Never shy, Chowhounds express extra scorn for misguided food trends that survive beyond the initial novelty stage. In a recent discussion about trends that deserve to die in 2012, hounds heaped particular disdain on these five food trends that need to go away—NOW.
Bastardized poutine. "Unless they are delicious thick wedge fries, don't start pouring cheese, bacon and chili on them. They just become a mushy disaster," warns jhopp217. Other Chowhounds take issue with the rash of nontraditional poutines, particularly those that skip traditional cheese curds altogether: "I can't tell you how many times I've yelled, in my head 'That's not poutine!!!'" says CanadaGirl. Forget farmhouse cheddar, fancy short-rib gravy, even foie gras—poutine is downscale diner food, to be consumed, says goodhealthgourmet, "between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. after you've imbibed or inhaled more than your share of your preferred recreational substance."
Bruschetta. Don't you try to recycle your stale bread and hard pink tomatoes on us for $7! "Bruschetta is another dish I see no point in ordering when we can make it at home with tomatoes fresh from the vine. No resto version is going to touch that," says Chowhound Bob W.
Chocolate lava cake. "Anyone can make a chocolate lava cake, and almost everyone does, using a mix. Blech," says Isolda. When an item has reached frozen-food status, does it belong on a restaurant menu?
Sweet potato fries. "Most seem to come from the same frozen food supplier!" says westaust. "All of this for an extra charge on top of the regular side dish options." If they're done well, they're great. But mostly, they're not.
Cake pops. Once, Bakerella made these look cool. But after enduring a couple years of horrible versions at school bake sales, Chowhounds are done. They're not alone, judging from all the marked-down cake-pop pans piling up in discount stores. "Why does any silly fad like this take a custom pan?" asks gingershelley. "Just imagine, in a few years you will walk into a thrift store and see this pan sitting there.... what on earth is THAT for?"