City Beat: Chia seeds do more than make good pets

City Beat: Chia seeds do more than make good pets

April 10th, 2014 by Barry Courter in Chattnow Outabout

I've never considered myself to be either a trendsetter or a trend follower, but when I look closely, I have to confess to being more of the latter. Sometimes the timing is just coincidental, and sometimes it's just easier to follow along.

The first sort of trend I remember becoming aware of were cinnamon-soaked toothpicks. Kids would make their own and bring them to school, and some of them were burn-your-lips hot. They were banned at our elementary school after one student spilled his concoction while making a batch at home and used a wash towel to clean it up. Being a kid, he told no one and left the towel on the counter. His mother then used the towel to dry her face, and, well, it got in her eyes, which got cinnamon toothpicks banned, right about the time those glass clackers were forbidden.

Nike Waffle Trainers, the blue ones with the yellow swoosh, were huge when they first came out. They were also expensive, so I think I finally got a pair about the time kids found the next cool shoe.

Way back in high school, it became trendy to wear down coats and vests. A short while later, hiking boots became all the rage. Now, I'd walked in the woods a time or two, but I wouldn't call myself a hiker, but I had to have a pair and a down vest, because the lumberjack look was in.

Years later I became interested in cigars. A friend here at work turned me on to a couple, along with a copy of Cigar Aficionado. I had no idea cigars would become as trendy as they did, but we were right in the middle of it, forming an informal club and hosting several get-togethers at local bars and restaurants. We were amazed at how open they were to having us, in some cases offering a room and hors d'oeuvres at no cost.

Anyway, the latest craze seems to be chia seeds. I'd never heard of them two months ago, but since a friend called to extol their health benefits, they seem to have sprouted up everywhere. Yep, the same seeds that gave us Chia Pets are actually good for us. Folks in certain Latin American countries have known this for almost 400 years, apparently. You can sprinkle them on your morning cereal, and some company now markets a tapioca-like cup of the stuff that comes with a cool little spoon. You can even soak them in water for several minutes and drink it straight if you like the taste of dirt.

So if you're looking for the next new thing, remember you heard it here first.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6354.