Dining and Restaurants / Eating / Food and Cooking

FOOD TRENDS: Lardo love; Too much food info? New cruciferous: broccoli spigarello

“Every day that you don’t have (lardo) in your life is a dark swamp of ignorance.” – Anthony Bourdain

Reported by the Associated Press:
Welcome to the era of the menu as a spreadsheet. More restaurants, either by mandate or by choice, are bombarding diners with calorie counts and other information. The disclosures on menus, menu boards and pamphlets are a victory for health advocates who believe informed consumers will make better food choices.
But the profusion of numbers makes one wonder: Is it possible to give diners too much information about their food? Calorie counts are of limited use to someone who doesn’t know how many calories they’re supposed to eat a day, says Doug Nelson, director of the Avery Foodservice Research Laboratory at Purdue University. It might be more useful to tell diners that a brownie sundae with 850 calories represents more than a third the daily intake recommended for most adults. A second problem is the “halo effect,” which could lead people to believe that something with low calories is good for them generally. For instance, someone counting calories might consider a lower-calorie chicken and bacon ranch salad a great choice without noticing that its salt count is off the scale. But maybe the biggest weakness of providing information is that people who order Burger King’s Triple Whopper with Cheese (1,250 calories) understand that it is not health food. Even in cities with simple calorie postings customers often say they either failed to notice the numbers next to the prices and menu listings — or failed to heed them.

Reported by tastingtable.com:
Seattle-based Komforte Chockolates is selling a candy bar that combines good chocolate with corn tortilla chips, lime and sea salt.

Reported by edhat.com:
It’s not broccoli, it’s Broccoli Spigarello, a variety producing masses of leaves and tiny florets. You’ll recognize the taste, but it’s more concentrated and focused than broccoli florets, without any of the acid undertone often found there. …

Reported by Convenience Store News:
In a Technomic survey, convenience store foodservice did not score well among consumers for providing good value for the money, fresh ingredients, generous portions or appetizing sandwiches. One theory is that low prices for food at convenience stores are spurring perceptions of low value.

Reported by walletpop.com:
Supermarkets are designed to get you to spend as much as they can get you to spend. It makes sense. That’s why they spread staples throughout the store. The bread aisle, milk case, meat case and produce usually are placed as far away as possible from each in order to drag you by specially-priced items they want you to buy on impulse.

Complaints, tirades, comments, critiques? lehndorffj@aol.com
Nibbles Dining Column: http://yellowscene.com/2010/04/14/who’s-a-true-foodie/

John Lehndorff is a Boulder, Co.-based food trend researcher, food writer and consultant. He is a former caterer, nationally distributed newspaper food columnist and restaurant critic, author of a restaurant guide book, and one of America’s foremost pie experts.

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