Diet, Nutrition

10 Great Food Trends to Try

2013 is a year for new and creative food trends. From the reinvention of the cheeseburger to elaborate wine tastings, food is now becoming a way to express yourself – and your palate.

The Burger Experiment

  • Small-sized sliders, bizarre burger toppings and new sauces are all becoming popular.
  • In Pasadena, California (which is the birthplace of the cheeseburger), they hold an annual burger festival showcasing the new burger trends of the year. It draws people of all walks of life, who stop by taste upcoming burger creations.
  • Gourmet burgers are now found in four-star restaurants, loaded up with toppings like shitake mushrooms, red wine reduction and imported cheeses.

Wine Sampling

  • Wine flights are increasing in popularity, from reds to white and even champagne tastings.
  • Pinot noir, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon are some of the most popular varietals.

Coconut Oil Reigns as King of the Oils

  • A great source of saturated fats, it lowers risk of heart disease and obesity.
  • Coconut oil improves thyroid and cell function, making it a powerful replacement for butter and canola oil.
  • It can now be found in restaurants and grocery stores as a substitute for olive oil and used for sautéing vegetables.

More Game Meats

  • Bison, elk and venison burgers and other menu items are on the rise, offering a healthy alternative to beef for consumers.

Popcorn an Increasingly Popular Snack

  • From gourmet grocery stores to convenient stores, popcorn will be found in the cereal, snack and vegetable aisles.
  • Unsalted popcorn is touted as a healthy alternative to chips or cookies.
  • Popcorn is now made with coconut oil instead of olive oil, and it’s becoming a decadent dessert when covered in dark chocolate.

“Hush Dining”

  • Food trucks were popular in the last few years, but now the small dining scene is all about underground dining – establishments which aren’t licensed to operate. This includes pop-ups like a food truck or after-hours dinner in a restaurant or private home.
  • They typically gain business only through word of mouth and notices posted on social media such as Twitter.

Executive Chefs in Your Grocery Store

  • With food TV shows, executive chefs are now gaining a public face and can even be seen in the grocery store, recommending specialty foods and offering recipes with specialized ingredients from the store.
  • Executive chefs are also leading cooking classes, often inviting patrons into their restaurant’s kitchen to learn to prepare their most popular dishes and desserts.

Brunch is the Most Important Meal of Your Weekend

  • Weekend brunch is now common, no longer seen as a rare indulgence. Menus include gourmet omelets loaded with asparagus, fancy riffs on French toast and global breakfast fare.
  • Free-flowing, unlimited Bloody Mary bars, mimosas and bellinis are included in many brunch deals.

Steeping & Eating Tea

  • Tea consumption is increasing in the United States. No longer just a beverage, it also will be found in more foods.
  • Earl grey and chamomile tea will be used as meat rubs, as well as desserts like ice cream.

Asian Comfort Foods

  • Sushi and pot stickers have become more mainstream in restaurants, incorporated into many styles of worldwide cuisine.
  • Vietnamese pho is now eaten all over America, and contemporary restaurants have designed their entire menu around the staple Asian soup.

The Bottom Line . . .
Food trends nowadays are about thinking outside the box. Culinary expression includes everything from variations on the classic burger to wacky wine dinners, and there’s no end in sight to how food combinations will continue to expand in new and delicious ways!