Just like fashion, trends percolate throughout the food industry and 2013 food trends are aiming to please the palette. Whether it is smoked lavender cheesecake or a cocktail that looks more like a science project, chefs nationwide are ramping up the kitchen drama.
Here are our top 5 favorite food trends to keep your taste buds guessing this year.
Snap, Crackle, Pop – The last thing you would expect to find at an upscale restaurant is the cheap movie theater favorite, but popcorn has gotten a modern makeover. The snack is being offered not only as a standalone appetizer but is also being added to soups, salads and other dishes for a jolt of texture. Expect to see gourmet popcorn with unique flavors such as black truffle, wasabi and jalapeno popping up on menus more often.
Holy Smokes – Slow-smoked dishes aren’t just for barbeques anymore. Restaurants are now offering smoked vegetable dishes and even desserts. The New York Times listed “Smoked Everything” as one of the top trends for 2013. Chef Tony Messina of Uni Sashimi Bar in Boston called smoking “the flavor of the Neanderthals, there’s something primal about it. If you add smoke to something, it’s going to evoke the desire to eat more food.”
Raising the Bar – The intrigue with mixology, the art or skill in preparing mixed drinks, has made artisan cocktails all the rage this year. You are no longer just ordering a drink – the bar has become a complex chemistry lab and your beverage an oral experience with a range of textures, flavors and temperatures.
It’s a Tea Party – Bon Appetit Magazine named tea as one of the top 25 things to eat, drink and cook in 2013. Tea is graduating from the beverage category and is more often being used in rubs and as a substitute for water when boiling and poaching to add a subtle, earthy flavor. Try the trend at home with Martha Stewart’s Earl Grey Tea Cookies.
More Meat – The Charcuterie plate, a lovely display of cured meats, is making quite a statement on menus lately. Chris Amendola of Fleet Street Kitchen in Baltimore offers an array of house-made meats that include Porchetta Di Testa, Liverwurst, Country Paté, Chicken Liver Paté, domestic Prosciutto and Pork Rillette served with pickled vegetables, mustard and crostinis.
What 2013 food trend are you going to try?