On the long list of things that hipsters have commandeered and claimed their own -- typewriters, fedoras, records and mustaches -- certain foods really get under our skin. From kale to kombucha, there are a ton of foods that we identify with hipsters. It's not just because hipsters eat this food; it's because they build their identities around eating it.
The truth of the matter is, however, that many of these poor foods don't deserve the hipster label -- they don't belong to hipsters any more than typewriters do. They've been around long before hipsters graced the planet and started opening vegan cheese shops, and they'll likely long outlive them too.
We're guilty of calling these items "hipster foods" ourselves -- they've become undeniably linked with the hipster ennui and we know it as well as you do. Just because these foods are labeled as such, however, doesn't mean hipsters should lay claim to them. Hipsters don't own tacos, and they don't own pickles either. (We might let them have fancy doughnuts and PBR though.)
Here are eight of the worst offenders. What foods do you think hipsters have unfairly claimed their own?
Pickles have been around since 2400 BCE, when the Mesopotamians ate them. While it's difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of the pickle, countries across the world have been pickling for thousands of years. Pickling is an ancient tradition in India that is still widespread today. Indians pickled cucumbers, which are native to India, preserving them with sugar and salt. Because pickling keeps food from rotting, it was an essential technique before the days of refrigeration, and countries the world over adopted the technique (think French Cornichon and German sauerkraut). Everybody eats pickles, and they've been doing so for a very, very long time.
Tacos are a Mexican food that dates back to at least the 18th century. While the exact origin on the taco is unknown, Jeffrey M. Pilcher, professor of history at the University of Minnesota, who has studied the history of Mexican food, shared his hypothesis with Smithsonian Magazine. Pilcher has found early references to the "taco" from 18th century silver mines in Mexico, where miners called a tool they used a taco. "These were pieces of paper that they would wrap around gunpowder and insert into the holes they carved in the rock face." One of the first kinds of tacos described in a dictionary referred to tacos de minero, or miner's tacos. What originated as a Mexican miners' food has become commandeered by hipster food trucks across the country (and even the world -- there's a taco truck in Paris). Sorry, hipsters, but you don't own tacos -- not even a little.
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Kale is a vegetable -- hipsters can't own vegetables. It is the angel of health nuts, foodies and just about everyone under the sun. (Except, maybe, the French.) Kale belongs to all of us. Deal with it.
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If craft beer, by definition, is "small, independent and traditional," it's definitely been around for a long, long time. All beer was craft beer, in other words, until we started mass-marketing it. And the thing about craft beer is that everybody likes it -- not just hipsters. Its popularity has been skyrocketing in recent years, all across the country. Craft beer: it's for everyone. Not just hipsters.
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We love ramps as much as hipsters do, but no matter how much we all love them, they will never belong to hipsters. They belong to the forest, and the foragers who have been finding them for years. There are ramp festivals up and down the country, from Hudson, New York to Richwood, West Virginia, the self-proclaimed "ramp capital of the world." Ramps have "deep cultural roots among the communities who harvest [them]." Hipsters should feel free to enjoy ramps like the rest of us -- they didn't discover them, however.
Kimchi is a Korean dish made from fermented fruits or vegetables, typically cabbage. Unlike pickling, fermenentation doesn't use any vinegar -- the process of fermenting involves brining the fruit or vegetable and then letting it sit with a mixture of spices and sauces at room temperature. It's a staple Korean food. Hipsters are right to love the stuff -- we love kimchi too. But let's all be clear: Kimchi is a Korean food, not a hipster one.
Artisan cheese (or artisan anything)
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Artisan cheese is hand-crafted, aged cheese, and it is a centuries-old tradition. Slap "artisan" or "artisanal" on anything -- be it cheese or roadkill -- and hipsters will come running. While we agree, it's totally cool to value and seek out artisan cheese and other products, they don't deserve to be classified as "hipster" items. Traditional, handmade techniques do not a "hipster food" make. Traditional, handmade techniques have been passed down from generation to generation.
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Everybody loves bacon -- it's not just for hipsters. For some reason a passion for fatty bacon is something hipsters seriously rally behind. It's almost as if you can prove your hipster worth by showing how much you adore bacon. (And, paradoxically, how much you love green juice.) Loving bacon is clearly totally respectable -- so long as hipsters realize they're far from alone.