After a weekend full of baby shower treats, food truck specialties and theme-party butlered hors d’oeuvres, it’s become clear that food trends are the new shoulder pads. Fondue parties were big in the 60s, the 70s were dedicated to the mold – whether Jell-O or meatloaf or bundt cake or cheese ball – and even school lunch boxes got a little more sophisticated once Molly Ringwald whipped out her spicy tuna roll in The Breakfast Club. These days, though, trendy food is a trend within itself. Hosting a party with a spread that doesn’t include mini cheeseburgers, fancy appetizers on even fancier spoons, a cupcake sculpture, or something other than martinis in the martini glasses is a clear faux pas. But as any sixteen year old girl wearing a god-awful primary colored striped hat at the mall can tell you, the most underrated food trend that has successfully transcended the ages is food-on-a-stick.
After tasting the amazing Oreo cake pops a few friends made for a recent shower, I can say with absolute authority that the stick makes anything a gourmet treat. Need to get rid of some old chicken bits? Slap those bad boys on a stick and call ‘em “skewers.” Last minute potluck invite? Take yesterday’s fruit salad out of the fridge and make fruit kebobs. Leftover snickerdoodle dough? A stick makes them cookie pops. Want your kid to eat their vegetables? Brussel sproutsicles take about four minutes.
Obviously the stick concept isn’t a new one. Mr. Goodbar has apparently been using them for some time and miniature versions have been safely holding our blue cheese-stuffed olives at the perfect depth in our dirty martinis for decades. But this caveman-to-camper meat and marshmallow roasting tool has swiftly evolved into the ultimate food presentation device. Neither chocolate mousse shot glass nor mini-cupcake tower nor Awesome Blossom can match the ease and flair of any food-on-a-stick and I dare them to try.
So with all respect to the girls in the unfortunate hats, I must give thanks to the Minnesota State Fair (currently boasting 59 unique food-on-a-stick delicacies), the exquisite Mediterranean country of Turkey, the New Kids on the Block (Joey McIntyre singing “Popsicle” changed my life), and Orange County baby shower hostesses for evolving the food-on-a-stick phenomenon past the corndog.