In a Slate article, foodie grumpus Regina Schrambling puts her finger on exactly why the kiddie foodie trend is so annoying (almost as annoying as Rachael Ray!). First of all, she says, a kid’s place isn’t in the kitchen, near dangerous knives and food processors (she recalls Lee Atwater’s toddler brother being burned to death by boiling water). Second, though they have taste buds that we don’t, kids don’t have adult powers of flavor identification, since they lack experience, tend to rank texture over taste (they don’t like slimy things), and tend to favor sweet over savory for possibly biological reasons — which might explain the results she gets when she bakes zucchini chocolate-chip bread based on a Julian Kreusser recipe: “It was gooey, due to a cup of molasses, a cup of sugar, and chocolate chips, and it was as subtly flavored as an all-day sucker.” Schrambling concludes: “On a larger scale, the trend emphasizes the worst of the food frenzy today: the celebration of celebrity and novelty over authenticity and seriousness.” Add to that, it’s totally unfair to pit kids against adults in sexy-chef competitions!
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