It feels like certain cities have a stranglehold on the food that people like to eat all over the country and by that we mean food trends – basically, certain cities dictate what food is cool and what food isn’t cool. For the longest time, it seemed that the usual culprits had a firm grasp on such things, cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, but over the years, especially in the 2000s, we started seeing other cities take the stage in terms of food, such as Portland. This has been an era of irony, social media, and foodieism. Fueled by a certain brand of youthfulness, new ways of eating exploded onto the scene, as written about in this Zagat article.
Regarding Portland, Alia Akkam writes, “An enterprising, DIY spirit coupled with a devotion to quality products – often bordering on preciousness – has fostered a distinctive food and drink-obsessed culture that other cities (like Brooklyn) are often falsely credited with originating. In short, Portland was a key player in proliferating the unstoppable wave of “foodieism” currently sweeping the U.S.”
So, if you don’t like the current food culture, you might as well blame Portland! But in all seriousness, Portland’s success has inspired foodies in other cities, helping usher in an age of farm fresh locally produced food and that’s never a bad thing. Some of the biggest food trends ever started in Portland, including next-wave Thai food, urban cider, hipster donuts, craft coffee, trendy tea, artisanal salt, and barrel-aged cocktails.