Remember the days when milkshakes didn't have five other desserts attached to the straw? Or when avocado toast was just something you made at home and didn't pay $18 for?
Yeah, me neither. These days, it seems as if all of the great, simple foods have become bougie. In case you're unfamiliar with this word, Dictionary.com says it's "relating to or characteristic of a person who indulges in some of the luxuries and comforts of a fancy lifestyle."
My attention was recently drawn to the "bougification" of food by a Reddit thread that user u/burgher89 started a few months back. They asked, "What food, in your opinion, didn't need a 'bougied up' version, but food trends have caused it to happen anyway?"
1."Street corn. I don’t need it to be 'elevated.' Just give me a simple, non-canned elote/esquite, please, with everything."
2."Pho. Simpler is better, and I live in a city where everyone wants to add their own flair and double the price."
3."Milkshakes. I just want drinkable ice cream. Stop putting so much stuff in and on it."
4."Cheap wings used to be a trick to get you to go to a bar and spend money on overpriced drinks. Now 'cheap' drinks are a trick to get you to go to a bar and spend money on overpriced wings and drinks."
5."I'm near a local place that is essentially just grilled cheese variations. But they do not consistently have basic grilled cheese — just every variation of it. And no tomato soup. WTF is that about?"
6."This may be controversial, but french fries. You're going to charge me an extra 5 bucks for 'truffle' that I can't even taste over the Parmesan? I certainly like to spice things up, but I hate the insane charge for what is essentially just a little basic seasoning."
7."Cupcakes. They have gone from a nice excuse to eat cream cheese frosting to a full-blown art scene."
8."I first discovered arancini (deep-fried rice balls) at dumpy, fast food–ish spots in train stations in Italy for like 2 euros for a giant one. You’d grab one as a snack for the train ride. Imagine my surprise when they become trendy in the US for $20 for three tiny ones covered in tomato sauce. Not bad, but I’ll take the cheap, big ones every time over what we have here."
9."Bloody Marys have become a 'Shove stuff in them and call it a delight' mess."
10."Shrimp and grits. I don't want to pay $18 for shrimp and grits just because you added some 50-year-old aged cheese to it!"
11."Avocado and bread — aka avocado toast. It was the poor people's breakfast, then they started charging $15 a pop."
12."Maybe it’s just me, but I like a simple, plain, fudge brownie — crispy on top and gooey in the center. Not these brownies with layers of Oreos and peanut butter and Biscoff and so many other things."
13."Chicken Parm. I’ve tried 'gourmet' versions, and they’re good, but classic chicken Parm is a comfort food for me. It’ll always trump any attempt to bougify it."
14."Caesar salad. Stop grilling it. Stop deconstructing it and serving it in a martini glass. I just want a damn salad."
15."Poutine. The world does not need poutine with lobster or truffles."
16."Hot dogs. I work at a craft brewery, and the number of people who have started high-end food trucks based on hot dogs (and have failed) is staggering. Nobody wants to drop $13 on a hot dog topped with sushi/BBQ/noodles/whatever that all just falls apart after the first bite. Just a chili dog or dog with mustard will make people happy."
17."Burgers, but specifically the brioche bun variant. Slightly different bread, massive markup."
18."The South is crawling with restaurants that serve $30 plates of 'elevated' Southern food, when the soul food place down the road serving meat and three for $10 is probably a million times more flavorful."
19.And finally, "Not all caramel needs to be salted! I don't know if this really fits here, but I've been waiting for someplace to complain about it. LOL."