So what’s in store this year?

2016 hoopla

A new calendar year begins, and we all get a chance to be pundits. Since food is my topic of choice, I thought I might as well weigh in, so here are my top 3 picks for trends, and some gratuitous commentary on what I have read from other sources. Feel free to add your two cents below, please!

Food Trend Predictions for 2016

  1. HYBRID DRINKS – it’s not enough that bartenders have created shrubs, syrups and other concoctions to come up with weird and wonderful cocktails… now we have to combine what we already have! Have you heard of “boffee”, or nitro coffee? I wondered at first if that was just a redneck version of a wine spritzer, but no, apparently it’s a real drink: iced coffee served “on tap” using nitrogen to create bubbles, just like a draught beer. superfood cocktailsCoconut water, Red Bull and all kinds of superfoods are being added to cocktails; just think, you can get drunk and prepare for your hangover at the same time!
  2. CLASSY SNACKS – crackers and cheese just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore, folks. You need ethnic dips, ancient grain chips, popcorn with exotic oil & seasoning… or at least use goat cheese drizzled with honey on those gluten-free crackers.funky small plates Serving snacks is an art as well; if you haven’t invested in funky small plates, then you’d better visit Pinterest soon for a cool idea using something you can find in your pantry and “up-cycle” with a bit of burlap and a hot glue gun 🙂
  3. COOKING WITH GARBAGE – If you have been in a hole and not listening to the outraged food geeks in our part of the world, you won’t know that we suddenly realized our penchant for having every kind of food available year round and it all being perfect and unique has meant we are wasting an obscene amount of food. Chefs have now made it cool to use the stuff our moms used to regularly transform from the back of the fridge to the table. cooking with garbageDan Barber from Blue Hill in New York served “Dog Food” on his menu last summer during his themed period of working with food otherwise not used – it was ground meat using the cuts the butcher couldn’t sell.

If you aren’t already trying out these new concepts, then here’s your chance to jump on the bandwagon. After all, you don’t want to be the last person in the lunchroom still eating a tuna sandwich, do you?

One trend whose demise I’d like to support is the use of the word foodie. Adam Sach’s recent editorial in Saveur is right on the money:

Maybe we can just focus on the pleasures of eating, cooking and drinking and leave the labels where they belong – on modified corn and the side of wine bottles.

As much as there are chefs innovating with new foods, new fusion and new science, there are also restaurant brands that are working hard to be everything for everybody. McDonalds has coffee now, and menu items which can be custom made (including lettuce wraps instead of buns). Forgive me for sounding snobbish, but I don’t think that improves anything. Do you really go to McDonalds for a healthy meal? That’s like going to Robuchon for take-out, or cheap chicken wings. As consumers we should encourage businesses to be unique, to do what they do best – not to be like every other place in town. Laziness doesn’t benefit anyone in the food chain.

I don’t want to sound preachy, but I do believe wholeheartedly in the importance of good food and the time to enjoy it properly. And when we want to enjoy junk food we should make that an authentic experience as well. No labels, no obligations. Life is too short.



About happygourmand

I am a professional gourmande - a lover of life. Not only food and drink, but life in general. I love experiencing life to its fullest, and I love sharing my adventures with others.

Posted on December 29, 2015, in beverages, food, snacks, trend and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’m in Mexico at present, still largely a monoculture when it comes to food. But the chains are here as they are all over the world.There is enough media that even the lowly taco has risen beyond what has to be the original fast food once they got past a tortilla that had to be fresh made. But sides are still beans and rice and don’t be looking for much al dente. That said, there is an amazing array of tastes out of the sameness. Like what our Mothers’ used to exhibit in their creations. ‘Change it Up’ is a phrase this gourmand person I know uses.

    Good food is the knowledge of what you have to work with and how to take it past palatable into divine. I have a fave little place here called the ‘Cucina Economica’. It is run by 5 lovely ladies who hum and all work together to produce delightful tastes. Out of the most ordinary of ingredients. No one else toasts their spices they way these gals do…takes the time so the sauces are just the right consistency for whatever they serve. No one sauce fits all. The eggs for the Huevos Rancheros are perfect all the time, the corn tortilla a work of art; not too crispy so can’t be cut but not raw corn either. Look at it as the Mexican Benedict…it needs to be right. Chillies Rellenos (fussy, lots of prep) is served everyday. Perfect everyday. Batter on the chilies crisp, not soaked in oil. Can’t vouch for the heat of the peppers but sublime. No doughy flour tortillas for your enchiladas…these are like paratha so flaky if toasted just right they belie the Northern cousin. The cuts of meat going into some of these dishes is yes, a lot like what is put into food for our creatures. But again, age old knowledge of stewing makes it quite amazing.

    And appies…still quite simple really. Fry up some leftover tortillas, smash those avocados that are a lot of the time a 1$ a kilo and make a hundred different salsas depending on your taste buds. Same…yes. Kinda. But things are still seasonal here, even with the greenhouses. So, next week there is no guacamole…tomatoes are pricey. You remember why it tastes so good.
    Besides the minimum daily wage in Mexico goes up to 7$/day this new year. Prosperity harkens.

    Happy New Year everyone. Thanks Kristin.

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