Before I could post about this, I needed to conduct a little research so that I could back up a seemingly offensive claim with actual data. The claim: corned beef hash traditionally/historically is eaten by middle-to-lower class people. Before you get all in my face about being classist, let me say that I was making this assumption based on the fact that you can get it at most corner stores for less than $3. And let's be real, the greasy canned variety just doesn't look like rich people food:
Sorry, but Warren Buffet is not eating that for breakfast. Don't get me wrong -- it tastes freakin' delicious, almost good enough to justify the intestinal distress that usually follows its consumption.
My hunch was correct -- according to Wikipedia, corned beef hash became popular during WWII when food was rationed and fresh, high quality meat was hard to come by. Corned beef hash was survival food, a good way to get some protein that would also fill you up. It's literally meat and potatoes, working folks' food.
Now on brunch menus, there will almost always be some kind of fancy hash. Like the above pictured duck confit hash. At the restaurant where I work, we had braised lamb hash on the menu this past Sunday. Hash has gotten mighty big for its britches, if you ask me. It's come a long way from its unassuming beginnings:
This beef short rib hash is almost too pretty to eat:
Here's my main question: Why do we feel the need to dress up our hash? Are we ashamed to admit that something that looks (arguably) gross
I for one would like to return hash to its true roots. No more highfalutin hash! Hash for the 99%! #occupybrunch!