The food writer for Epicurious and the like ranted about what she calls the most annoying food craze since Rachael Ray in Slate this week. Her problem with kiddie gourmets?
For one, they rate texture over taste, she says. So kids give a big thumbs down to food that’s slimy. Don’t you?
Schrambling is also skittish about kids spending any time inside kitchens – because they’re not nurseries. She’s got a point, but then again, that’s their parents’ problems – not hers. Boiling pots of water? Food processors? Run just as much a risk of hurting kids who race around underfoot when their parents are making dinner as they do when a child is taught to teach them with respect and properly use them.
Her biggest problem seems to be that she just doesn’t think kids can discern delicious from decent – while adults can. Considering some of the strange things my three-year-old will eat, I can’t exactly disagree. But considering some of the strange things my twenty-one-year-old brother will eat, I can’t exactly agree either.
What makes kid foodies unique is their honesty. They know what they like, and they’re generally not afraid to tell you. They’ll often tell you what they DON’T like about it too, even if – as Schrambling says – they don’t have the “math skills” to quantify exactly what’s off about the food. But put a piece of overcooked eggplant on a child’s plate, and they have no qualms about telling you it tastes like rubber. And they’d be right. Their palates might be inexperienced, but they’re still human, and they still have very definite things to say about what they like.
The question is whether anyone is listening.