Monday, November 29, 2010

Flavor Trends

I previously posted that I try to have a feature salad for each summer (and a soup for winter) for those times when I need to bring a plate to a barbecue or whatever.

It doesn't need to be a "fancy" recipe as such, just something a bit different. I had this one perfectly planned out - it would be a Chicken and Mango Salad with a Thai-style dressing - I even made it again a couple of weeks ago to confirm it was what I wanted. It was! Divinely delicious, healthy, reasonably priced, easy to make - tick, tick and tick :-)

And then I picked up a recipe magazine and noticed a very similar one was being featured. Obviously my original plan got canned on the spot - oh I will make it again, just not as a 'feature'.

So that means I have spent the last day or so trawling through recipe books looking for flavor ides - I am tossing a few ideas around but nothing definite so far.

What i have noticed (again) is our trends with foods and flavors - my books from the seventies relied on some weird combinations of food (think banana, cucumber and carrot or a celery and olive salad (no other ingredients or even dressing for that one) - and lots of canned goods rather than fresh alternatives. Sauces were heavy and plentiful. There was often a "lovely" circle of tomatoes or olives around the edge. Nonetheless, these recipes can easily be updated and tweaked - both in ingredients and presentation.

The aspic ones can not. I have eaten these - I even enjoyed some but then I was under 10 and didn't appreciate what I was doing. Now I somehow fear that by mentioning these joys - consider "Creamed Fish in Aspic" or "Jellied Tomato and Spiced Ham" - it will somehow inspire someone somewhere to reintroduce the "under glass" look. Don't. Please stop now. This cannot be made "nice" - no way, never, na ah. Run from the idea, forget you ever even heard it, change the subject! Just say no!

And if the chefs insist on foisting this on a new, unsuspecting generation, then it is up to us to steer these naive consumers away from the travesty that is aspic.

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