2013 may have been occupied by the unlucky number, yet we’ve been rather blessed food wise. From the creation of the cronut, the spread of funky gourmet food-trucks, the Peruvian craze implanting quinoa salads and ceviche on every street corner, to the emergence of fancy pop-ups, it’s made us wet…. with saliva!
Foodies are clearly on a high, and this constant love and mood for food is on the rise, so just where will 2014 take us exactly? Numerous firms, including McCormick, Sterling-Rice Group, Baum Whiteman, and Andrew Freeman & Co have recently released what they believe will be 2014’s food trends.
Putting the obvious ones aside, such as organic produce invading the food-sphere with foul sodas being replaced by “pure” fizzy drinks, or Brazilian cuisine escorting Peruvian food as the new hip –which seems evident with Brazil in the spotlight hosting this coming year’s World Cup– here are some of the most interesting and obscure ones, which we’ve attempted to rationalise.
Put your mugs down and get cooking! Tea will no longer only be blended with hot water, but be used to boost flavours in dishes, whether savory or sweet, and add a hint of “terroir-ism” in cocktails. From hot, iced, to milked and bubbled with tapioca balls, tea is surprisingly going places. Yet, with the whole “yogi” trend being at its high and that according to medical experts such as the University of Maryland’s Medical Center, green tea can prevent cancer, reduce heart disease and delay skin ageing, it all sort of makes sense. Food connoisseurs tend to think of healthy before nasty, as it’s all very easy to make something fried taste yummy, but acing a tea based soup? Not so much. You may want to ask for specifics next time someone invites you over for “tea time” though, as the time won’t be so obvious anymore.
Chicken is being upgraded to premium. The humble bird won’t be as present in every-day restaurants as it’s been labeled too “safe” of a dish. Instead, haute-cuisine eateries are adopting the fowl and giving it a serious makeover to prove their capabilities of adding new flavours to such an initially bland base. NYC’s Nomad restaurant, for instance, serves it roasted with foie gras and black truffles for $79, and they’re expected to be trendsetters in that area.
On a similar note, pigeons raised by small-scale producers will be “in”. That may sound odd, or even vile to some, but pigeons are already quite popular in some countries, like France. Whether it’s to have an alternative to boring old chicken, or to simply try something novel, they’re next on our plates. If you’re still not feeling too inspired, check out Hank Shaw’s Honest food, for some interesting pigeon and dove based recipes to try first-hand at home.
What’s obscure about this next upcoming trend is that it has taken that long. Finally, Middle Eastern delights will be shared with the world! Whether it was the fear of terrorism or the region’s unfortunate conflicts that caused the delay, we’re happy to see that the love’s finally started to spread. From Israeli chef Ottolenghi marking his territory in the UK, to Lebanese manousheh joints opening up in New York City, the world is finally warming up to oriental cuisine. Watch out for sumac (lemony acidic spice) and zaa’tar (thyme and oregano based mix of herbs), which you will soon swear by in your cooking! FBC’s own Bethany Kehdy has got a head start and shares her home-region’s recipes on Dirty Kitchen Secrets and takes you on an edible journey throughout the Middle East with her debut award winning cookbook, The Jewelled Kitchen.
2013 has heard “I’m lactose intolerant” way too many times. Dairy products have become the ultimate enemy, and yet what would we do for some creamy cheese? 2014’s solution? Dairies will be replaced by nuts and yolk. Most have probably already come across almond milk and the rest of the gang, permitting coffee to remain drinkable; a new alternative to ‘cream’ will be plain and simple yolk. Already customary in Italy –where spaghetti Carbonara, for instance, is cream-free (FYI: if you’ve been putting some in, you’ve been doing it wrong, The Kitchn shows you just how to do it right)– yolk will be used in numerous sauces, salads and desserts, for the lactose intolerants not to feel rejected. Our apologies to vegans: we’re still seeking solutions for alternatives.
Haute-cuisine chefs are going old school by refining childhood homey recipes, which means we’ll finally be able to understand their menus and relate to them! Chef Daniel Doherty at London’s Duck & Waffle combines funky and homey flavours through his star duck & waffle dish served with mustard maple syrup, and his spicy ox cheek doughnut with apricot jam. Haute Dish restaurant in Minneapolis has a peanut butter Panna Cotta, and this is just the beginning. 2014 food trends will be filled with juxtapositions, which may have begun with the chocolate and bacon combo phase, but who knows really?
Predictions are always tricky, as who can really guess what future-us will be craving anyway? We’ll just have to patiently see how things pan out. For now, as I make myself a mar-tea-ni, dig into my yolk-creamed pigeon sandwich and daydream of my kitkat soufflé dessert, I’d like to wish you all a delicious new year –eat up!
From Leonore Dicker
Leo has been obsessed with food for longer than she remembers. Raised in cosmopolitan London by a French mother (who could’ve been a chef) and a German father (who could’ve been a critic), food has always been the center of everything. Writing is her second big love, and she has done so in Paris, New York, Kazakhstan and Beirut. She is currently experiencing the threesome of her deepest fantasies and writing about food.
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