Monday, May 17, 2010

Food Fads: A Mini-Discussion

Food Fad #1: Dessert Shooters

Once in a while I feel strongly enough about a food fad to speak up. These creepy little things have shown up in many major restaurants, and are being hailed all over creation as something "you gotta try!"

Now, I know there's lots of craziness out there in the world, and people are irrational fairly consistently, and there's no accounting for taste. But dessert shooters? If you want a small dessert, why not plate it attractively so you can enjoy looking at it (horizontally) and enjoy its unique shape and texture? Why shove it into a glass cylinder, making it a generic, stuffed-test-tube looking kind of thing?

You might say, "Becky, did you not just blog quinoa pudding and strawberry-rhubarb trifle? And are they not served in glass cylinders?" Of course! Puddings and trifles are SUPPOSED to be served like that. There's some integrity there. And they're accessible, not served in beakers, for goodness' sake!

My point is that in many cases these imposter desserts are called by the same name as real desserts--key lime pie, or apple crisp, for example. Key lime pie is PIE, people! Served in a SLICE, a TRIANGLE, a SHAPE, for heaven's sake, that you can recognize as a portion of something that was created whole as a dessert.

And apple crisp ... even a small portion of apple crisp ... is vastly more attractive on a plate, with a dab of ice cream or whipped cream nestling alongside it, with maybe a drifting of cinnamon over the plate so you can admire it for a bit before tasting it. Why should your serving of apple crisp look like something from your high school science lab?

It has to be said ... dessert shooters look like the cooks have just shoved leftover dessert components (and who knows what all bits of things they found in the back of the cooler) into those little glasses and are trying to pass them off as something creative!

I predict that dessert shooters will totally disappear within two years, and sanity in the dessert world will be restored.


  1. HA! Love it: your case for PFH (Presenting Food Horizontally. While you are quite convincing, I must say that you've also given me an idea as to how to serve up particular dessert ingredients of which I really don't appear to have enuf even for a single serving (but too much to simply "chuck"). Case in point: half a homemade shortcake and only a smidgen of mushed, smashed strawberries. I could certainly round up a small, even decorative glass, and create a SHOOTER. :) Not exactly where you intended your faithful bloggers were to take your treatise, is it? 8-/

  2. Ha! Indeed! But I would present your bits and pieces in landscape orientation in a small, attractive dish rather than a test tube. Still, to each their own. I have had my say!

  3. At first glance those Dessert Shooters looked appealing and possibly flavorful. After reading your convincing argument, and comparing them with the horizontal presentation, they lost their appeal and I agree that they look more like something put together in a rush. I hope your prediction comes true on the dessert world.

  4. I think the definition of "fad" is something that, as you say, looks appealing at first ... but it does not hold its appeal over time. It is always interesting to watch things like this come and go!