Part 2, Graduation party last night…What is a “Walking Taco?”…30 food trends from the past decade…

Vincent and his two moms, Tracy on the left and Tammy on the right were at Vincent’s graduation party last night at a regional park.

Everyone enjoyed last night’s party for Vincent’s graduation. The food was plentiful, delicious, and catered by “We Cater to You,” a local company that may be found here at this site.

They did an excellent job preparing (and cleaning up) beautifully presented food that included the typical taco fixings, bags of chips, a fruit salad, and a colorful green salad with blackberries that I topped with the chicken taco meat, which was perfect for me.

There were party gifts, root beer on tap, canned beer for the adults, and plenty of added decor to highlight the graduation theme. Most likely, about 60 people joined in on the festivities, including several Lyman family members, Vincent’s birth dad and family, and other family friends.

This is a “walking taco” in a large-sized Frito bag. Everyone seemed to enjoy them.

Minnesota’s notorious barrage of mosquitos attacked me a few times, but when I didn’t have to be concerned about malaria, I didn’t think about it much. I wore socks to protect my vulnerable ankles, long pants, and a shirt with sleeves. Alas, the nasty little buggers bit my hands, my only exposed skin.

We arrived promptly at 5:00 and headed out around 8:30 to return to our hotel to spend the remainder of the evening relaxing before retiring for the night. I awoke at 5:00 am to the sound of hotel room doors slamming as guests were checking out, stayed awake for about an hour, and finally drifted off again, somehow managing to sleep through a lot more noise in the corridor, which continues now as I write here.

Getting back to food trends from the past decade, here are the remaining items from the story we started yesterday for Part 2:

Latte art made a splash as coffee culture intensified. Latte art, or art made using espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk to create images in foam, took over social media for a spell in the mid-2010s. 

Latte Art
Latte art. Not our photo.

Hard seltzer will go down as one of the biggest trends of the 2010s, with consumers flocking to the lower-calorie boozy beverage. The summer of 2019 was the summer of hard seltzer. The boozy beverage was so beloved that there was even a national shortage of White Claw, the most popular hard seltzer brand. 

The fast-casual explosion hit its stride with chains such as Sweetgreen and Shake Shack. Fast-casual restaurants lie somewhere between fast-food and full-service, meaning they usually don’t offer table service with a waitstaff but are generally regarded as having higher quality food than the average fast-food restaurant. 

Soylent and other meal replacement shakes got a face-lift in the late 2010s. With its modern, minimalist branding and marketing, Soylent caters to a younger crowd looking for quick, on-the-go meals. 

Though they’ve been around for hundreds of years, macarons were popularized in the States in the 2010s. The French cookies use whisked egg whites and sugar to make meringue, the main ingredient in macarons. 

macarons french
Macaroons are still popular. Not our photo.

Food trucks have become hotbeds for chefs who might not have the resources to open a brick-and-mortar kitchen. The mobility of a truck allows entrepreneurs to reach a large audience and announce their location on various social media platforms. 

Kale, a nutritious leafy green, became a popular smoothie on social media. Leafy green became so popular that Beyoncé was even seen wearing a “kale” sweatshirt stylized in the collegiate format of Yale University. 

Edible gold leaf has become a widespread decoration for fine-dining dishes. From a $2,000 gold-covered pizza in Manhattan to an Australian burger made with 24-karat buns, the fancy ingredient has become an over-the-top addition to various foods. 

Natural Wine has both divided the wine community and spurred various young enthusiasts. Natural wine, a broad term for wines produced with minimal intervention from the winemaker, has become popular in recent years. 

Juicing fruits and vegetables has become a popular trend in the wellness scene. Juicing vegetables, including celery, carrots, and beets, made raw vegetable consumption cool and easy. However, home juicing has lost a bit of steam as many fast-casual restaurants and grocery stores have started offering pre-juiced vegetables in bottles. 


A juicing machine churns out some kiwi-lemon juice. Shutterstock. Not our photo.

Cold brew coffee is everywhere nowadays, as iced coffee lovers flock to the highly caffeinated coffee beverage. Cold brew is made by steeping ground coffee with highly caffeinated, creating a coffee “concentrate” that often has more caffeine than your average cup of joe. 

Negronis made a comeback as cocktail lovers have embraced the bitterness of various Italian liqueurs. The Negroni is made with gin, vermouth, and the bitter Italian liqueur Campari. It’s also the staple cocktail of the world’s best bar of 2019

Though smoked and cured meats never go out of style, charcuterie boards dominated the 2010s. Charcuterie boards often feature a selection of smoked or cured meats, various cheeses, and a sweet component — whether it be dried or fresh fruit, honey, or sweet vegetables. 

jamón ibérico and charcuterie platter
Charcuterie board. Not our photo.

Session beers, or beers brewed to have a lower alcohol content, are becoming popular for their dri. Low-ABV session beers are meant to be enjoyed in larger quantities. The lower alcohol percentage allows people to drink more of them in a “session” without getting too intoxicated. 

Mocktails and nonalcoholic beers, such as Heineken’s 0.0, also made a sober splash in the 2010s, as more consumers sober-curious” or give up booze altogether. Mocktail bars are also opening nationwide to cater to customers looking for a way to socialize at bars without alcohol.

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Founder’s All Day IPA, a low-ABV session beer. Founders. Not our photo.

Fermenting foods made a significant impact on small and large restaurants. Fermenting food, or allowing bacteria and yeast to break down carbs to preserve food, became a huge trend in the 2010s as fine dining establishments and mom-and-pop locations went into practice. The Noma Guide to Fermentation, a guide to fermenting pretty much everything, was also released by the team at Noma

Farm-to-table restaurants, or those aiming to shorten the distance between ingredients’ sources and the restaurant, were popular. Though its actual meaning is often hard to define, farm-to-table became a popular phrase in the 2010s as consumers tried to eat more locally-grown, organic products.

Zero-waste cooking has become a trend as professional chefs and home cooks try to lower their carbon footprints. Cooking with as little waste as possible — leftover food or plastic packaging — has become a goal for many restaurants as the industry becomes increasingly conscious of its environmental impact.”

Thanks to Business Insider for this great article, which can be found here.

Thanks to Tammy and Tracy for Vincent’s fantastic grad party!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 8, 2014:

A long set of stairs, without handrails, up a steep hill in Madeira. For more photos, please click here.

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