2009 is the year of the gross food movement

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Making food ridiculously large and unhealthy has become an art form, reaching its zenith with the bacon explosion and the blog This Is Why You're Fat. Finally, there's a name for things like 10 pound BLTs. Gourmet Magazine has deemed this phenomenon the "gross-food movement."

Defining what constitutes gross food is tricky. It's almost always a Frankenstein-like combination of two foods that shouldn't go together, say pizza and blueberry waffles, blown up to huge proportions. To paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, you'll know gross food when you see it. Like this deep-fried cheeseburger on a stick.

cheeseburgeronastick.jpg

Gourmet describes gross food in slightly more eloquent terms.

These creations just grab your attention -- layer upon

layer of gluttony in an age when we're inundated with messages about

improving our diets, eating less-processed food, and watching our

weight. It's a middle finger to the Michael Pollan and Alice Waters

types, an assertion of the American birthright to consume in deadly

quantities. The "gross" in Gross Food, after all, also implies an

excessive size.

After massive publicity for items such as the bacon explosion or the porkgasm or the bacone

(bacon is a near-universal ingredient of gross food), I've seen several exasperated food bloggers wonder when people will

finally get sick of such inventions. I even wondered this myself several months ago.

Since

then I've come to realize that the best gross foods are just an

extension of what we already eat. We love hamburgers, we love cheese and we love fried

food. Combining the three may sound disgusting, but it's not that

different from fried mozzarella sticks or fried cheese curds or an egg

roll. As long

as Americans are eating mainly fried, fatty foods, there be a gross food movement.

(Image via Flickr: Mickey Busey)

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