Along with lofty self-improvement goals and exchanging puzzling gifts from loved ones, each New Year brings lists of predictions. While many forecasts ponder universal politics or economic development, 2017 food trends prophesy what foods will gain popularity as well as how they’re served. Remember the year of the cupcake? And who can forget the cavalcade of kale dishes we survived? If the crystal balls of the top foodies are accurate in the coming year, we’re in for some exciting treats. Along with new edibles, the options for consumption also offer unique opportunities for everyone.
Crazy Cold Concoctions
Ice cream treats are popular year round, especially iconic creations like hot fudge sundaes and banana splits. The next decadently delicious craze includes freakshakes. They are huge, thick milkshakes generously drizzled with rich chocolate sauce and crowned with more sweets such as candies. If that’s too heavy for you, try rollups, made with delicate layers of frozen liquid ice cream rolled into cylinders and presented in a cup.
Little known fish varieties including branzia and tilapia have enjoyed being trendy in the past few years. But this year’s top contender is a blast from the past, the humble sardine. Many of us recall our fathers or grandfathers opening a tin of the tiny malodorous fish and eating them atop saltine crackers. Now some Portuguese vendors are updating the look of both the fish and the packaging to be more appealing. They’re also adding savory flavorings and restaurants are touting the protein-rich sardines as perfect toast toppings.
A Dream Come True
Ever wish some study would find eating dessert for breakfast was not only healthy but also encouraged weight loss? Open your eyes; the dream has become a reality. These two findings were the result of recent studies at Syracuse University and Tel Aviv University respectively. The results linked eating dark chocolate in the morning to better memory, focus and abstract reasoning, all good attributes to start the day. The latter study also concluded consuming any sweets at breakfast bolstered weight loss. Start scanning restaurant menus for more desserts sneaking into the breakfast offerings.
Surveys show that around 25 per cent of Americans are trying to reduce their meat consumption. Vegetarians and vegans concurrently continue to develop camouflaged carnivore favorites. Veggie burgers are tastier than ever made from creatively spiced and texturized mixtures of mushrooms, legumes, chickpeas and corn. Among the newest “butcher counter” innovations are meatless steaks, pepperoni and BBQ ribs. But the biggest showstopper is fake hamburger infused with beet juice so it appears to have a bloody consistency.
Virgin Cocktail Redux
Teetotalers have been limited to bottled waters, soft drinks and juices for too long. In an effort to attract more of them to bars, many cocktails are being crafted with ingredients such as muddled fresh herbs, international spices, freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices, exotic sipping vinegars, and mildly to boldly flavored teas. A number of recipes are not only alcohol-free but also boast a bevy of healing properties. And, of course, the beloved virgin drinks endure, including Mary, Pina Colada and Daiquiri.
Recycling was once an alien concept. But the message of its importance grew stronger each decade and now the practice is commonplace in most of the First World countries. The newest trend is reducing food waste, a movement to urge companies as well as consumers to reduce food waste. While it’s easy to use all parts of kale and seaweed, other vegetables require more creativity. Chefs are coming up with new ideas every day to incorporate carrot and chard tops as well as mustard, beet and turnip greens into dishes so nothing is squandered.
Getting Your Goat
Many Americans list lamb as their favorite meat, hailing the unique and subtle flavor of rack of lamb and lamb chops. Goat, however, a close relative of lamb, has never enjoyed the attention lamb gets from Americans. Sixty-three percent of the world regularly consumes goat and as U.S. residents slowly warm up to goat cheese and goat milk, appreciation of the meat is expected to accelerate. Not only is goat less fatty than most other meats, including chicken, the marrow in goat bones has more health benefits than any other animal.
We Are Family
Despite all our differences and apparent loss of human interaction, at the end of the day we still seek personal connections. Three trends gaining popularity across the country are making those relations more exciting and beneficial. One extends the idea of sharing home cooking with more than just friends and family. Strangers can find home cooks on apps and online who serve dinners at their homes that they prepare and share with paying guests. A related movement offers home cooked meals delivered to people’s homes to consume in private. Finally, a set up called fleet-farming permits budding farmers to use someone else’s lawn or other open land to cultivate produce in exchange for a percentage of the profits.
As You Like It
Instead of making reservations and then driving and parking to get a good meal at an upscale restaurant, many chefs are coming to you. Some of the country’s top chefs at renowned restaurants are delivering top-notch heat-and-eat meals from commercial kitchens setup in low-rent districts. A growing number of chain restaurants are testing drone deliveries in remote areas as well as on college campuses.
There seems to be no end to where chicken shows up. For centuries, it was almost exclusively served for dinner. Then boneless breasts became the darling of fast-food lunch menus. The latest craze is chicken for breakfast. It turning up wrapped in doughnuts as well as on biscuits topped with cheese and scrambled eggs. Other morning chicken dishes smother the bird with sausage gravy or add a layer of heat with a drizzle of honey-sriracha.