The pretentious table: Cheap starches get a high-priced makeover

Over the past few years, as upscale cuisine has increasingly divorced itself from anything resembling what the average person consumes, an interesting trend has emerged: modest, mainstream foods have often been co-opted by the culinary elites. This has led to a strange reversal, wherein peasant food has become, literally, fit for a king.

The upmarketing trend has been particularly obvious when it comes to starches. Basically used to provide filler and carbohydrates to a meal, starches tend to be the cheapest, most basic things on a plate. However, while all humans need to consume carbs, the super-rich demand something more than a simple cereal grain or a prosaic potato. Their carbs have to be exotic and profound, even when their origins are simple and plebian.