It’s not clear where the American appetite went off the rails. Somewhere between meat and potatoes, the biscuits and bacon, food snobbery planted itself like a party bore.

Like any epidemic, it’s hard to trace a path to the original case, but food high society is no longer a little lobster and Perrier, its salmon jerky and goji berries. It’s also showing no sign of getting better anytime soon.

Coming soon to a grocery store near you, if it’s not there already, are: Kelp noodles and Korean spicy sauce, known as gochujang. Chocolate hummus and chocolate chick peas, or better yet, salted caramel, Thai coconut and barbecue mesquite chick peas. Herbal table water laced with vervain, African spice mix and gazpacho-on-the-go. This last one has coined a clever new word, “souping” (the trendy new offspring of juicing).

Then there’s birch water, for those times when coconut water just isn’t enough, and switchel, aka swizzle or switchy, a concoction of cider vinegar, sweetener and water seasoned with ginger. Consider it sort of a grassroots Gatorade, and Aquafaba, the repurposed liquid from cooking chickpeas. After whipping, consider that one a sort of vegan meringue.

Hierarchies will always exist and so will those who feel they must consume something to appear more cultured and educated than others. Nothing is immune to snobbery, and it was probably a given that increased foreign travel and interest in ethnic cuisine would inevitably result in fewer hot dogs and more Himalayan pink salt. It’s just that one hates to see America’s plain and simple give way to “goji-er than thou.”

Makes you want to eat red meat and drink bourbon.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at

Taste of Acadiana

Neither rain nor sleet nor traffic light outages stops The Advocate, especially when it’s for a good cause. The Lafayette Council on Aging held its Taste of Acadiana fundraiser at the Cajundome Convention Center to benefit its Meals on Wheels program for the elderly. “We serve 525 meals per day,” nutrition coordinator Koridea Phillips told the crowd. “And we have a waiting list of 175. We appreciate it.” Ticketed attendees sampled a slew of food from area restaurants and caterers who donated their time and wares, not the least of which was Nothing Bundt Cake boss Jennifer Koenig and Uncle T’s Oyster Bar owners Lexi and Anthony Hebert. Sponsored in part by Knight’s Precision Cuts, Cajun trio Lisa Trahan et L’Esprit Cadie played and everyone stayed, including Bill and Ande Hakeman, board member Mary Batiste and the beautiful Martha Simon.

Lest We Forget

With Katrina’s anniversary only a month away, Dr. Paul Azar hosted a commemorative event and book unveiling honoring those who cared for the multitudes housed inside the Cajundome. “The Day of the Cajundome Mega-Shelter” by Jefferson Hennessy was in everyone’s heart and hands as they revisited the storm of the century. “Because more people showed up than we thought,” said Azar, who credits Cajundome manager Greg Davis with the first mega-shelter ever. “Without the local response, it would have been a true mega-disaster.” The Cajundome was home to 18,000 for two months. Happily, everyone made it.

Lawyers Summer Social

The Lafayette Bar Association gathered at Jefferson Street Pub to toast Dona Renegar, 77th Louisiana State Bar president, and counsel was chic in her black dress and pearls. Renegar is a member of the law firm Veazey, Felder & Renegar and hopes to not only serve LSBA’s 22,000 members but increase access to justice for all. Hosted by the LBA in partnership with the Young Lawyers Section and sponsored by MidSouth Bank, attorneys young and old held court and enjoyed a cocktail buffet, plus a chance to win a bottle of Glenfiddich. What we loved: Super lawyer Blake David: “I get my Advocate every morning.”