The 614orty Platter: Fit for (Non-)Human Consumption

Can you believe I've been doing these playlists/blogposts for seven-plus-months now?  Or for that matter, that this blog has reached seven years of age?

To be honest, I thought both these things would fade out after awhile - as pandemic stretched onward, I didn't know exactly how to continue the blog, at least as it had been run previously.  The playlist was something of a last-ditch experiment (the result of working from home and a paid Spotify subscription) to keep the blog going, and to be honest, I thought that wasn't going to hold my interest for long either.  

Right now, things are moving along swimmingly - my Instagram feed basically has taken over the function of my blog in terms of exposing the latest and greatest eats and sights in the Columbus area, and beyond.  And the playlists have been a great to not only discover some great music from all around the world, but also really exercise my creative bones in terms of conjuring up themes.  So thus, the blog rolls on, maybe not the same in the same format, but still written with enthusiasm. As author C.S. Lewis once wrote, "Onward and upward!"

Chomp, chomp, chomp - as this Cheetah at the Columbus Zoo
demonstrates, we're not the only creatures that love to eat

Now this week's theme struck me during a National Geographic show - up until now, we've focused on human-related experiences in terms of food and beverages.  But as we all well know, we're not the only living beings on this planet, and what individual members of the various five kingdoms consider food is about as diverse as the number of members themselves.

So why not?  What delicacies are on their plates?  There might be one or two on this list that humans would at least consider, but for the most part, these things would fall under the "unfit for human consumption" label.

The 614ortyPlatter: Trending Upward

Sadly (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), Polish
Ham did not make our first ever list of trending foods

Not surprisingly, foods and beverages spike in popularity, seemingly from nowhere at times.

Gourmet coffee cafes and micro-roasters are pretty ubiquitous nowadays, but that was hardly the case just a mere sixty years ago, when Alfred Peet opened up his namesake store in Berkeley, CA in 1966.  As it turned out, his shop's beans provided the kindling for the company which broke lattes and cappuccinos into the American mainstream, Starbucks out of Seattle, WA.

How about what goes into a coffee?  While many swear by black, dairy milk and non-dairy creamer were your only options for the longest time, until the arrival of alternate milks such as soy, oat, and almond.  Now, those alternative milks are easily findable at your average grocery store, and are commonly used in baking as well.  Artificial sweeteners are also a bit of a recent arrival, with Nutrasweet, Stevia and Monkfruit joining Sweet 'N Low as options for those trying to avoid sugar-based substances.

Keeping in that mindset, we thought we'd look at some of the notable food trends of the past several decades, with a corresponding playlist that we hope will never fall out of fashion.

The 614ortyPlatter - A Trip To The Farmer's Market

Farmers Markets proved to be a bright spot for us during
the pandemic year of 2020

One aspect that helped make 2020 much more bearable for us was the continued operation of a few select various Farmers Markets around the area. While some farmers market within the 270 Loop of Columbus decided that it wasn't feasible to run the usual market festivities, Clintonville and Worthington, with the assistance of local businesses and entities, were able to modify things enough to keep running their markets running, as well as markets in the suburbs like Reynoldsburg, Granville, and Canal Winchester. While the markets didn't have the bustle which makes these events so enjoyable, we were simply happy that they were an option to begin with throughout the prior year.

2021 has seen the return of farmers markets around the area as a whole.  A few markets are operational now (Clintonville, Worthington, Westgate, North Market and Granville come to mind), with many more coming back online by the end of May/beginning of June (for a convenient handy online guide, check out this Columbus Monthly article detailing what's open and when.)  With that in mind, this week's blogpost and associated playlist pays homage to the farmers markets around the area, highlighting both of the products and associated vendors that we've encountered as well as those you'll encounter at events throughout the next several months.

The 614ortyPlatter - Columbus Restaurants of Yore (Vol. 1)

It was great while it lasted - the bar at the gone-before-it-deserved-
to-be-gone German Village restaurant Ambrose and Eve

According to an article published on Modern Restaurant Management in 2019, 80 percent of all restaurants go out of business within five years. Many disappear from the landscape without much of a care by the dining public, but a select few stay around long enough and/or put out such great food during their relatively short lifespans to elicit (hunger) pangs of remorse by local diners.

When you add up all the losses over the years, keeping track of all those eateries which have since departed the scene is an impossible task. However, for Central Ohio diners, authors Doug Motz and Christine Hayes helped make reminiscing about some of these restaurants easier with their two-book series, the 2015 "Lost Restaurants of Columbus" and the 2017 "Lost Restaurants of Central Ohio & Columbus", published on the label.

With that in mind, I thought I'd put together a blogpost and associated playlist that reference some of those memory-inducing establishments of the past.  While info for the restaurants which disappeared from the scene are referenced from the Motz and Hayes' books directly, the info related to some of the more recently lost restaurants on this list integrate our own experiences and knowledge.