It’s that time of year again — the time when all foodies gather together over signature cocktails to brag about the food trends we were right about the previous year. Let’s toast to each victory from 2014 and move on to our predictions for the new year.
No, we’re not talking about that sodium-laden stuff with the mystery powder packet you used to eat in college. Ramen is rising in popularity in restaurants, but why wouldn’t you make it at home? There’s a variety for every taste, and it can be chock-full of healthy proteins and veggies.
Fermented foods’ popularity has been on the rise already in the last half of 2014. Expect it to stay on the rise both for its health benefits and its incredible flavor. Try making kimchee at home to eat with rice or as a topper for burgers and hot dogs.
Sure, we’ve all had hummus, but expect it to trend in a big way in 2015. Google reports that hummus has outdone the almighty salsa in web searches. It’s not that Greek yogurt’s out, it’s just that it’s now considered too common to be what you’d call “trendy.”
4. Pimm’s Cup
A Pimm’s Cup is an 18th century British cocktail featuring Pimm’s, lemon juice and ginger ale and garnished with a cucumber.
5. Shaved ice
Not to be confused with snow cones, shaved ice desserts are an Asian treat. Called bao-bing in Chinese or tsua-bing in Taiwanese, it consists of finely shaved ice topped with a variety of toppings. I recommend buying a shaved ice machine ASAP.
6. Paleo carbs
Most of us think of paleo as a diet fad, but it’s quickly becoming a way of life, and for good reason. But it’s not all meat and veggies. Expect to see a boom in paleo carb recipes for things like waffles, muffins and stuffing.
I know you’ve heard of cauliflower, but it’s time to rethink your opinion. Cauliflower has been trying to explode since the puree craze, and 2015 should be this humble veggie’s year. With the right recipe, it can be a vegan main course, made into a pizza crust or even into “mashed potatoes.”
8. Shareable cocktails
“Mixologist” may be as prestigious a title these days as “doctor.” In 2015, they won’t stop making your favorites, but there will be a trend with fancy flavor profiles and ingredients.
It’s another of those words you’ve heard a thousand times, but make note — 2015 will be the year of unexpected savory samplings. Everything from ice creams and yogurts to waffles (including waffle sammies) will get a savory makeover.
A finely milled or fine powder green tea, matcha can be used in everything from smoothies to desserts.
11. Rye whiskey
Vodka’s out. This year it’s all about the whiskey, favored for its fuller body and flavor. Sure, the old standbys like Jim and Jack will get some love, but we’ll also be branching out to include whiskeys made with this less common ingredient.
12. Activated charcoal
Long used to neutralize the nasty effects of certain toxins or to cure stomach upset, activated charcoal will start to be seen in juices, as it already is in New York City and Los Angeles.
Everyone’s heard of chocolate-covered grasshoppers, and it’s no secret they aren’t shy of eating six- (or more) legged creepy-crawlies in other countries, but insects are slated to hit the U.S. as an ingredient in protein bars in the coming year.
14. Flavored salts
If you thought salt was just, well, salt flavored, think again. In the new year, flavored salts will increase in popularity.
15. Herbal liqueurs
Herbal liqueurs are nothing new, but they’re going to play a big role in mixology in 2015.