For years when editors asked me to predict upcoming food trends, I'd refuse. I have no idea what the next food trend will be, I'd say, because my dream is that one day we'll all stop thinking of food in terms of trends. Fat chance.
Still a young society in terms of taking food seriously, Americans are bent on trying everything on for size and the dizzying choices of global cuisine tends to give us food ADD. We don't really know what we stand for gastronomically — or rather we stand for almost anything, because we have no millennium-old traditions or culinary Holy Writ to pin us down.
We're open to the world, today as never before, and if some new ingredient, technique, or cuisine comes to our attention, we see no good reason not to try it out. Sometimes it ignites our imaginations (and our palates) and takes root in city after city, like the food truck phenomenon, but sometimes it fizzles like the dining in the dark experiences from a few years back — it turns out people like to see what they eat, hence food porn.
We at The Daily Meal — like most of you, I'd bet — are always planning our next bite, whether dining out or shopping and cooking at home. With such single-mindedness, we can't help but get some notion of what's bubbling and likely to splash over into the gastronomic headlines. Here are our best guesses for what we'll be eating or doing or talking about (or all of the above) in the 12 months to come.
-- Colman Andrews, Editorial Director
Food Trend Predictions for 2011:
Nordic Food (i.e. The NOMA effect)
Look for: cured fish, lingonberries, game meat like reindeer and Aquavit cocktails
Look for: Portuguese sandwich shops, restaurants and bakeries like The Best Chocolate Cake in the World
Look for: The artichoke-like vegetables outside of Italian food
Wild Greens and Roots
Look for: Perslane, wild nettles, lamb’s quarters, dandelion greens, chicory, stinging nettles, fiddleheads or sorrel
Look for: Pasta made with spelt, buckwheat, grano arso, farro or cultivated wheat like Einkhorn pasta
Whole Animal Feasts
Celebrity Vegetable Farmers
Look for: Organic vegetable farmers making names for themselves, like our own Special Contributor, Farmer Lee Jones
New Reservations Systems
Return of the Pot
Return of the Regular Pie
Look for: Regular New York Pies taking the place of the over-hyped Neapolitan -- see our tour of the best New York pizza
Food Co-Ops on Your Co-Op Roof
Look for: Hydroponic and organic gardens on the roof of your apartment building instead of lounge chairs
Look for: Imitators of this summer’s grilled cheese delivery guy in New York City, Bread.Butter.Cheese
Celebrity Chef Concessions
Fast Food Gimmicks
Look for: “Gourmet” flourishes like hand-cut fries or, on the flip-side, ultra-indulgent specials like the Double Down
Completely Homemade Cocktails
Hollywood-Ignited Food Trends