The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue
By David Sax
Call number: 394.12 S272t
For a person like myself who enjoys food, The Tastemakers covers all areas of interest, including ethnic foods, food trucks, science, health, and more.
Before I read this book, I did not think about food trends too much. As I read, I realized how influenced I was about certain foods in the past ten years. How many of us were eating chia seeds, acai berries, or Greek yogurt in 2003? Who knew who a celebrity chef was? Did you know how many apple varieties there were on the market? How many of us considered standing in a long line for 30 minutes or more just to buy a doughnut or a hamburger?
Sax discusses these trends and tells us why and how these trends developed, writing in readable style and describing it all pretty comprehensively and in just under 300 pages.
The content of the book is divided into three parts:
- Part I: The Four Types of Trends
- Part II: How Trends Break Out
- Part III: Why Food Trends Matter
Trends can be spontaneous, such as Sax’s example of cupcakes. That trend, he explains, really began with the show Sex and the City in 2000. However, did you know trends can also be manufactured by sales and marketing groups? Sax also provides great examples of trends that worked, didn’t work, are still working, and which are coming back. Cronut anyone?
Having attended BaconFest Chicago in 2014, I particularly enjoyed the description of this event in the Money: Baconomics 101 section. Bacon nirvana indeed!
For the record, I will always enjoy fondue of all types. As one person Sax spoke with said:
“The strength of fondue is the idea that everyone participates in eating or cooking from the same pot…[it] somehow creates a unity at the table.”
Food to me is something of a communion between people (friends and lovers, parents and children, old and young.) Sax shows us how these trends bring us together and provide common ground for cultural experience.
Reviewed by Maria C. Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian