The way the CoCo Times figures it, Italian-style charcuterie, wild boar, and kaffir limes topped the year's roster of favorite ingredients for Bay Area chefs. Also the here-to-stay nature of the small-plates format, an ever-tightening radius for ingredients considered local, fancy food courts, and communal tables in restaurants. Yeah, pretty much, though we think the Times missed the artisan ice cream trend (Sketch, Ici).
We're not convinced that boar really broke out, not in the East Bay anyway (we'd argue that the popularization of heirloom pigs and turkeys made a much louder squawk). And we think the higher profile for things like kaffir limes is really part of a bigger trend toward embracing South Asian flavors.
The Year in Food Vindicated Bay Area Activists
Organics weren't the only thing that went mainstream in 2006. Sure, Wal-Mart took to them the way GM takes to a new advertising campaign, but other areas of concern to local food activists (lack of muscular regulation, trans fats, animal welfare) are now national topics of discussion. On the coasts, anyway. As The New York Times observes in its look back at the year in food politics: "This was the year when Americans got in touch with their food, and its varied political and social connections came into focus in different media." We'll take credit for starting the discussion at least a decade ago. But we'll pass on having anything to do with turning Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation into a lame drama.
The Contra Costa Tribune, Week Two
Last week all three Bay Area MediaNews dailies ran the identical story as the lead food section feature. This week only the Trib picked up Nick Boer's Coco Times feature, part of his ongoing two-chefs-drop-in-on-the-unsuspecting series. Trib readers: Why not just eighty-six your subscription and read the food section on line? You could avoid the hassle of hauling all that newsprint out to the recycling bin.
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