Top Trend Predictions for 2011

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, we're bent on trying everything on for size and the dizzying choices of global cuisine 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