No, really, what are the great food fads so far this year? These things definitely come in rising and falling waves. Felt the urge to put bacon or Sriracha in your beer, brownies and butter recently?
We’re not talking about farm-to-table, eating local foods and organic, or even paleo vs. vegan. Those are entire movements and actually involve substantive philosophical and economic issues.
Nope, are are talking trends. A lot of predictions were made last December and January so here’s the half-time report, in purely subjective order from least-to-most fun.
Bone broth is 2015’s cold-pressed juice (so very 2014). Costing around $9 a cup, this is most assuredly not your mama’s reconstituted Knorr cube bouillon. It’s still made from, yes, bones, but today’s fancy broth gets simmered for much longer. Whereas standard stock cooks for only a few hours, full-on bone broth bubbles around 24 hours, which pulls more collagen, minerals and amino acids out of the bones.
High tech interface. This isn’t something you eat, but rather the latest evolution on hunting and gathering. Douglas Adams wrote that civilization passes through three eating phases “those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question ‘How can we eat?’ the second by the question ‘Why do we eat?’ and the third by the question ‘Where shall we have lunch?”
Well, turns out that there is a fourth. These days the question is: How can I order my meal from my mobile phone, possibly even before arriving at the restaurant, and avoid the phenomenon of “waitress eye?”
Harissa may be the next Sriracha. Originally Tunisian, you may have come across Harissa with Tagines. Harissa is slightly thicker than ketchup and is a spicy spread of dried chiles, garlic, tomatoes, caraway, paprika, coriander and olive oil. It’s still on the upswing in popularity and hasn’t hit the local sandwich shop yet, but who really saw Sriracha coming either? Find an international grocery store and bring a new spice to your life.
Poutine. Now THIS is a trend we can get behind. The near-perfect hangover food was invented in Canada but is spreading everywhere. At it’s most basic, Poutine consists of French fries, gravy and cheese curds. But it’s going from comfort food to haute cuisine with the addition of things like kimchi and coq au vin.
And last, but certainly not least…
Cannabis cuisine. Inevitable perhaps behind the legalization of pot in several states, chefs are incorporating marijuana into a full range of dishes, frequently via infusions of butter or oil. It’s showing up in pizzas, soups, appetizers and “baked” brie. You can certainly still get a pot brownie, but now also pot cheesecake and pot phyllo dough pastry. But, here’s the important question: is the equivalent of not inhaling in this context Not Swallowing?