By Marsha Fottler –
It’s a new year and tastes change. Nowhere is that more evident than in the world of food – supermarket shelves, cookbooks, restaurants, your dinner table and your kitchen. Everything, everybody and everywhere gets affected by the fickleness of taste buds, by rising food costs and by what celebrity chefs have discovered on their summer vacations. Foods and culinary practices trend up and trend down. Here are some changes you can watch for in the coming months.
Korean food is trending up. The very best to be had in a restaurant setting is in the borough of Queens, New York. Make a culinary pilgrimage if you want the real deal. Otherwise, check out local ethnic markets for ingredients and try to reproduce naeng myun (cold noodles) or juk (savory rice porridge) or Hwe (raw seafood) or samgyupsal (barbecued pork belly) on your own. Plenty of new cookbooks out there to help and your local cooking schools will be offering classes and demonstrations.
There is definitely a fried pig’s ear in your future in you are a genuine foodie and eat out a lot. Both tiny storefront places, food trucks, and big established restaurants have discovered how delicious a fried pig ear can be – super crispy on the outside and meltingly soft and silken within. The ear of the pig is trending up. Go for it!
You will hear less about the Paleo Diet in the coming months. Like most trend diets, this one is on the way out. It’s expensive to stock a Paleo pantry, many of the recipes are complicated and take a long time to make and it’s a difficult regime to stick to for travelers. But, the real reason? People are bored with Paleo and it is trending down.
The potato roll is fast becoming the favorite for the hamburger bun. Restaurants who have tried the substitution have noticed good results so expect to see a potato roll on a menu near you. It’s trending up.
Octopus is trending up in a big and fast way. Chef’s love to cook with it, but it’s delicious raw served in a salad or as a ceviche.
Cooking with cannabis is trending up as chefs look for culinary creation that contain marijuana as a secondary ingredient. Bakers and chefs working in Colorado and Denmark are leading the way. Marijuana cookery has progressed way beyond the Alice B. Toklas brownies you tried to bake in college.
Cupcakes: Forget that wedding cake made of a pyramid of glistening perfect cupcakes. It’s over. Donuts, cronuts, dossants, yes, cupcakes, no.
Kale is trending down but broccolini is trending up. Asparagus never goes out of style.
In the new kitchen, the statement range hood is trending down. Now it’s all about the size and shape of the sink and the fancy no-hands faucet, which are trending up and getting ever more expensive.
Infused craft cocktails are still trending up as bar chefs become celebrities by creating sweet, savory and food-like drinks by infusing vodka and other spirits with herbs, fruits, and foods such as bacon and mozzarella balls.
The open-face sandwich is getting chic whether you call it a tartine, buterbrod, smorresbrod or a uitsmijter or just a sandwich without a top. You’ve already had one if you eat eggs Benedict, croque monsieur or Welsh rarebit. Chefs around the world are getting creative and some of these sandwiches, which are beautiful as well as tasty. The open-face sandwich or tartine (which is French for the open face sandwich) is definitely trending up.
It’s chic and trendy now to keep a lot of expensive appliances displayed on your kitchen counters or huge center island instead of hiding them away. Big standing mixers in cool colors are meant to be shown off. Also, the expensive vegetable juicer, and the coffee-making system. Copper pots? Oh, yes, display them. And leave your exotic spices and various designer salts where people can admire them. The kitchen today is meant to look like it’s being used daily by a gourmet cook. The look is trending up.
Ramen noodles are poised to conquer the world and are in your future this year if you eat out, travel, cook at home, watch cooking shows on television or buy cookbooks. Yes, it’s kind of like the ramen noodles in the package you ate in college or in your first apartment to avoid starvation, but these concoctions are so much better. And the variety of dishes is limitless. Entire restaurants are now devoted to the small but mighty ramen, which is to say the ramen noodle is trending up.