Are we over-thinking food a little?
I want to talk about food, because I think we might be over-complicating it a little.
I'm all over a bit of fine-dining, but equally I love a good New Zealand pie with a bit of tom sauce. But food, I think, shouldn't be complicated.
I was at lunch with a friend yesterday and ordered a beetroot and halloumi salad. It came with candied walnuts and peaches and quinoa. I would never normally order something quite so complex or, Lord forbid, vegetarian but I like beetroot - a lot - and so I can never quite bypass it on a menu.
But I've seen some interesting combinations lately. A rocket salad and it looked pretty fabulous in the cafe cabinet until I realised it wasn't a rocket and tomato salad ... it was a rocket and strawberry salad.
Another dish that caught my eye on a menu - pork cheek with carrots, langoustine, almond and gingerbread. Intially I thought "brilliant, it comes with dessert as well", but no. The gingerbread and the langoustine and the pork cheek all together. What happened to pork and apple?
And now we've got cafes and bakeries offering raw food. Each to their own of course, but I quite like eggs on toast so how does that work?
And speaking of eggs ... what about the 62'C egg? I laugh at this every time. For those who don't know, it's an egg that's cooked at 62'C. Why? Well, if you cook an egg at 62'C you're essentially slow-cooking it. You cook it for longer but at a lower temperature, and apparently it means the egg is a different texture to your bog standard egg. I quite like bog standard eggs.
And so now it's a new year, so we'll get a new superfood, won't we? And that's frustrating because I'm only just getting my head around kale, and I still have to stop every time I see the word quinoa because it's spelt quinoa but we say keen-wah. Why don't we just call it quinoa? Does keen-wah sound more posh? Does it make it more palatable? A little less like chicken grits? No, I'm not a fan. Why eat quinoa when you can eat rice? Or pasta? Or even couscous?
Anyway, back to the new food trends that are on their way for 2017. We've got the Americans to thank for most of these. God bless America. They gave us Trump, and they just keep on giving, don't they?
So the first is savoury yoghurt. Savoury yoghurt. There's tomato yoghurt. Parsnip yoghurt. Butternut squash yoghurt. No? No, me neither. Sweet potato yoghurt is another flavour. Or perhaps texture. Can you imagine? And how do you eat it? "Can I have my eye fillet cooked rare please, and I'd like a side of duck-fat chips and tomato yoghurt?"
Black raspberries. Another trend. But isn't a black raspberry - isn't that just a blackberry? Red raspberries are already a superfood so I'm not sure what black raspberries are. An uber food? Anyway, black is the new red apparently.
But the one that takes the cake this year, if you'll excuse the pun, is algae. Algae is the new superfood.
To the best of my knowledge, algae is usually something best consumed by bottom-dwelling fish, although I think we consume a form of it already - in spirulina. But we'll be expanding on that apparently. Algae is where it's at.
How do you think you'll have yours? With a 62'C egg, perhaps? Or on a bed of quinoa?