Enjoying my day trip in Düsseldorf last week, it struck me how bowl food seemed to have taken over the city.
I decided to try one for lunch, curious to finally understand the thing about bowls as I have noticed that people are going crazy for this.
My first encounter with 'bowl food' was a Poké Bowl in Berlin, earlier this year - by the way in a great location: Bikini Berlin, full of other great food places and pop up stores for clothes, presents, art; so do check it out if in Berlin, I loved it!!
But back to our topic: Poké Bowl. Actually this is a typical Hawaiian dish - so not new! - made out of fish (originally red tuna), avocado, algae, cashew nuts, mango, ginger and rice. I am sure there are plenty of variations but it more or less goes like that, all served nicely cut with a delicious dressing in a...well yes, bowl.
At the time I remember us being totally flashed as this reminded us the ingredients of our favourite sushi with delicious add-ons.
It was the first time we enjoyed a Poké Bowl.
Not the first time we ate in a bowl.
Therefore I had a lot of question marks all over my forehead as we were in Seoul lately and Bowl Food was being hyped as THE thing.
Don't get me wrong, the Bowl Food I have enjoyed until now has always been absolutely delicious.
But I can't help but wonder, what makes it so special and extraordinary that everyone is getting all excited about it? I really have the impression I am missing some important piece of the puzzle to understand the talk of the food world.
Ever since I have moved out of my parents house, I have got into the habit of eating out of bowls. I wasn't really into cooking myself three-course menus every evening and just mixed up some salads in a bowl. Healthy, quick, easy, hardly any washing. In short: convenient or user-friendly as one would say today.
At the time, I had a life-changing experience in NYC, eating at least once a day from one of the gazillion salad bars there.
Back in Europe I continued mixing those newly found recipes in salad bowls - hands up if your fave is the Cobb salad too! - and eating out of them.
When I met my husband, we varied a bit dinners when staying in, but the salad bowl remained a classic - except that I changed my Ikea Blanda Blank to some fancy porcelain bowl.
So what is so different and hot about Bowl Food than my classic salad of the day mixed in a bowl?
So why the hype?
In this crazy world, it seems some of us spend more time trying to get the perfect shot of the food they ordered than actually enjoying it.
One must admit that Bowl Food just looks neat, healthy, tasty and altogether cool so the perfect Instagram, Pinterest, etc. friend.
And let's also admit, it's easier to find than that extraordinary but tiny molecular dish in that hype Michelin star restaurant.
Bowl Food is pretty easy to do so you could even do it at home, all by yourself, for all your meals - it comes in sweet as well as salty, for vegan, vegetarian, athletic, you-name-it diets.
That sounds pretty healthy, no? The thing is, with Bowl Food you mix a bit of every-healthy-thing so, provided you pay attention to that hyper-caloric-mayonnaise-dressing, it really makes a healthy meal.
And: if you combine it with the so-called Super Foods trend, you sure are right in the foodists' trend.
But well all this would still just be a salad in a bowl if it weren't for mass production & marketing. Enter restaurant chains / groups, VIPs, Social Media (again!), luxury restaurants which all ensure that you really want to have Bowl Food - yes, it is a matter of survival - and relief of reliefs, it most certainly is available somewhere near you!
So yes, Bowl Food is delicious but I don't think revolutionary. I love coffee. Maybe I should start renaming my morning bowl of café au lait and start the Bowl Drink trend!