Since everyone and their mother has been posting what they can expect from the food world in 2014, I thought I would add my own little list of things I expect to see rise and/or fall in the following year:
The fall of quinoa – Other than pumpkin spiced everything (yes I know it is seasonal), pretzel bread, and sriracha, quinoa has been taking over restaurant and retail outlets in the US…which also means as the demand increase, so does the price. Consumers are going to find there there is a whole list of ancient grains they can incorporate into their diet which rival the nutritional value of quinoa, such as kaniwa, amaranth, buckwheat, bulghur, farro, freekeh, grano, millit, oat groats, spelt, sorghum, and teff, not to mention all of the non-processed rice varieties. Hurry up and buy in bulk before these other options become ‘the next big thing’ and the price increases on those as well.
Hipster Sweets – Think of all the old school desserts which the hipster crowd is ready to reinvent. One that I am hoping for is salted butterscotch, (salted caramel knockoff)! With the boom of specialty beverages as well, we are going to see updated versions of bananas foster, cherries jubilee, baked Alaska, mangos diablo, and peches louis…half of which the hipsters never even heard of.
Turmeric-Shakur – Indian, middle-eastern, and mid-asian cuisine is becoming more and more accepted in the US. One ingredient in particular climbing the ladder is turmeric. It has a bright color and has been used in curries for years, as well as a coloring agent for multiple purposes. It also contains curcumin which potentially can treat a whole list of illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and allergies. Not of these claims have been definitively concluded yet, except for turmeric being a tasty addition to your spice cabinet.
Hot Chile Time Machine – Jalapeños, chipotle, cayenne, and habanero are only four of the hundreds of varieties of chiles out there. It is time to bring in the specialty varieties like aleppo, aji amarillo, calabrian, puya, wiri wiri, mulato, and scorpion to increase heat, build eccentric flavor, and add variety to your menu. Consumers are accepting heat in their foods more than ever before…thanks fast food! Sriracha will have some more time at the top, then harissa will take over…
PB&Hey, That’s Not Normal – First, we had peanut butter, and it was good. Then the alternate nut butters came along, and they were also good. Now it’s time to raise the bar and flavorize all these tasty spreads. Due to the fact that the US now wants to add fat back into their diets, we will see an increase of nut and nut butter consumption, but lets take it a step further. Pumpkin spiced walnut butter?!?!?! Maple and black pepper pecan butter?!?!?! Salted agave peanut butter?!?!?! Why not throw in some sriracha bacon rhubarb jam in the mix? (Maybe TOO trendy?)
American Comfort Story – We are going to continue seeing a rise in the American comfort food arena in the upcoming year. Chicken & waffles made 1000 ways, mac & cheese with artisan locally sourced cheese, meatloaf with specialty game meats, pies with strange crusts, weird fruits, unfamiliar seasonings, salted red velvet cronut cake-pop cupcakes…!!!!!!!!! How many desserts can we mash together???
What are some of your predictions for 2014? Your guess is as good as mine!