I say current trend but the reality is foams could have been on the menu of high class restaurants for the last 3 years for all I know; I'm not known for patronizing either Le Gavroche or Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons on a regular basis and get funny looks whenever I get sniffy about the size of the bread sticks in Carluccio's. I'm hardly a professional diner.
But Masterchef has brought foams to my attention. Suddenly I have a foam radar and, really, I'm amazed I've got through life so far without ever having one.
I've lost count of how many foams I have now seen on TV.
Foam of quail. Foam of celeriac. Foam of DFS sofa.
Without fail they all resemble cuckoo-spit. Or worse: real proper human spit. A great big gooey lugey that somebody has hawked up onto the plate. For all the customer knows the sous chef has swilled his mouth out with cream of chicken soup, sucked on the cork from a bottle of cheap red wine and then gobbed out the scrapings of his molars all over the dauphinoise potatoes and then charged some poor hapless diner £78 for foam of coq au vin.
The poor diner won't know whether to sip it up with a straw or wipe it down with a napkin. Either way he's as stuffed as Scotch egg. Not so much et tu Brute as et tu veloute.
Is this really the way fine dining is going?
Foams? Essences? Sprays?
Are we going to end up with some hoity-toity overly-superior waiter spraying an aerosol can across our faces and claiming we have just imbibed spray of beluga caviar with a fine jus mist of sea bass and then charging us a four figure sum for the privilege? Couldn't I just save myself a load of money by eating the contents of my bathroom cabinet?
I've got a can of Lynx upstairs... mix that with foam of Bisto and I reckon I've got a meal that would set most people back a few hundred quid. Suddenly Old Spice takes on a different meaning too; I could save a fortune by boycotting Pataks and my curries will be the most fragrant in the street.
Maybe I just ought to let my mouth water more and get onto the gravy train? After all, I could charge for the steam... I'm sure I could rustle up some foam from somewhere too... something with a very personal touch that'll get your umami taste buds a-tingling.
So anyway, next time you're about town and you see some lowlife spitting onto the pavement, just remember you could be passing up the opportunity for a free meal.
Don't be proud. Hunker down and enjoy.
Heston Blumenthal will be charging £150 for it guaranteed.