Sitting here eating breakfast a few minutes ago, I thumbed through my latest Southern Living magazine, in my usual method, which for some reason irritates my husband a great deal. I browse women’s magazines starting from the back and working my way towards the front of the magazine. Why? Well, because the recipes are in the back and I like to peruse those first. Thanks to Pinterest and the internet, there’s no need to save all these magazine recipes in paper form anymore and due to some neat subscription service called “Next Issue”, I’m whittling down and receive just a few magazines in paper form. Once these subscriptions expire, perhaps I may go paperless completely.
Back to the recipes, we’re approaching Fall in a few days, so naturally Southern Living ran Fall themed recipes, which brings me to this trend in American food – making dishes or food items taste like something other than what they normally do. The section titled the “Great Pumpkin Cookbook” contains pumpkin-and-turnip green lasagna, beer-battered pumpkin (strips of pumpkin dipped in batter, then deep-fried) with a dipping sauce, and pumpkin-chocolate brownies. Of course, there was the standard “our easiest pumpkin pie ever” too, but truly pumpkin pie already is one of the easiest pies to make, so that title seemed hyperbolic.
In recent years, the potato chip industry joined this freak food contest game too, with bizarre flavors. Lay’s brand chips went so far as to do a contest, with the 4 finalists announced in July of this year: Wavy West truffle fries flavored chips, New York reuben flavored chips, Southern biscuits and gravy flavored chips, and kettle cooked Greektown gyros flavored chips.
Of course, the fad flavor gimmick creates fortunes for the intrepid mad food scientists in the ice cream industry, from Baskin-Robbins with their fun fact that the company began their sales gimmick of 31 flavors for each day of the month back in 1953. Ben and Jerry’s, which began as a small start-up ice cream business in Vermont, melts catchy named unique ice cream flavors with political activism for a new- age blend of socially conscious consumerism, where you can sample flavors from their “euphoric batches”, all while knowing they are working to “make the best ice cream in the most sustainable way”
Nothing says “America” like pizza, so surprise, surprise, Coolhaus, a Los Angeles creamery, not to be outdone, adds some West Coast artisanal trendiness with, yes, pizza-flavored ice cream…
Well, as for me, I like my pumpkin in pie, my lasagna with meat and tomato sauce, and when it comes to ice cream, as my kids say, “Mom, you’re so old and boring!” Yes, I prefer plain, old-fashioned vanilla, of course,