There was a time when people didn't have to apologize for what was on their plates.
People ate whatever they damn well pleased. It was a time of reckless abandon - the Wild Wild West - when a marshmallow suspended in gelatin was not an anathema, a time when food had no rules or regulatory police. It was madness! Culinary anarchy! Food was fast and mad as a March hare! And only a few brave souls now alive will admit that there was an unrestrained joyfulness in the consumption of politically incorrect food-like products.
We have remnants (poutine?) and outposts (food trucks!) but for the most part the combined forces of nutrition and culinary sophistication have forced Velveeta and Spam underground. Yes, there was once an imitation whipped cream. And a gooey imitation maple syrup. Hell there was imitation coffee.
Sure, there are those who try to ride two horses. Kraft Dinner is shunning it's neon orange cheese powder heritage that generations venerated in favour of something more politically correct.
The Vichy government of food reigns over the land!
Everyone is competing to be holier than the holiest. Food must be local, virginal, organic! Roughage rules! We have an explosion of kale salads and Brussels sprout slaws! Dried legumes are revered and fermented veggies are the holy grail!
But as with all occupying forces, there is an underground - wily and determined - serving children, innocent children I tell you, grilled cheese sandwiches made of synthetic white bread and individually wrapped cheese slices, fried in butter and served with canned, no seriously canned, tomato soup. Oh the horror!
Of course, this subversive activity is absolutely unacceptable. To be seen in public eating hot dogs (the guerrilla warriors use drive throughs) or purchasing frothy white bread under the watchful eyes of spying neighbours, is tantamount to declaring food atheism, but, underground movements, like bog fires, can be driven to smolder deep under the surface, but are nearly impossible to quench entirely.
Authors note: I love every vegetable, and follow every food trend. I make my own bread, roll my own pasta. I have a sous-vide maker and consider a blow torch an essential cooking tool. Don't send me angry organic, kale infused emails. You're preaching to the choir. That being said, I still I have to call it like I see it in South Dundas. If you see me at the drive-through, don't make eye contact.
Needs a recipe