MSNBC's Five Hottest Foodie Trends... Yawn.

Don't you just love it when the national media write about foodie trends? It always makes me think they're writing for people in some forgotten backwater who honestly do think that adding a packet of seasoning from Tastefully Simple to a cheese ball makes for a sophisticated, New York-style party. (Don't laugh. That sort of thing is exactly what their catalog is like.)

In this case, it's MSNBC's turn to talk about things Californians have known for a long time, which their editors seem to have discovered recently.
1. Urban foraging

Flickr user garydenness
Urban foraging practically started in California. The fine folks at Fallen Fruit publish maps to help people find the food they want. Foraging classes are offered throughout the region and there's a phalanx of professional foragers (some of whom are responsible and some of whom are outright thieves) who supply restaurant kitchens. This is California; we grow damn near everything here, and it hangs out over the sidewalks and into the easements for anyone to take.

2. Night markets

The MSNBC article specifically calls out the Yamashiro Farmers' Market, but that's not a night market the way Asia does night markets. Night markets in Asia are honestly more about the snacks than the produce, and if it's night street food you want, look no further than Lonchera Lane in Santa Ana.

3. Single-item restaurants

Flickr user jubilo
While Korean restaurants aren't technically single-item, the way you eat Korean food is to decide what you want to eat, and then where to get it. You don't buy soondae at a barbecue restaurant, and you don't ask for soondubu at a seolleongtang place (which only sells seolleongtang and haejangguk). Here again, our single-item restaurants tend to be loncheras. Los Reyes del Elote Asado only sells elotes asados; Chivas pretty much only sells tortas ahogadas; Crêpes Bonaparte sells only crêpes. Why loncheras and not brick-and-mortar places? Because it's far, far cheaper to operate a truck.

4. Bicycle cafés

These are nothing new here either. A ride down PCH (through its various names) along the Amtrak Century route reveals plenty of bike shops with espresso machines and tables. OC's premier bicycle café is Revo Cycles and Espresso on PCH in Dana Point... and not just because they are awesome and fixed up my seven busted spokes when I hit the curb sideways going down the hill near the Ritz-Carlton Laguna last October.

5. Rent-a-tree

Flickr user blancamejia
In other words, a CSA--community-supported agriculture--that's very limited in scope. If you want a CSA, there are tons, and then you're not limited to "renting a tree". As for that whole concept--my parents used to rent me a tangelo tree from that Rent Mother Nature company in 1984. Trend? Not if it's been done nationwide for the last thirty years.
Man, at least when we make listicles they're entertaining, usually. If MSNBC isn't careful, they're going to lose the National News Network Food Blog award to Fox News.

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