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Restaurant Menu Watch: Bone broth trend is nothing new

The latest trendy food is arguably the most mundane one yet: Broth, according to a recent article from Nation’s Restaurant News, written by senior food editor Bret Thorn.

Specifically it’s meat broth, which is what most broth is, but chefs and trendspotters are calling it “bone broth.”

Julia Moskin declared in The New York Times that bone broth is one of the hottest things out there, “ranking with green juice and coconut water as the next magic potion in the eternal quest for perfect health.”

Practically everyone is talking about it, lauding its restorative qualities and elemental wholesomeness like a schoolmistress in Victorian England.

Elle invited sisters Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley, authors of “The Art of Eating Well,” to expound on its glories.

“We see it as a frugal, grounding way to get back to our roots in the midst of an often hectic urban life,” they say, and then explain how to make it in eight steps instead of two: Cover bones and maybe aromatics with water, simmer for many hours.

Wellness Mama goes on about it for a good 1,600 words, noting its heritage — “Broth is a traditional food that your grandmother likely made often (and if not, your great-grandmother definitely did)” — and its ability to improve the quality of just about any part of the body, including joints, hair, skin, nails, immune system, digestion and brain function. It can possibly even help remove cellulite, she says.

Kobe Bryant is partially to blame for the craze. The Los Angeles Lakers basketball star has gone public declaring it a favorite pre-game meal and the foundation of his diet.

It’s also a paleo thing.

In the restaurant world, New York City chef Marco Canora of Hearth is a broth pioneer,having opened Brodo, which is Italian for “broth,” in November.

Broth has been available elsewhere, of course — because it’s, you know, broth — but Jola Café in Portland, Ore., started offering five varieties of it earlier this month.

But not everyone sees the charm of bone broth. Vegan and anti-animal-cruelty website onegreenplanet.org points out that bone broth is not new, that nutritional claims about it being a curative panacea are suspect and that “It’s Gross and Inhumane” because it comes from the bones of “once living, sentient beings.”

Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@penton.com.

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