Guest post by @EwanMitchell
Having condemned pulled pork into the vaults of Trendy Foods Room 101 earlier this year, I thought that I was safe. I thought that by venting my spleen and removing the food item that was causing me distress, I would be able to eat easy. I was wrong.
The problem with food trends, as with all other trends, is that they are always moving. While the Whoopie Pie failed to take the nation by storm Macarons have continued their creep into our daily lives, such is the power of televised baking competitions. Doughnuts, Cronuts and Duffins are taking over the shelves of coffee shops that earlier this year were festooned with cupcakes.
But my ire isn’t with sweet treats, although I have serious misgivings with anything that people choose to queue around the block for. My latest food bugbear is actually something that I love and something that I have discussed openly in public, Macaroni and cheese.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to take away your family favorite. I’m not even intending to stop cooking mac and cheese myself. What I want is to stop it appearing on restaurant menus with the such frequency that its unique powers of home comfort are lost.
Up until recently I had only seen it on a few menus and mainly, if the truth be known, on the children’s menus that I am now perusing more regularly. Then it started cropping as a side dish, then starters, and now as a main course in its own right. This is its rightful place, front and centre as the star of the show, but at home, made lovingly by you, not by a faceless stranger who, frankly, will never know how you like your macaroni and cheese.
And this is the problem. My macaroni and cheese is the best macaroni and cheese around. This is not always the case as sometimes I just use the cheeses that I have knocking around the house, but with a bit of time to go shopping for cheddar, parmesan, taleggio and mozzarella, it comes out just how I like it.
I’m sure you are exactly the same. Your macaroni and cheese will be the best there is because you know how you like it. It might have bacon, pine nuts or a tomato topping. You may have a preference for the size and shape of the pasta. Your chef for the evening may well be cooking it exactly how he has it at home, but why would you order a dish that you know you are going to pick apart and probably be disappointed with?
I recently visited a restaurant that I love and was stunned to see ‘The Macaroni and Cheese’ on the menu. I decided not to ask what made this version of the dish the definite article choosing instead to pretend that it wasn’t there.
To save a wonderful dish from becoming the next food that we’re bored of, I am pleading with you to allow me to place restaurant macaroni and cheese into Trendy Foods Room 101. You’ll hardly notice that it’s not there anymore if we nip this in the bud nice and early. Oh and if you remain unconvinced, I have heard reports of restaurants serving macaroni and cheese on top of pulled pork, it can’t be long until it’s on cupcakes too!