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As the year 2010 dawned, SlashFood's Hanna Raskin made a perplexing observation. "If there was one trend that defined the first breaths of this millennium," she wrote, "it was a general resistance to trendiness." Are you kidding me?
Over the past decade, it seems that every high-end, big-city restaurant added at least one pomegranate-laden item to its menu or devised a dish with foam. Or both.
Have we moved beyond the era of "molecular gastronomy" and pomegranate pretentiousness? Can we speak in past tense of the Foam Decade? Let's hope so. The love affair for showmanship in many restaurants has tried our patience.
Over the past decade, a number of chefs have used words such as "innovative" to justify self-indulgent dishes with very mismatched ingredients. Red mullet with sausage and cherries?
Last year, the Chicago Tribune rightly called "foam" one of the dining scene's worst trends. "It's suds," wrote the Tribune's Christopher Borrelli. "We guess we taste the kiwi-caramel tones. Wait, no, we can't." Washingtonian magazine slapped a northern Italian restaurant for a caprese salad with buffalo-milk foam -- "it feels forced."
Making a dinner out of cotton candy may amuse the ranks of royalty, but it's not my idea of a meal. I hesitated to even mention this Renaissance-era dinner for fear that it might encourage the frivolous instincts of some chefs. Is it possible to make foam out of confectioner's sugar? Sadly, we may soon find out.