What is a food trend? And who is responsible??

What is a food trend? And who is responsible??

A culinary conundrum

Text: Yeong Sassall

Mary's owners Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham unpack the origins of the food trend phenomenon

Goat froth. Soured yak cream. 500 yeah old rose thorn. The above hasn't been thrown together on a plate yet. They will meet one day and in a restaurant so hard to get to, the 'soured yaks cream' will have been lacto-fermented in the stomachs of the Sherpa guiding you through the Swamps of Gastroenterital Despair.

Top Food Writer will declare this Top Food Trend of 2021. And you will believe it. Because they know/are better than you.

Does a trend mean it's popular? We grew up with trends that were popular. TAB Cola. Sizzler. School canteen meat pies. Caesar salad. But more and more trends are being divorced from popularity. It used to be that popularity fed trends, like oxygen does fire. Nowadays, the bloggers and 'critics' have a maniacal and sweaty grip on the Insta-jerry-can fueling of 'trends'.

They swarm atop each other, clambering like a thousand angry, pre-rain ants, fighting to be the first to post about the rapid rise of the retro use of red frogs in new wave psuedo desserts, or whatever. And for what? And for whom? Are the twelve seats in a remote, Sweden hotel truly more popular than the rowdy three hundred at Golden Century? Arguably a single sitting at Golden Century feeds more people than make the pilgrimage to Faviken in a year.

Yet hand-forged steak knives, sorrel juice and 'perfectly unripe' strawberries seem to be far trendier than 3am pippies, XO and crispy noodles, because commentators deem it to be so, not for the masses voting with their asses. What we don't need is the collective leech of the self-proclaimed-'professional food writer' sucking and spewing why Laotian muskrat kebabs are better than your local souvlaki.

What we need is an industry rich in cooks with vision and perspective. Of course we need thought-provoking dishes, set forth in avante-garde restaurants, for growth and vitality and renewal, but we also need a vibrant consumer, ready to engage.

Great food defines our future through careful reassessment of our history, via our present. Great cooks with vision and perspective are the cord blood of our industry - they are responsible for trends. As are you.

Love you

Marys x