January 20, 2014 at 12:15 PM
From Heartland Gastrotourism to Pub Grub, Dim Sum and more, we'll have a lot on our plates...
By Lynn Cline
Lynn Cline is a former food editor and the author of two books – Romantic Days and Nights in Santa Fe and Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers' Colonies, 1915-1950. She also loves to cook, when not dining out.
Cauliflower and Pea Paprikash, Over Egg Noodles. Photo: Justin Smith
Each year, interesting food fads sweep the country, and 2013 was no different. It was the year of the Cronut, a doughnut-croissant hybrid that had people lining up for hours outside the New York City bakery where it originated. It was also the year of ramen noodles and ramen burgers, too. Kale was the reigning vegetable, gluten-free foods became wildly popular and many restaurants continued to focus on locally sourced, organic ingredients.
So what's in store for 2014? Gourmet Girl checked with a few sources, and found that the pundits are predicting it will be The Year of the Vegetable, and that cauliflower, in particular, will unseat King Kale as the Veggie of the Year. Last year, this cruciferous vegetable was popular served as cauliflower ribeye steak with compound butter, Buffalo cauliflower wings, mac 'n' cheese and more; and diners had no problem paying $30 for cauliflower steak or $26 for roasted mushrooms. New York City's power lunch was the roasted carrot and avocado salad served at ABC Kitchen. The Food Network predicts that after creatively conquering the entree, vegetables will soon take a starring role in desserts, cocktails and salty snacks.
Also this year, look for new food movements, starting with Heartland Gastrotourism in cities such as St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee and Iowa City, where simple, hearty cooking features root vegetables, steak and other locally sourced ingredients. This new movement includes American charcuterie, such as bacon, brats, braunschweiger and smoked pork chops, as well as pawpaw, persimmon, cheese curds smoked lake fish and buttermilk pie. You'll also see Midwestern classics blended with “new-immigrant flavors,” like chorizo-stuffed cabbage, brats with salsa verde and braunschweiger banh mi, according to The Food Network.
“Seacuterie,” another new trend, spotlights seafood through butchery classes and also dishes that spotlight the whole fish or fish heads. Pub grub is yet another movement, spurred by the huge success of food trucks, which proved that people are eager for new foods that don't cost as much as your whole paycheck. These innovative bar snacks incorporate global ingredients in dishes like fish-sauce chicken wings, Asian jerky grilled chicken skin, dried squid and crispy pig ears and blistered shishito peppers—all perfect for pairing with craft beers and trendy wines.
Dim sum is sweeping the country and The Food Network predicts that this trend will continue with more restaurants offering Western dim sum, or modern takes on dumplings and tableside service. Foraged food flavors will continue to grow as a global trend in 2014, according to Food Business News, which reports that those flavors include truffles, rose hips, blackberry and seaweed.
Another new fad likely to grow in 2014 is barrel-aged cocktails—cocktails aged in wood to add flavor and depth. Look for barrel-aged beer and even DIY barrel-aging kits. Another beverage boom is Low Tea, which is a light meal or snack of brunch-type fare shared with guests, served around 4 p.m.
And, of course, technology will continue to change the way we shop and cook, according to CBS News. More local stores will offer online food shopping as well as drive-through windows for easy pick-up. Apps for our smart phones will allow us access to information while shopping in a grocery store about an ingredient or health claims listed on the labels, simply by pointing at the product label. We'll also be able to check out a recipe, order the ingredients to make it and then pay for the ingredients—all directly from our phone.
Perhaps we'll soon see technology that not only shops for us, but also prepares all the food in our home kitchens and does the dishes...all with the push of a button! But that will probably happen in another year. For 2014, we already have a lot to look forward to on our plates.
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