- now they're just dull and sometimes annoying, in spite of an exciting debut.
(To keep things interesting, we've included a few food trends we hope continue into 2014 and beyond. See if you can identify which trends or innovations were welcome additions in 2013.)
Coming in at number 5...
Kitchen Towels Standing in for Napkins
When our most forward-thinking restaurateurs began putting kitchen towels on tables instead of napkins, it was endearing. Restaurants had been cautiously making a move toward a more casual presentation ever since the recession made spending a car payment on an ounce of caviar seem crass and insensitive. Bow-tied waiters and starched linens were out; approachable service and the warm comfort of casual dishtowels tied with butcher's twine were in. If the towels had remained an intermittent occurrence they might have maintained their initial appeal, but within just a few years they've appeared on the tables of every gastropub, farm-to-table restaurant, and any other establishment that serves craft cocktails or brunch. They're everywhere. And many of them are beginning to look a little threadbare, as if they've been in service since the trend began. If daubing your face with unsightly linens doesn't affront you, consider the lint. All towels aren't created equally, and as they've grown in popularity, restaurants have increasingly come to rely on lower-quality fabric. Draped across the legs these inferior linens have an effect not unlike an unkempt Persian cat, leaving a fine veil of fuzz that requires half a roll of masking tape to remove. Certainly we'll get back to the white linen standard eventually -- even the good trends fade. Let's relegate the kitchen towel to where it belongs: the kitchen bucket. -- Scott Reitz
You can contact Rebecca Dittmar, Arts & Culture Editor/Food Blog Editor at [email protected].