Trends. You have to love them. Oysters are in, banana fritters are big and everything deep-fried is delicious.
Which brings me to the next trend: sticks.
Sticks are going to be big. Huge even. Granted, it takes a bit to get excited about a stick, but think metal and wooden skewers, bits of rosemary and lemongrass, and they bring endless possibilities to get the culinary imagination racing. Or maybe not.
I have visions of my young brother and I piercing cheddar and cocktail onions like mediaeval jousters for our parents' Christmas bashes. But that was a long time ago.
Today, we are well-practised with kebabs at barbecues and those little twirly bamboo sticks with food at cocktail parties. And let's not forget fondue (how could we?) with its pierced-bread-meets-melted-cheese technique. Cake pops - cakes served like lollipops - have lots of fans and sometimes appear at weddings.
Chef John McLeay has turned his mind to skewering. In his book Bits on Sticks, to be published next month, he impales everything from salmon to sweet potato, from tofu to toffee apple. And, lo, everything old is new again; ham-and-pineapple kebabs are there with maraschino cherries. As McLeay says, tinned pineapple rings work fine with this recipe. Of course, they do.
One British newspaper columnist goes so far as to ask if food tastes better on sticks. Answer: inconclusive.
But don't try telling that to the good folk at the annual Iowa State Fair, where people walk around munching deep-fried Snickers bars, twinkies (sponge cake with a cream filling) and cheesecake on skewers. Local entrepreneur Larry Fyfe offered no fewer than 57 products on a stick this year and says any impaled food increases sales by up to 40 per cent.
He came up with the fair's big hit - deep-fried butter. This is a 56-gram butter ball frozen on a stick, then "cooked" to order. The butter is submerged in cake batter and spices, including cinnamon, then deep-fried. With the first bite, it squirts everywhere.
The pork chop on a stick is the fair's best example of local produce.
But a favourite this year was the double-bacon, double-deep-fried corn dog on a stick. For a heart-stopping $5, a bacon-wrapped hot dog was deep fried and, after cooling, caked in cornmeal with bacon bits, then deep fried again.
And then there's the deep-fried pickle dawg. Actually, let's not go there.