I hope this whets your appetite for many seductive meals in 2009.
Happy New Year! Wishing everyone the best 2009 has to offer, Terry
Enjoy the crystal ball food predictions for 2009
Source: Epicurious.com, Sabah Karini of Associated Content and D'Acqua Ristorante
Epicurious.com makes the following culinary predictions for 2009:
Peruvian is the new Thai You thought Peruvian cuisine was all about ceviche, maybe? Guess again: Peru boasts culinary influences from Spanish, Basque, African, Cantonese, Japanese, Italian, French, and British immigrants. Pisco Sour, anyone?
Noodle Bars are the new Sushi Joints: With some seafood being suspect or over-fished and raw fish prices high, noodles make complete sense. If there's no ramen, udon, or soba shop in your neck of the woods, there probably will be soon.
"Value" is the new "Sustainable": These days, the economy dictates our cooking and shopping decisions. Bargains are in, no matter where they come from.
Ginger is the new Mint: Move over, mojitos. Ginger beers and ginger cocktails (like the Ginger Rogers, Gin-Mule, and Ginger Smash) are bubbling up at places like the Violet Hour in Chicago , the Clock Bar in San Francisco , and Matsugen in New York
Smoking is the new Frying: You know how everything tastes better fried? Well, almost everything tastes better smoked, too, and that includes cocktails. Bartenders ( Eben Freeman at Tailor in New York , for example) are smoking their bourbons, and chefs, recognizing the national craze for BBQ flavor, are smoking more than just salmon and ribs: nuts, salts, even smoked steelhead roe (at Chicago's Alinea). Who says smoking's bad for you?
Regional Roasters are the new Starbucks
come full circle. What started as a local coffee phenomenon migrated to
other cities and turned Americans into java junkies. Then the chain
over-expanded, and the little neighborhood coffee roasters thrive again,
Rustic Food is the new Molecular Gastronomy: Wacky weird-science cuisine that requires fancy-schmancy equipment doesn't necessarily make food taste better, and more often than not it adds needless complexity (there are exceptions). Most importantly, no one really wants to do this at home. Expect to see comfort food stage a comeback again.
"Top-Rated" is the new "Critic's Pick": Power to the people; single critics are a dying breed. Why believe what one person says when you can read and reflect on what hundreds think?
2009 promises to be the year when consumers try more exotic flavors than ever before. More people had a chance to travel in 2005 and 2006, giving them the opportunity to try global cuisine and bring home a few tricks of the trade for their own kitchen preparations. Fresh spices from Asia, exotic fruit in savory dishes and sweet and savory pairings are just a few top trends in restaurant menus and gourmet pantries across the country for 2009. Whether you're a die-hard foodie or just jumping into gourmet food tastings, here's what to look forward to in 2009:
2009 Food Trend: Yumberry Jam
If you enjoy exotic fruit, enjoy some of the latest picks from the Amazonian jungle at the breakfast table. This is the year to spread some antioxidant-rich jams and jellies on toast and enjoy some very unique flavors. Superfruits including mangosteen and acai berry will continue to be popular picks for those who want a sweet but tart wake-up call.
2009 Food Trend: More Than Rhubarb Pie
Rhubarb is going to start showing up in both sweet and savory dishes this year as chefs adapt this versatile ingredient for a number of dishes. Rhubarb can be used in stir fries, pot pies and other savory dishes to give the recipe a hint of sweetness - and a distinctive flavor.
2009 Food Trend: The Fifth Taste
Fermented foods including mushrooms, cheese and other foods that have the taste profile known as 'umami' will be driving many of the exotic food trends in 2009. More chefs will be designing menu items around fermented foods that add a sour 'bite' to any dish. These foods may also have benefits for the digestive system, so don't be surprised to find new condiments and ingredients in the health food aisle.
2009 Food Trend: Turmeric for Your Health
Spice blends from the Middle East return for another year as more people jump into the flavors of the Far East to liven up their dishes. Cumin, garam masala, Japanese tamari and curry powder will all be making an appearance in otherwise-bland dishes, and helping you train your taste buds for a new experience.
Environmental Eating: As more people learn about the environmental waste associated with plastic water bottles, they will begin to opt more and more for re-usable bottles and for filtering their own water. In addition to saving money, they'll help the planet, as well.
Locally Grown: Eating locally grown ingredients is a trend that is on the rise and will continue in 2009. Locally grown ingredients tend to be fresher, support people close to the consumer and are better for the environment because there is no transporting of the products over long distances.
Market Deals: Farmer's markets have steadily been gaining in popularity and will continue to do so. Not only do people get many locally grown items, but they also find fresher and cheaper items.
Seasonal Sensations: Keeping in line with choosing food that is locally grown and from farmer's markets, consumers will opt for more seasonal items.
Gluten-Free: Products that are made gluten- or wheat-free are continuing as a trend, as more people become aware of allergies.
Natural Nosh: Another trend for the New Year is food that comes from natural ingredients. Many people are skipping things like high fructose corn syrup and opting for natural products.
Tea Time: Tea has been proven as a drink many people are turning to for its antioxidant benefits. Trends in tea consumption will likely continue.
Selective Dining: Consumers love to eat out, and 2009 will be no different. However, because of budget concerns, they are likely to be more selective about where they spend those dining dollars, opting for good-tasting food that also offers an atmosphere, so it's more like a night out than just a quick meal.