Food Networks top 100 Recipes

It would be easy to slam this list of “Top 100 recipes of 2007” found on the Food Network site. Personally, I find it more fascinating than most lists of “food trends” and “hot new items” often made up by PR folks and/or editors in a hurry. As much as I enjoy Saveur, I find their annual “top 100″ issue a tad tiresome, a bit pretentious, and even more presumptuous.

What catches my interest in this list is the fact that it seems to be the most accessed recipes in Food Network’s database during the calender year. If so, then this list gives something a little rare in the world of lists – namely insight. For what we have here is evidence of what constitutes America’s palate (well, actually it’s evidence of the taste of Food Network Web visitors, but “America’s palate” sounds catchier).

Looking at the list we find FOUR recipes for Macaroni and Cheese, and at least ten different types of cakes (including my current favorite, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting). As far as ethnic recipes are concerned, there’s a recipe for chicken enchildas and a recipe for chicken cacciatore, but nothing more exotic than that.

My question here is how accurate of a reflection is this of America’s taste? If it’s even close to reality, then there are many people in New York (most of them in Conde Naste) who simply do not understand what the American publics believes to be good food. If accurate, then Chris Kimball was right when he inferred that his “Cook’s Illustrated” was a more accurate reflection of the American marketplace than the food glossies out there.

Of course it’s possible that I’m completely misreading what this list means. Perhaps we do live in a world where everyone wants to know how to make a bechamel sauce, and wants to know who the next big chef is going to be.

Thanks to Jack at Fork & Bottle