Friday, April 27, 2007

Arugula - The New Pomegranite

If you don't like arugula, you really ARE out of the loop as far as the Food Network chefs go. I think someone sent out a memo, because EVERYONE is using arugula. At last look, 443 recipes came up on the Food Network website for Arugula. You know what the first one was? Illinois Rabbit with Wilted Arugula, Goat Cheese, Nuts, and Arugula Puree. That's just silly. (I must say their recipe index is one of the worst. They list ridiculous recipes first and they give no misspelling help). Epicurious listed 380 recipes, and while the first one WAS Arugula and Goat Cheese Ravioli - probably not what 99% of people are looking for when they type in Arugula - 7 out of 10 recipes on the first page of the search WERE for some type of Arugula Salad.

But back to the Food Network, even if the recipe doesn't list it, they're adding arugula. Remember last week? Michael Chiarello's peach salad called for spinach, but, on the show, he added arugula instead. It's being thrown around with complete abandon. On Giada's Kitchen Basics episode, running all this month, she uses arugula in a salad AND adds it to a linguine dish...ON THE SAME SHOW. What did the Barefoot One add to her Cobb salad for it's "freshness"? Arugula.

Arugula has become the dried cranberries of 3 years ago, the dried cherries of 2 years ago and the pomegranate of last year. I just hope no one starts making martinis with it or putting it in oatmeal cookies.

The only thing I really hate about Arugula is that every time I type it, I misspell it. I always type A-R-U-G-U-A-L. It's really annoying.

Just as in fashion where trends change all the time: gray is the new black, pink is the new gray, brown is the new...well, I guess just brown, but it's real popular, I it goes with food. Here are a couple other candidates for the new pomegranate:

Pears, finally something we can put in an martini.

Dark Chocolate, with
higher amounts of cocoa content and branded by place of origin

Really exotic fruits that you not only have never heard of, but have no idea how to pronounce

And, not a single ingredient but something really good AND huge on the West Coast: Cupcakes

How did I get from Arugual...there I go again...ARUGULA to CUPCAKES? I'm not entirely sure, but I sure know which one I'd rather have just about now....maybe with a little organic milk, another hot trend of 2007.


Donny B said...

This post was from a while ago, but I couldn't help but comment.

Did you know there's also a book called The United States of Arugula?

But, with all due respect, and I think arugula has really gone mainstream, I was thinking of fennel as the new pomegranate. It's everywhere. It seems to be in every episode of Food Network, in every recipe on Top Chef, in salads, in entrees, in desserts (in candied form), just everywhere.

Sue said...

Hi Donny,
I haven't read it yet, but I intend to. Did you see Ruhlman's riff on it?

It is definitely true that fennel is popping up in many places. But it just seems to me that arugula is more of a hallmark of a new pretentious cooking. I don't know why, but I feel that perhaps fennel is for real cooks. Do you know what I mean?

Even though, many Food Network folks whom I love - Tyler, Michael, Ina and Giada - all use arugula liberally, it's still seems more trendy to me.

PS I checked out your blog. I liked it.

Anonymous said...

You hope no one makes a martini out of it? Well, check out the Roquette gin cocktail recipe on Epicurious website! I'm betting someone is putting it in oatmeal cookies tonight, too.