April 7, 2015
peak foodieI've been trying to keep an eye open for the next iteration of Foodie culture. I mean, whether you're planting the flag with David Chang's Momofuko or at some other random point (I'd go a little before, but I'm n not sure what the inciting event is), whatever the collective term is for all the gastrohipsters grinding their own flour all over the country, the movement is fifteen years old, at the very least, and what starts as a cult soon becomes a fad and then pop culture subsumes it. So I'm just wondering if there's going to be a moment when Foodie culture becomes incontravertibly genericized. For example, the fact that Bushwick's crown jewel Roberta's has a line of supermarket pizzas, that could be one, or the fact that one of the seedier looking Chinese take-out joints is now making "Thai-style" chicken wings, which derive from the must-have wings at Andy Ricker's Pok Pok (which in turn derive from Thailand). Those are close, but not there yet.
This little listicle, however, entitled Eight of the Most Ridiculous Foods To Eat On Baseball's Opening Day, might be the point of no return. Fact: baseball food, while full of nostalgic appeal, has never been good. Whether the dirty water dogs of long ago or the sad simulacrum of comfort food (nachos! pizza!) invariably cooked into beigeness by Aramark, the ball park is not where Lucky Peach is dispatching a reporter. Fact: there may be no culture more American and main stream than ball park culture. Ball park culture still likes Seven Mary Three; ball park culture thinks someday of growing his hair long.
And the eight ridiculous foods? They are indeed ridiculous, and would be entirely at home on the menu of a little hotspot in Charleston, SC or the East Village. They include such timeless favorites as Chicken-Fried Corn on the Cob (what it sounds like) and Pulled Pork Parfait (pulled pork and mashed potatoes duded up in a parfait glass). None of them tout the sourcing of the components, and all of them are just the same mass-produced ick as hots and burgers, but from an alternate reality. We are at Peak Foodie: all of the whimsy and (self-serious) care of the past fifteen years, ripped from any ethical context and reimagined as pot-free stoner calorie bombs, something that would fit right in with the bobble-heads on the desk of Mike & Mike (In The Morning).
Having said all that, Nachos On a Stick is something I could tuck into right about now.
Posted by mrbrent at 3:13 PM