2011 has already made it's grand entrance and is flying by. Before it draws near, let me post all the predictions that have been made by top foodies about what food trends 2011 might see:
Epicurious is a great recipe website, who has built itself into a world renowned foodie brand. Here is their top ten food trends for 2011:
1. Food Halls – These are large restaurants that have been popular for centuries in Europe. Some people equate them to a cafeteria, but they sound more like a market, with shelves overflowing with food in a bustling atmosphere. Food halls in New York City and Los Angeles have already gotten into the mix with others on tap around the country.
2. Korean Cuisine – This is predicted to become the next big cuisine.
3. Macaroons – Move over cupcakes and make room for macaroons! These gluten-free, delicate confections are the next dessert trend. Popular varieties include passion fruit, mint chocolate, chocolate and coffee. Kowalski’s bakeries have been making these for several months. Ours contain coconut and have bottoms that are dipped in dark chocolate. Yummy!
4. Meatless Mondays and Tofu Thursdays – The trend here is eating less meat. A group called Meatless Monday has a goal to encourage United States consumers to cut their meat consumption by 15% to improve our health and that of the planet. Epicurious predicts that eating meat-free will be on the calendar more than once a week.
5. Foraging – For the past few years, many chefs have touted that their ingredients are sourced from local farmers, but this trend takes it a step further as chefs head to the woods in search of wild greens, nuts, berries and even bark.
6. Tiki Bar Cocktails – This trend proves that what is old can be new again. Polynesian-style drinks made with fruit juice and rum and adorned with flowers and paper umbrellas are showing up on bar menus once again. Think Planter's Punch, Mai Tai and Hurricane a.k.a. Don the Beachcomber, made with fresh ingredients.
7. Pop-Up Cafés – We know them locally as food trucks that move around the city from place to place depending on the day of the week. They are an inexpensive way for chefs to showcase their food while avoiding the high cost of rent. They are becoming more prevalent in Minnesota during the spring, summer and fall. Look for a growing list of options this spring.
8. Sweet Potatoes – Full of beta-carotene and fiber, sweet potatoes are the vegetable of 2011. The most popular version is Sweet Potato Fries, but look for them in other ways that showcase their flavor, texture and beautiful color.
9. Urban Wineries – Beer-making is a popular hobby, and now making your own wine has come to the forefront. Look for establishments that allow their patrons to de-stem, crush and press the grapes to create a wine that can even be personalized with your very own label.
10. Pimentón de la Vera - This ingredient is similar to smoked paprika and is the building block of Spanish cuisine. It lends a sweet heat to roasted and grilled meats, paellas, sauces and soups.
McCormick Spice Company does a Flavor Forecast each year, and this is their Top 10 Flavor Pairings list for 2011:
- Fennel and Peri-Peri Sauce
- Pickling Spice and Rice Vinegar
- Roasted Curry Powder and Wild Mushrooms
- Caramelized Honey and Adzuki Red Beans
- Ancho Chile Pepper and Hibiscus
- Thyme and Stone Fruits
- Mustard Seed and Vermouth
- Cilantro and Nut Butters
- Herbes de Provence and Popcorn
- Green Peppercorns and Goat's Milk
McCormick's trend watch also highlights five "currents of change" for 2011 which includes:
- Spirit of Discover – A hunger for international culinary adventure propels exploration of new ingredients and techniques.
- Flavor with Benefits – Eating for wellness is more delicious than ever.
- Invigorating and Uplifting – Exciting pops of flavor bring new energy to dining.
- Soul Satisfaction – Comforting favorites soothe the mind, heart and taste buds.
- Craveable Contrasts – The interplay of tastes, textures and visual cues adds fun and excitement to the basic pleasures of eating.
The National Restaurant Association surveys professional chefs each year—all members of the American Culinary Federation—on which foods, beverages, cuisines and culinary themes will be hot trends on restaurant menus:
- Locally sourced meats and seafood
- Locally grown produce
- Nutritionally-balanced children's dishes
- Hyper-local (e.g. restaurant gardens, do your own butchering)
- Children's nutrition
- Sustainable seafood
- Gluten-free/food allergy conscious
- Simplicity/back to basics
- Farm/estate-branded ingredients
- Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
- Locally-produced wine and beer
- Half-portions/smaller portion for a smaller price
- Organic product
- Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients)
- Newly fabricated cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, Petite Tender)
- Fruit/vegetable children's side items
- Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. Asian-flavored syrups, chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)
- Artisan cheeses
And lastly, according to the Food Channel, these are the foods that will be hot-and-happening this coming year:
- Small Pies – Pie, of course, has been around forever, but 2011 could be the Year of the Pie. Some are already calling it the "next cupcake." We say, yes, pies will be hot in the coming year, but look for smaller pies to make it big—in both sweet and savory varieties.
- Sausage – Look for a leaner, better quality sausage, sourced locally, to take on the role as the "new bacon."
- Moonshine – Moonshine has gone legit. Tennessee's first legal moonshine distillery opened this summer, and the clear corn whiskey hootch can now be found in many liquor stores and even purchased online. It still packs a wallop.
- Gourmet Ice Pops – Ice pops in exotic flavors like bacon, mango chile, and peanut butter are the latest to get the artisanal treatment. They're known as paletas in Mexico. Watch for them to go mainstream north of the border in 2011.
- Grits – Could this old southern favorite become the "new grain"? We see it moving beyond the breakfast menu and above the Mason-Dixon Line.
- Sweet Potatoes – These super-nutritious tubers will be orange-hot in 2011. They'll be especially molten as the alternative, better-for-you french fry.
- Fin Fish – We are still discovering so much about the benefits of fish. We're banking on more acceptance of farmed fish as it becomes more important to have a good supply of this lean protein.
- Cupuaçu Fruit – This is quite possibly the next superfruit, following in the footsteps of the açaí fruit. Both are from the Brazilian rainforest. Cupuaçu has a number of antioxidants and minerals, and is considered a natural source of energy.
- Beans – The lowly legume will step up to the spotlight in 2011, as a great source of protein and a versatile ingredient in appetizers like white bean & rosemary bruschetta.
Interesting predictions!! Some of them I'll be happy without :o) And others I wouldn't mind trying for the first time!
Keep your eyes out for these up and coming trends - If any are spotted in Houston let me know!