86 This: Smearing Food as a Plate Element

IMG_8232These are all dishes enjoyed on my recent trip to San Diego. However, every one of them employed a cheffy device that I’m done with: smearing an element of the course across the plate.

I would like to ban the practice because:

1) I don’t like the look of smeared food. My mind instantly goes to icky, non-food applications, like smears growing bacteria in petri dishes, and Pap smears, and smeared reputations. Not a positive connotation in the bunch.

2) Chefs have overused the trend. An overused trend is, by definition, obsolete.

3) Food smeared on a plate usually means somebody has eaten their fill, and that plate should be on its way to the dishwasher, not set in front of me with a flourish.

4) If the food is to be served hot, the thinner part of the smear will be cold. (See mashed potatoes under seared swordfish, lower left photo.) Purpose defeated.

5) Fussy food is over-handled food. Please don’t over-handle my food.

Thank you for listening.

♦ ♦ ♦


However, all baby-produced food smears are acceptable and adorable.

First born and Last born, smearing food before it ever was a trend. Acceptable and adorable.
First born and Last born smearing food in the ’80s, before it was ever a trend. Acceptable and adorable.

An explanation of the term “86” is available by clicking here.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. S. says:

    But still, those plates look beautiful! Your food photography makes everything look delicious!

    1. cookbookwall says:

      Thanks, S! I may not like smears, but that didn’t stop me from eating every delicious bite!

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