Guest blog by Daniel Agnew
In London, burgers are the new sex. Hipster-friendly and super tasty, 2013’s de rigueur fare has been the gourmet cow. The burger joint is the only place to take your date in the capital – before ostentatiously uploading your patty and fries via #latergram. Posh burgers are easy to eat, no matter how magnificent your moustache.
A happy cow is a tasty cow, while an organic one with a slab of cheese is better still. Costing less than a tenner and accompanied by ‘complimentary’ hand-cut fries and spicy condiments, burgers = good times. Shake Shack, Five Guys and MEAT liquor have gone viral in 2013, with every ingredient on your plate having a source and a back story. London loves importing its fads from New York.
Scottish meat is murrrrder
Not to be outdone in the meat stakes, Scotland’s street food culture has traditionally been served from burger vans. Situated in car parks outside football stadiums and concert venues, obese couples serve hungry punters simmering palettes of pork, beef and pomme frites. Scottish street food is nothing new; just don’t expect to read about it in Lonely Planet.
Nothing lasts forever of course; trends change and this year’s food is soon last year’s fodder. When Esquire ran a double page spread on burgers, their demise was all but assured – so what’s new? New York and London will inevitably lead the way when it comes to food trends, leaving Scotland to catch on two years too late. Fear not, because culinary chic is now attainable thanks to EU’s guide to becoming a super hungry gastronaut in 2014.
A sugary masterclass in pastry engineering, the cronut (known in London as the ‘crodough’ or ‘dosant’) is a half-croissant + donut hybrid causing three-hour queues outside bakeries in Manhattan and Covent Garden. Will we ever see them in Scotland? Anything deep-fried in hot oil, injected with cream and topped with a rich glaze of sugar is bound to find its way to a Tesco aisle near you.
With futebol, samba and favela violence dominating the headlines in anticipation of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil will inevitably find herself under the culinary spotlight. Almonds, salsa and shrimps capture the essence of this fusion combo which sure sounds healthy. Most people will struggle to taste the difference when dining on traditional Japanese sushi wrapped in a Brazilian flag. Despite the similarities, this radiant delicacy is sure to brighten up your lunch break. Best of all, you won’t need a filter to make your food porn look pretty.
Versatile and delicious, the sandwich is poised to tackle the burger in 2014. The Cock Blocker is the perfect fashion accessory and the ultimate stomach-filler. This superbly-named beast sees panka-fried chicken, honey, chili slaw and coriander pesto stuffed inside sourdough or gluten-free rye bread.
Offering glorious food porn with a rich variety of fillings, the NYC sandwich is the brainchild of Brooklyn chef Spasia Dinkovski. With the ‘Sex in the Satay’ providing a skinny vegan alternative to the carnivorous mayhem, Dinkovski’s sandwiches are tasty enough to cause mass lunch envy in 2014. A cut above the Sainsbury’s meal deal, the Cock Blocker will be hard to rebuff.
The Ramen Burger
Concocted by Keizo Shimamoto, the Ramen Burger involves a fresh lean beef patty inside ramen noodle buns. Accompanied by a secret ‘soy’ sauce, scallions and fresh arugula, the Ramen Burger is a hybrid dish causing pandemonium in Brooklyn and LA. Stopping traffic on both coasts, this neo-burger promises to bring the meat orgy to a new global audience. The traditional cow-in-a-bun may be tasty but it’s a little twentieth century for the likes of health-conscious millennials.
With this noodletastic burger still in beta form in the US, Scotland will have to subsist on humbler fare for now. The Ramen Burger: coming to a snack van near you no time soon.
When it comes to innovative cuisine, Scotland does have a uniquely fizzy weapon of its own – the Station Supper. Devised by Linda Stevenson in Alloa, this delicacy comprises freshly smoked haddock in Irn-Bru batter, which gives it a uniquely sticky flavour. If the Station Supper had been devised by a flamboyant chef in a Manhattan food truck, the internet would be raving about it. Alas, a small pond with great fish can only get the coverage it deserves in Scotland’s fastest-growing culture website. (Yes, right here.)
If you’re not enticed by the prospect of Barr Bru-battered haddock in 2014, there is a safer option: you could just wax your moustache, wap out your smartphone and tuck into a posh burger like everyone else.