Instead of taking the tired "What foods will be hot in 2011?" route for today's Food cover story, writer Leah Zeldes tries to figure out how and why certain foods become trendy. Included is a clever sidebar on things chefs and trendwatchers wish were hot but which likely never will be, including aprons, wild game and hominy.
Of course, "cupcakes" and "pork" and "burger" appear many times throughout the story. Which explains our cover illustration (at left). Fun, isn't it?
Credit goes to Sun-Times designer (and Shopping writer) Jessica Sedgwick, who's the reason why the Food pages look so good week after week.
And speaking of cupcakes:
Crumbs Bake Shop celebrates the opening Friday of its first Chicago store at 303 W. Madison with a 1,000-cupcake giveaway.
Crumbs co-founder Mia Bauer says this is the first of four Chicago Crumbs locations slated to open this year.
Not blind to the view that the cupcake -- or shops touting them -- is nearing its saturation point (if not already there), Bauer admits, "I understand it completely. I kind of feel it myself. Sometimes, it's kind of like, Oh my God, there's so many now."
But, she quickly adds, "We are a full-service bakery and we still want to be a place where we know people's kids' names. And the cupcakes, they really do speak for themselves."
So yes, Crumbs does carry cupcakes -- their signature giant ones are $3.75 each -- but they also carry 149 other items every day, including that near-impossible-to-find-in-Chicago treat, the black-and-white cookie. Which makes me wonder: Am I the only one excited about black-and-whites cookies? Where else in Chicago can you find a good one? And will this be the year the black-and-white finally has its day?
Oh, forget it.