What will you be eating in the new year? The same old hash brown casserole, or will you be jumping on the cauliflower pizza crust trend? Predicting food trends is not an exact science, but darned if we don't love trying it anyway. We've looked at a few reports, from the lofty James Beard Foundation to the Mintel Foodservice report to see what we'll be eating more of in 2017.
1. Veggies rule because who run the world? Girls
This year, meat is playing a smaller role on restaurant menus and moving over to garnishes, flavorings and sides. Meanwhile, vegetables are taking over the center of the plate as the main dish and diners are demanding more meat-free options. We've already seen loads of cool vegan restaurants like By Chloe on the rise.
Veg-centric is hot right now, especially if it's Instagram-friendly. And you know what? Not to bury the lede or anything, but we have women to thank for this trend. I remember a few years ago when meat was a big deal. It was all about artisan butchery and shameless bacon devouring. And it was super-, super-macho, as I recall. Not that there's anything intrinsically masculine about meat — if anything, women need protein and iron more than men do. But the culture of meat worship was highly masculine.
Along comes Instagram and Pinterest, two highly visual forms of social media, and guess who dominates there? We do, ladies. And guess what's more photogenic? Fruit, veggies and grains. You're welcome, everyone else, for this nutrient-dense food trend.
This is supposed to be the it veg of 2016. Apparently, cauliflower rice was just the beginning — now people are making cauliflower pizza crust (I hear it's not worth the effort) and more. Our suggestion is to resist the temptation to force it as a grain substitute and let it shine on its own. I like mine roasted with olive oil and paprika.
3. Food "waste"
This is the year we get serious about reducing food waste, and you know what that means? We'll all be eating more of what we used to throw away. For example, we'll be eating more whey, a byproduct of Greek yogurt production. You'll see it bottled in health food stores and in restaurant dishes according to the James Beard Foundation.
Meanwhile, chefs are making more use of vegetable greens and cuts of meat. And we'll be doing our part by buying more "ugly" produce — fruits and vegetables that look less than perfect but otherwise are every bit as good.
And we're fermenting everything in 2017. It's not just about cabbage kimchi and sauerkraut anymore.
4. Hot ancient grains
Everyone's talking about sorghum, which is similar to Israeli couscous, but chewier. But ancient grains are going to be more popular than ever, especially for breakfast. McCormick (the spice company) predicts grains will go savory for breakfast, so be ready to go beyond sweet oatmeal.
I'm seeing a lot of millet as well. Both sorghum and millet can be popped, which makes them even more versatile.
5. Global flavors
We're all getting more adventurous with our food, and we want our global flavors to be authentic... but in a familiar context. Expect to see real za'atar spices, but sprinkled on the french fries. McCormick predicts we'll warm to eastern Mediterranean flavors and dishes, like shakshuka, a Turkish dish of eggs poached in tomatoes and peppers. Filipino and North African cuisines are expected to be especially popular.
The James Beard Foundation thinks we'll also be into French food this year. Why not?
Hello Funfetti nation. We're putting sprinkles on everything. This food trend is also brought to you by women.
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