From cable television to your kitchen

Cassava cake

If you watch food television shows like Chopped, Top Chef, or The Next Food Network Star, you've seen your share of unusual ingredients. You may have even learned about them from the program, and it turns out you are not alone. Salon  explores the phenomenon of food trends emerging from these TV shows, noting that "our kale fascination is no accident, and it's traceable from restaurant kitchens to cable television to our Instagram feeds."

Before cable TV and the internet completely changed our entertainment focus, food trends emerged from the superstars of the era like Julia Child, or from popular magazines like Gourmet. Stars still command respect, but Salon explains that "with the rise of foodie-fueled social media - #foodstagram, #foodporn and the like - the playing field has leveled, allowing home cooks and food bloggers to at least feel they have a part in rise and fall of in-vogue ingredients."

The story makes most foodies out to be lemmings who mindlessly follow food trends in an effort to be seen as part of the elite, but I think that misses the mark for many people. Some folks might Google 'black chicken' so they can be part of the "it" crowd, but most are likely just curious about a food they haven't experienced before.

So what is the newest trend emerging from television and social media? It looks like Filipino food, at least according to stars like Andrew Zimmern and think tank firms like the Sterling Rice Group. In 2014 at the Food Network New York City Food and Wine Festival, Zimmern waxed poetic about the current "incredible love affair with Filipino food." What foods have you discovered via programs like Chopped or Top Chef?

Photo of Cassava cake from 7000 Islands: A Food Portrait of the Philippines by Yasmin Newman

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