Saturday Night Live’s Taco Town parody busted my stitches, to be sure. But lurking below the surface was something more. It’s been on my mind for awhile and now I think I can frame it within the context that until now was just an inchoate miasma in my brain.
I ran across this article about the Gross Food Movement on Gourmet.com recently. The author Robert Ashley “christened” the Gross Food Movement, its name seemingly a spoof on the Slow Food Movement. Whereas Slow Food promotes local and groovy and heirloom and long meals of elegance while dressed in linens on the promenade in Venezia, Gross Food seems to be more of a peer-fueled festival of freaky food excess. However, I did visit some sites cited by Mr. Ashley, such as This Is Why You’re Fat and SuperSizedMeals and many of the savory-leaning creations would be welcome on my table.
Taco Town is not about gross food, though the monstrosity therein created seems to be revered by many groseros, as evidenced by their efforts to recreate it and post their results on YouTube. Take a look at this June 15, 2009 article from Restaurants & Institutions “Using A Double Dose Of Product Creativity Taco Bell’s innovative menu lures new customers.”
In a nutshell, Taco Town is spoofing product innovation gone awry. This quote from the article pretty much sums it up: “In our business, this is a game of news and innovation,” said Taco Bell’s Chief Marketing Officer David Ovens. “My mantra here for the marketing team is “Innovate or die.’ Fail to innovate at your own risk.” Innovate at your own risk, too, I say!