America! Land of many fine cryptic crossword clues, and a gigantic hole in the ground second to none! Long have I admired the rugged untamed contours of your television sets, and your animals aren't bad either! But another thing that Americans like to eat is food, and that food is, if not better, worse or, above all, equal, to food in the rest of the world. In this post, I would like to present two underwhelming American food trends that seem to have caught on in the rest of the world (by which I mean Melbourne).
1. Batch brewed coffee
Instead of brewing coffee individually per the requirements of the customer, batch-brewed coffee is brewed the night before to be forced upon the unsuspecting customer the day after. Batch brewed coffee is great, explained one website, because it ensures greater consistency and it's something that, by definition, you do in bulk! Which is to say it has cost benefits for cheapskate cafe-owners but is actually a shithouse deal for actual coffee drinkers.
Donuts have to be my absolute favourite food stuff that has a hole in it. Cheezels aren't bad either. (And actually while we're on that subject, don't you think - paradoxically - the presence of a hole in donuts actually makes them taste better?) But while donuts are a simple food to do well, I so frequently find them done badly. Donuts should be served piping hot, almost right out of the deep frying vat. Only a few toppings or fillings are necessary: they should be dunked in sugar or cinnamon-sugar, and also acceptable are the jam-filled donuts (also dunked in cinnamon-sugar). And Melbourne does this perhaps better than any other city in the world; hot jam donuts are sold just down the road from me at a van at the Preston Markets. The fact that this delicacy can - and is - sold in its proper form by greasy old men in dodgy vans at the footy should underscore the fact: this food is so easy to do well. So why do we find, in our fair city, an infiltration of donuts which are not done well at all? Instead of hot, sugar covered, jam filled donuts, we find the far inferior cold, mushy, confectionary-coated donut increasingly sold all over the place - the sort that Homer drools over in episode after episode of The Simpsons. These are donuts designed to be photographed (therein the secret of their success lies - cheap publicity). In order to get all that colourful confectionary on, the donut must be cold (or it would all melt): but when cold, the donut very quickly goes stale, and renders into a claggy, unpleasing paste in your mouths. No.
In short, Americans good, lovely people, fine place, but we appear to be adopting some very nonsensical food trends from them. My goodly friends across the Pacific, I implore you - instead of sending across your terrible coffee and your lacklustre donuts, could you please send across more of your craft beer and your maple syrup? We could arrange some kind of a swapsy where we send over lamingtons and pavlova. We'd even lay off feeding you guys Vegemite, honest!
UPDATE! - What is this obsession us Aussies have with feeding the Yanks Vegemite anyway? It's not as if we seem to want to inflict Vegemite upon unsuspecting Germans or Mongolians or Latvians or anything. Are we trying to start a war?
UPDATE UPDATE! - Oh yeah, that's the way, why not start a war with two major world powers while we're at it?
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