“Enhanced food”, the concept that keeps donuts stuck in wallets – liberation

The concept, which originated in the United States, involves “improving” traditional or popular foods, that is, improving them… and selling them at a much higher price than the original version. Stop distorting them.

At number 1 rue Cherubini in the stock exchange district (Paris II), there is a shop painted black, the nature of which is difficult to identify at first sight, especially since there are no windows. Behind the small shop, we just see a counter. If you don’t pay too much attention to it, you might imagine it’s the entrance to a private club, something somewhat exclusive, known only to revelers. If only under the name displayed above the door, Mummy’s, the inscription “Advanced Donuts”. Literally, “raised doughnuts”, or elevated.

We enter the premises: from the ceiling, ears of wheat are suspended upside down, and to the sides, six displays spaced a meter or two apart are each topped by a different doughnut. There’s no denying it: it’s gorgeous, all those flower petals pinched into the (handmade) pastel glaze of the donut, and those donut decorations are worthy of the prettiest pastry. The flavors perfectly comply with the codes of the moment: sesame, yuzu, lavender, pumpkin… The boxes in which the sweets are packaged give them a “jewelry” touch. It’s clear that, from the store decor (the space is as Instagrammable as possible) to the purchase stage, everything has been done here so that the surprise, or “experience”, as it’s now aptly called, begins. from the landing.

Is it worth 7 to 8 euros each? It depends on what everyone is looking for when buying a pastry – we don’t think so. It’s pretty good, although not very generous (even if it means eating American doughnuts, you can go to Boneshaker Donuts in Sentier, where you know why you’re spending your 5 euros and where you anticipate the impending diabetes crisis). After all, the price range is close to individual pastries at famous stalls – for comparison, we pay 7.50 euros for Philippe Continini’s Saint-Honor or 6.50 euros for Nina Metaire’s tarte tatin – and there is undoubtedly work, especially the decoration, we still have fried dough (in coconut oil , of course) are working on. Here, we give all the slaps to feed your Instagram account with stories and cute posts.

Burger’s super-profitability

Let’s not, however, blame Momji, who is just one of the latest examples of the “elevated food” phenomenon. Developed by the United States, this concept takes a traditional or popular dish (especially street food) and offers a more refined version. In principle, why not. Hamburgers are a rather positive example of this: when, in the 2010s, they landed widely in French brasseries, where previously they were mainly bought in fast-food chains, it was usually with slightly thicker steaks than their counterparts at Kwik or McDonald’s. , more expensive cheeses (Saint-Nectaire, goat cheese, etc.), and sometimes “Frenchified” sauces (blue cheese, foie gras, etc.). And, today, one doesn’t find much to complain about: the price difference is understandable (among other things the quality and quantity of the product, even if the burgers are super-profitable for the restaurant) and the price is in a reasonable general rule.

The problem is that gluttons balk at rising prices of popular foods. One thinks particularly of the sometimes insane prices of the simple margherita pizza, originally a cheap Neapolitan dish, whose Parisian prices have exploded. An example: the price of a call of margheritas at Big Mama Group’s pizzeria popolare, initially marketed at 5 euros, rose to 9 euros in 2018, an 80% increase, as noted. Le Figaro. In early October, infotainment site BuzzFeed in turn listed examples of foods whose prices have skyrocketed across the Atlantic, compelling gastronomic appropriation. Tacos that used to sell for about $1.50 and now often cost up to $11, arancini have gone from $2 each to sometimes $20 for three, hot dogs that you pay up to $10 each (here, France can’t beat the hot dog stalls as evidence. (Sold from 7.50 to 9.90 euros which is abundant in the capital)…

Old timers get bored

Mid-October, Emma Shue, University Press Appalachian (North Carolina), in an editorial titled “The Problem with Advanced Southern Food,” opined that restaurants serving “upgraded” traditional Southern food—at exorbitant prices (more than $27 for a tomato and cheese pie, for example)—distorted the cuisine and monopolized it. Appalachian cooking takes the homely, greasy, unrefined, sloppy style and transforms it into something palatable to tourists. […]. Why are these restaurants ashamed of what is amazing Appalachian cuisine? The answer could not be simpler. There is an underlying belief outside the region that Appalachian people are lazy, dirty, rude and unrefined. […] By not serving an authentically Appalachian menu, they are helping to spread these misconceptions about the region.”

This analysis recalls the rise of so-called “luxury” kebabs in France, starting in 2013, when the price of a sandwich alone can be close to 10 euros, or slightly less than twice the price of a lambda kebab. The item upset old-timers of the “Greek” diet, who saw it as a softening of a popular snack with traditionally generous portions. It doesn’t matter whether the “luxury” kebabs use suckled veal, or whether it’s served with feta or Berlin-style vegetable pickles: the idea of ​​improving a dish that had hitherto suited the working class is sometimes experienced as a form of class contempt. is Example: In 2015, magazine QGDiscussing two raised kebab recipes, wrote: QG Take a look back at two gastronomic recipes conceived by Thierry Marx and Frédéric Penneau. Evidence that it is not reserved for barbes. The evidence is, after all, that the imaginations associated with popular cuisine are far more political than they seem, and that claims to improve them are not entirely neutral.

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