Suddenly everywhere I look, recipes and chefs are using Sriracha sauce. Now I consider myself a fairly tuned in cook, but up until recently had never heard of it. Apparently, not only is this sauce, and other spicy Asian ones a trend, but Bon Appetit magazine named it one of the top ingredients of 2010! I’m obviously behind the food times.
It got me wondering what the next hot food trends might be?
Right now, we’re at the end of the Cupcake craze. Frankly, I never quite understood the passion for cupcakes, and in particular some of the cupcakes that friends raved about tasted like they came out of a boxed mix to me. So I’m none too sad to see it on it’s way out. We’ve already been through artisan breads and donuts, so the next logical baking phase has to be pies.
Baking has never been one of my passions, but I do love the idea of a fresh pie coming out of the oven to the cheers of admiring guests, so I guess I’ll practice up. This pie crust, using the Cooks Illustrated recipe, has been pointed to on several of the blogs I follow: http://satisfythecraving.com/2011/07/02/foolproof-pie-crust/
I’ve also noticed more cooking shows featuring the humble hot dog, and several hot dog themed food establishments (can you call a place that just serves hot dogs a restaurant?) cropping up in my (non urban) area. There are even quite a few hot dog blogs! Here’s one: http://thehotdogblog.wordpress.com/ Ready for hot dogs around the world? http://shine.yahoo.com/event/summergrilling/80-delicious-hot-dog-recipes-from-around-the-world-478838#photoViewer=1
Of course local foods are not a new trend, but I’m noticing more and more local grown or local bottled products being featured all the time in the farmer’s markets, underground markets and even in the local supermarkets. Local wines, gluten free products, locally grown produce, pickled vegetables made in small batches, are just a few of the local treats.
More than just a tapas trend, I’m noticing more restaurants offering alternatives to large entree plates and even desserts. Half portions, shared plates, and tasting offerings are just a few of the ways this is showing up.
Meatless Meals and other special food niches
With Meatless Mondays more than a foodie blog trend, some restaurants are choosing one day a week to offer Vegetarian menus. More and more Vegetarian and Vegan choices are showing up on menus from fast food to fine dining. And other special foods, like Gluten free are showing up on menus and on the store shelves.
Not living in a major city, I’ve not yet had the opportunity to eat from a gourmet food truck. I’m thinking a nice fall Sunday in NYC is in my not so distant future to check this out myself, rather than living vicariously through the various food network shows featuring them. I’d like to think this trend will find it’s way to exurbia as well. Coming to a town near me? I hope so.