Today has been a busy day for me in the Noshosphere. This morning, my lovely editors at NoshOn.It posted a piece I’ve been working on for far too long, a Hot & Not list for food trends. I love hot and not lists. Bon Appetit does a hot list every year, and everyone knows the Saveur 100. My only issue is they all seem to work on setting trends, not analyzing them. This list is no masterpiece, but I pride myself on having solid arguments for why certain fads are overdone, including lack of political or social accountability.
I live in a community of hipsters, and anyone who has lived in Austin/Williamsburg/Bushwick/Asheville/Portland/San Fran/Olympia/Seattle will know exactly what I mean when I say it is both the best and the worst community to inhabit, mainly because there are two types of hipsters. There are the ideological hipsters and the social hipsters: Ideological hipsters are passionate about underground culture (independent music, food trucks, underground film festivals, the like) because of its moral, philosophical or environmental implications; social hipsters are passionate about underground culture from an essentialist perspective (as in, they like underground culture BECAUSE it’s underground). An ideological hipster will tell you exactly why they enjoy eating food from food trucks (“It breaks down privileged social constructions of gastronomy by celebrating the cuisine of the working class and developing world”) or listening to TNGHT (“By eliminating discourse from the context of the music, it accurately depicts Derrida’s deconstruction of language as irrational”). Generally, it has to do with a philosophical or critical movement of the postmodern/poststructuralist era, or a political/social movement that promotes equal access or opportunity (see: veganism or the locavore movement). Sure, maybe they express their passions in a way that alienates some (most) of the population, but for the most part, ideological hipsters are intelligent folks who want to make their world a better place. These are the hipsters I love and miss when I move back to Boston.
I so, so, so, don’t miss social hipsters. Why? Because they will flaunt their knowledge of self-indulgent spoken word poets, Tumblr fame, or thrifted cords with migraine-inducing pretension and no understanding of why spoken word, Tumblr or thrifting benefits their world.
So I guess I have this desire to write about hipster culture and trends as someone who doesn’t buy into social hipsterdom, and who doesn’t identify as a hipster. I pay attention, but I don’t start the trends. I analyze them. Part of me wants to start a blog with this premise later in life, but for now, I’m starting small, with the largest trends and as much sass as I can get away with. So far, I’ve been receiving emails with lots of positive comments, and the unbelievably cool website Eat Boutique will be featuring this story later today.
The second post is a recipe for Bun Cha, a Vietnamese street food that is neither Pho NOR Banh Mi (I KNOW GUYS). Instead, this dish is served with yummy grilled meatballs, a fish-sauce-laden dipping sauce and yummy vermicelli noodles. It’s super easy to make it gluten-free, it is already dairy-free, and it’s actually super easy to make. Plus, we have a tip for grilling when you don’t have a grill. You can use the broiler, guys. It’s cray.
What I love about this post is also the blog, Daily Unadventures in Cooking. Katerina obviously knows her stuff, and she is that lovely balance of sarcastic, goodhearted and knowledgeable. Check it out, yo.