Food52 Life

Too Many Cooks: Food Trends That Just Won't Die

October  2, 2015

We're lookin' at you, smoothie bowl! Foam "garnish"! Ever-present $12 avocado toast! 

Avocado toast

They linger on menus. They flood your Instagram feeds. They compel you to drop upwards of $8 on a skimpy bag of questionably nutritious seeds. You know what I'm talking about: the food trends that, linger as they do, we wish would just go away. This week, the Food52 shared their thoughts: What are the food trends that, for you, just won't die? (And which would you defend?)

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Olivia: I love beets as much as the next guy but I'm over the beet salad on menus. Whether it's dolloped with yogurt, dotted with goat cheese, or tossed with nuts, I'm ready for the next gen of beet preparation.

Jackie: Olivia, we are sharing brainwaves today. The field greens salad with candied walnuts or pecans, goat cheese, some dried cranberries, and a raspberry vinaigrette: Boring.  With so many ingredients out there, come up with something new! 

Jovan: I'm over chia. Chia pudding, chia parfaits, chia bread, chia whatever. Not chia pets. Those must live on.

Jane P.: So over quinoa in wraps, on salads, turned into pudding, toasted for granola, dumped in a bowl... Let's all just admit that brown rice is so much better. 

Kale Caesar

Megan: Kale Caesar. I don't understand how swapping the greens makes it special and worthy of a $16 price tag. Over it. 

Leslie: I will forever stand by the smoothie bowl—eating it with a spoon makes it last longer, and who doesn't love granola, fruit, and peanut butter on top of their smoothies?? Actually, wait, I love all of these things. Long live the kale Caesar, chia-sprinkled, quinoa-beet salad!!

Jane W.: I recently saw something about a deep fried pumpkin spice latte and almost emigrated. 

Micki: YES! Pumpkin spice. Okay places: baked things that actually have pumpkin in them (like muffins, bread, etc.). Not okay places: pretty much everything else.

Hillary: Pickle plates. I love pickles, but that's not what I want to eat when I go out.


Ali: Sriracha, toast, avocados—separately and together.

Carmen: +1 on toast! Not about to dish out mad money for that.

Jane W.: I hear you, Ali, but I'm not ready to let go.  Feel free to send me back to 2013.  

Lauren L.: Packaging that says "gluten free" when it never had any gluten in it anyway.  

Gabi: Lauren, preach. "Gluten-free water"? Well, that's a relief.

Jovan: Too late to add crêpe cafes? Salmon and capers and cream cheese crêpes with a side of wilted "spring" salad. Crepes in cones, too. Just no.

What food trends make you feel fatigued? Which will you defend to the end of time? Take a stand in the comments.

Photo of avocado toast by James Ransom

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Anne-Marie
  • j
  • amysarah
  • 702551
  • henandchicks
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


Anne-Marie November 23, 2016
I'm totally over the "Certified Angus" & non-GMO. I actually saw a can of baking powder labeled non-GMO food. Ok, so we all know when plants were first cultivated instead of just gathered, they were genetically modified naturally. When you grow a plant outside its natural environment, it is genetically modified to adapt to new circumstances. I suppose I'm just over the advertising hype associated with what we eat (like gluten-free - if you aren't allergic, it doesn't matter). Seriously, a cow is a cow; strip the hide and they all look, and taste, the same (yes, they do - the whole CAB thing is a marketing ploy), although grass-fed does affect the flavor a tiny bit (richer and gamier, like wild meat), it's still marketing and isn't any healthier - but advertising agencies need to make their buck off the consumer any way possible. Oops, didn't mean the rant there.
j January 3, 2016
Save me from pumpkin anything. Without a pound of seasonings and flavorings it is tasteless mush.
completely agree with cv @ avocados & toast.
amysarah October 3, 2015
Avocados are very common on the East coast, certainly not weird ingredients. The obsession with putting it on toast is just one of those trends that took on an inexplicable life of its own, as so many do. People have eaten avocados - and everything else - on toast for as long as I can recall, it just wasn't a "thing" until some guy with a big beard (or handlebar mustache) and a man-bun served it alongside a Mason jar of artisanal juice and proclaimed it genius. I'm thinking of inventing the Egg Cream.
henandchicks October 3, 2015
Bravo! If you grow a lush beard to sell your egg creams, I'll buy one.
702551 October 2, 2015
Wow, I've been eating avocado toast my entire life (I'm a native Californian). It might be trendy in restaurants elsewhere, but I've never eaten avocado toast in a restaurant. It has always been a home thing often with avocados from a neighbor's tree.

So strange that people think this as trendy. I guess if you don't live in a place that grows avocados, it becomes this weird obsessive trophy ingredient.

Not a big deal.
henandchicks October 2, 2015
Lord save me from pumpkin spice. I work in a little café...pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice muffins, pumpkin spice urinal pucks....
Elizabeth L. October 20, 2016
I am Australian, and i have always been bewildered by the American addiction to pumpkin, pumpkin spice. Pumpkin pie? Latte? Smoothie? Candy? Doesn't appeal. I guess for the same reason Americans don't get our use of beetroot on hamburgers, in sandwiches. Interesting the different National trends from around the World.
Tracy M. October 2, 2015
There is no better lunch than a perfect avocado smashed on toast with a side of tomatoes.
deb O. October 2, 2015
YES!!!! I throw on a little hot sauce.
Nancy M. October 2, 2015
It is way past time to ban truffle oil from restaurants. It smells like a rotting corpse and one meal containing it stinks up the entire room.
Elizabeth L. October 20, 2016
Lol. I love truffle oil, especially on Gourmet Pizza. I do get that it doesn't appeal to everyone, very potent.
Inspiralized October 2, 2015
Definitely avocado toast! I can do away just about everything else...
Jan W. October 2, 2015
Sardines on toast >>> avocado on toast. Try it with a sharp cheddar or tangy goat cheese and wild rocket (and a piquillo pepper if you have them)!
Niknud October 2, 2015
You can take my avocado toast when you pry it from my cold dead hands! I will never be done with avocado toast!
Caroline L. October 2, 2015
you know, i feel exactly the same way.
Allyn October 2, 2015
Agreed! I eat it multiple times a week. I will say that it's a silly thing to be pricey at a restaurant though, so down with expensive avocado toast maybe?!
Elizabeth L. October 20, 2016
I love avocado, and often use it in place of butter on toast, in sandwiches. Lol. Call it smashed avocado and all of a sudden it's trendy!