Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue-David Sax
non-fiction, cultural studies
Greek yogurt. Spicy chipotle mayo. Honeycrisp apples. The Cronut. These days, it seems we are constantly discovering a new food that will make us healthier, happier, or even somehow smarter. After a brief life as a novelty houseplant and "I Love the '80s" punchline, chia seeds are suddenly a superfood. Speaking of which, what ever happened to pomegranate juice? Or acai berries? Did they suddenly cease to be healthy in 2010? And by the way, what exactly is a superfood again?
Excellent narrative voice by Sax. He has clearly done his research into the modern world of food trends and has pulled apart various trends as case studies for each chapter. His information is usually balanced (especially well done with food trucks-a chapter where you're not sure which side of the debate to fall on) and presented rather neutrally but never without losing a sense of narrative which keeps you reading. He presents complex information about the hierarchy of supermarket chains and how chefs do or don't control food trends in a format that never feels heavy and always keeps you reading. If you are at all interested in the social mechanics of food trends-this is the book to read.