Panera Killed the Bone Broth Trend before It Ever Really Started

Pictured: Soup.
Pictured: Soup.
Photo by The Meat Case

No joke, I first found out "broth" was a thing when I read a Panera press release about their all-new, super-awesome happy-time broth bread bowls and how new and super awesome they were. It wasn't until after that I actually heard "bone broth" (or as we call it in my world.. soup) was becoming a trend in the more obnoxious places in America thanks to the paleo diet.

Well, bad news for bone broth:It's going south way before it's reached the heights achieved by artisanal toast (which the Taiwanese have been doing forever) and avocado toast (which is straight up avocado on bread, come on now), and again, it's all thanks for Panera.

Everyone knows a trend's embrace by middle-of-America chain restaurants is the quickest way to kill it. Just look at Moscow Mules, the once much-loved cocktail of Downtown Santa Ana. It's been regulated to the drink menu of Buffalo Wild Wings for goodness sakes. The core cocktail is still good but no one wants to drink it because it's cool and new anymore. And the killing power of bland, all-of-our-soups-are-probably-microwaved Panera is much more deadly then the really-it's-not-that-bad that is Buffalo Wild Wings (hey, it's where I go to watch UFC fights). It's kind of a shame for Panera, because there's obviously people working very hard there to make the company seem cool, but that's never going to happen.

If you're curious of what could have been and why broth was gaining hype to begin with, read this great round up by NPR's The Salt. I'll excerpt a part here:

To be clear, there's nothing all that new about bone broth (sometimes called stock). Around the world, chefs and home cooks have been using the feet, knuckles, tendons and bones of all sizes from poultry, beef, pig and fish to make rich, nourishing broths practically forever.

So thank you, Panera (If you for some reason want to try their broth, you can get it for about half off right now) for being so ridiculously uncool that I won't have to endure months of people boosting / complaining about some stupid trend.

Ah, I'm kidding. Something else will pop up, I'm sure. Probably some legume from South America that people have been eating for millennia, or something.

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You can also follow Charles Lam on Twitter @charlesnlam and Instagram @charlesnlam. He's less sardonic there, we swear.

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