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Introducing The Crumb

Lori Bailey / February 2nd 2017

There's a lot of information floating around out there in the food world. Constantly changing trends, restaurants opening and shuttering, chefs shuffling and new talent rising. Meanwhile, the rest of culture has its own shifting dynamics. How do we stay on top of all of it? Even more, how do we put the pieces together to look at food - and the world - in a fresh light?

This is our soft launch of The Crumb, Harvest Collab's regular news feed of what's going on, right now, in food. It isn't just a list of hot trends, or of what's happening with Chipotle these days, or of whether you should or shouldn't keep buying kale. It is a short, sweet snapshot of the food world here in our country and, as we grow, across the globe. Our goal is to make it quick, informative, accessible, and best of all — fun.

Interested? Be one of the first to subscribe to the Crumb, as well as news and updates on our forthcoming products. Sign up here!

So, without further ado, here is The Crumb for Friday, February 3rd, 2017.

February is Black History Month...

...And what better way to celebrate the invaluable history and influence of African Americans than to enjoy some of their cooking? Comfort food — soul food if you will — reigns here, but don't forget the impact of African, Creole, and Caribbean backgrounds. Many of these dishes are now deeply ingrained in regional cuisines, and some of these flavor profiles are gaining interest nationwide.

Super Bowl Snackdown

What to do when you want to pig out on snacks and beer for hours, but you don't want to revert to pre-Drynuary levels of indulgence guilt? Enter the "healthy-ish" option, a trend gaining ever more popularity as fad diets get de-bunked and, well, people just miss eating burgers. The key is to score big on taste while retaining a shred of virtue: "good" fats, focus on fruit and veg, and strategic flavor punches (think seaweed, strong cheeses, and fermented foods). So you can justify that extra beer, and maybe stay out of a food coma for long enough to finish watching the game.

Something's Fishy

Who knew Americans were so starved for raw fish? But, in 2016, we witnessed a takeover by the poke bowl, fresh raw fish with assorted mixins often atop a bed of rice. In 2017, the manic obsession seems to have simmered somewhat into a fond enthusiasm. Perhaps more importantly, as the poke bowl finds its way into home kitchens, it's proven to be a gateway into raw fish -- a de-fancification of a somewhat intimidating ingredient.

While we're on the subject of raw fish, let's look at example B: sushi. In the States, it's a largely misunderstood concept, either over-simplified to the maki roll or elevated to the unattainable status of high-end restaurants. In Japan, though, sushi is getting increasingly casual: see the sushi-go-rounds garnering long lunch lines and convenience-store sushi boxes. Maybe it's time we got over our sushi intimidation and welcomed it into our day-to-day repertoire, too.

Speaking of Sushi...

Kit Kat is making a special line of sushi-evoking candies. Don't worry, they don't include actual fish, and they don't taste like fish either. Instead, the sweet fillings are meant to evoke their respective sushi themes: tuna, tamago (egg), and uni, all served on beds of puffed rice. Hoping for a taste? These specialty Kit Kats are currently exclusive to the new, dedicated Kit Kat shop that just opened in Tokyo's Ginza district. Heckin' Japanese get to have all the fun.

Bacon, Egg & Cheesed

Just as fairness and awareness were beginning to gain steam in the food world, America's food businesses are now pressed with new decisions: where, when, and whether to take a stance on politics. For some, the decisions are made by necessity when family is involved: yesterday in NYC, bodegas all over the city shut down for a strike protesting the President's order to effectively halt the flow of immigrant traffic from certain predominantly Muslim countries.