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The Dish

Where is the music of food?

12/4/2019

Why are there so many songs written about cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin and so few written about food? Food is the subject of at least as many movies as drugs. There are far more radio shows dedicated to food than drugs. And there are infinitely more paintings of food than drugs. So why does popular music trend the other way?

Trying to come up with a list of greatest food songs, I started with the Muppets and their fabulous collaboration with Prince on “Goldfish and Coffee.”  Then, for aging hippies, there is “Cheeseburger in Paradise” by Jimmy Buffet. After those two, I had to go back to the Civil War for “Eating Goober Peas” and “Jimmy Crack Corn.” I also added Guy Clark’s “Homegrown Tomatoes,” the California Honey Drops’ (a visitor to Flying Mango in Des Moines) “Pumpkin Pie,” “I Crave Pigmeat” by Blind Boy Fuller, “Pigmeat” by Leadbelly, The Dead Kennedys’ “Soup Is Good Food,” Cab Calloway’s “Everybody Eats When They Come to My House,” “I Like Food” by the Descendants, local guy Ryan Doughty’s “Pickled Peaches,” and The JB’s “Pass the Peas.” Not a lot of people are familiar with more than a few of those.

THE GOOD NEWS

Africana Halal Restaurant opened on Douglas with a Somali menu and bargain prices… Food Network named Moo’s BBQ of Newton Iowa’s best ribs… The Dam Pub opened in the old Reed’s Hollow in Beaverdale with the Angry Goldfish crew running things… Lucky Lotus opened in old Kwong Tung with scions from the Fusion family in charge… Teddy Maroons introduced a new menu for its first anniversary… Elixir Pub and Grub opened on west Sixth downtown… Union 29 opened in Jordan Creek Town Center… El Guapo’s Tequila and Tacos opened 
on University in West Des Moines with Gusto folks manning the grills… Bartender’s Handshake opened on Ingersoll with a vegetarian bar menu from the Zach Gutweiler of Reed’s Hollow and bartenders from Juniper Moon… The Station opened on Ingersoll in the old Zimm’s…

THE OTHER NEWS

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After six consecutive years of reportedly attracting more than 10,000 bacon-lovers, the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival will transform once again by moving to a smaller venue and reducing attendance to 5,000. The Iowa Bacon Board predicts a smaller venue will yield more fun, resulting in an unprecedented, intimate and exciting bacon fellowship experience. Festival Co-founder Brooks Reynolds explained, “Over our rich 12-year history, bacon-lovers have joined us on our journey from a small celebration at El Bait Shop to a major event held across four levels of Iowa’s largest indoor venue. While celebrations of different sizes offer unique benefits and drawbacks, our goal for 2020 is to build more bacon comradery among festival participants. We felt one of the ways to do that was to make it smaller, so people aren’t as split up. The downside is that attendance will be more limited.” The event will be held on March 7 at the Horizon Events Center in Clive… George
Karaidos, Jr., legendary owner of George the Chili King on Hickman Road, died at 86. The café has been in operation since it was founded downtown in 1920 and moved to its now-classic location at the corner of Hickman and Merle Hay roads in 1952… Dumpling Darlings closed its East Village store. Their Iowa City store remains open… With local dairy farms continuing to disappear, American Milk Producers Inc. has
shuttered its dry milk plant in Arlington, Iowa, costing 49 workers their jobs… Chick-fil-A determined to stop contributing money to the Salvation Army and the Association of Christian Athletes.

TRENDS 2020

Whole Foods announced that next year’s new food trends will be regenerative agriculture, West African cuisine, nonalcoholic happy hours, healthier kids’ meals, butters and spreads, refrigerated snacks, the rebirth of flour, and the demise of soy. ♦

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