We’re one-third of the way through 2017. It’s time to take a look at the predicted food trends to see if they’ve gained any traction. I went back to read what Bon Appetit, The New Yorker, Forbes, the National Restaurant Association, and leading chefs had forecast for 2017. Here’s some of the more fascinating of their predictions. Or as my grandmother might’ve said. . .
“What Will They Think of Next?”
Spaghetti Doughnuts: A Brooklyn take on the new hybrid food craze. Spaghetti and sauce combined with eggs and cheese and baked till crispy in a doughnut form. Think of it as a portable spaghetti pie.
- Wellness Tonics. A biggy this year will be nutritional yeast that gives a flavor and health boost to popcorn and other snacks. Because it’s nutty, cheesy, and creamy, it’s becoming a popular ingredient in cheese substitutes and a replacement for Parmesan in salads. Be on the alert for drinkable vinegars and turmeric elixirs.
- New Yogurts. This healthy dairy product doesn’t just come from cows anymore. Look for water buffalo, sheep and goat versions as well.
- Adaptogens. An additive derived from plants, herbs, and fungi, that enhances the immune system while ridding the body of stress. Look for it in smoothies, drinks, and cereals. Sold under such names as Sun Potion and Moon Juice.
- House-made and Ethnic Foods. Chefs’ associations alerted us to several new items to expect on menus: house-made sausage, charcuterie, condiments, pickles and ice creams. More ethnic spices and ethnic inspired breakfasts are also in the offering (i.e., chorizo scrambled eggs and coconut pancakes). Interest in African flavors and foods will mean more curries, harissa (red pepper paste), whole grains, and beans used in cooking.
- Charcoal. In food? Yep. I had charcoal ice cream at Hiro’s this year. It’ll never replace chocolate, but it was quite good.
- Old-fashion American Pizzas. Look for a come back of the classic pie served in a traditional setting rather than the personal, charred, Neapolitan-style of recent years.
- Buddha Bowls. Bowls containing quinoa, avocados, sweet potatoes and grilled vegetables. Breakfast bowls will grow in popularity and include Korean bibimbap.
- Plant-based Meat. You’ll be seeing more faux meat, shrimp, cheese, and eggs that replicate the real thing quite nicely.
- Purple. You’ll find more purple on plates and palates. We’re used to seeing purple eggplants, onions, beans and cabbage. Add to that purple carrots, radishes, corn, asparagus, peppers, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.
- Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables. People are wanting to buy local or, at least, know where their food is raised and by whom.
- Small Plate Items. As people eat more than 3-times a day, look for an increase in small plates and healthier snacks with lower sugar and higher protein.
- Cauliflower. This long neglected vegetable is showing up, fried or roasted, and is positioned to surge ahead of broccoli and kale on restaurant menus.
- Food Delivery. Drivers and bikers will be delivering more meals to urban residents and workplaces.
Maybe I’ve been grocery shopping and dining in non-trendy places, but I’ve not seen evidence of many of these happening in the Midwest. But the year is young. I’m on alert.