2012 will be the year of the potato! Watch out for French Fry Menus that let guests choose the cut, crispness, and sauce; make-your-own mashers with mix-ins; or custom cut chips with dusts and dips to order. Interactive Activity: http://www.nourishinteractive.com/blog/700- 2012-is-the-year-of-the-potato
Everyone loves ice cream… creative chefs are taking advantage of its blank canvas to entice people to try unfamiliar flavors of all sorts and styles. Examples:, Candied Beet, and Sourdough Ice Cream at Murray Circle (Sausalito, CA); Grass and Horseradish Ice Cream at Max and Mina’s (Queens, NY)
Restaurants devote special evenings or entire menus to this childhood favorite loved by kids of all ages. From fast-casual to high end, expect more restaurants to develop their own signature sandwiches from high end to low.
Modern Thai cuisine are becoming some of the hottest destinations in town as diners become more adventurous and love the evocative flavors.
Chefs pine-ing for new flavors will use subtle infusions of pine needles, douglas fir and eucalyptus to flavor sauces, rubs, meats and broth. Examples: ‘Eat Your Christmas Tree’ Pine Needle Tea, Vinegar
Move over carrot cake, cutting edge pastry chefs are turning vegetables into sweet finales. They’ll make you eat your veggies with sweet satisfaction. Example: Goat Cheese with Celery, Spinach cupcakes Sweet Potato Crème Brule
Yogurt moves from snack to staple as it takes leading roles in sauces, dips, spreads and desserts. Expect to see it in new form including: sundried, freeze-dried, smoked and pressed as well as cultural variations like skyr (from Iceland) and Lebanese labne. It does a body good.
The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends reducing the amount of added sugars of all kinds (especially in soft drinks). Reduced sugars will be the biggest health claim in the coming year along with a revised Nutrition Facts Panel that indicates whether the sugars are added, occur naturally, or are a combination of the two.
We will continue to see food prices rise based on environmental conditions as well as higher costs of fuel, feed, packaging, food safety - coupled with a higher demand for export. According to USDA data, in 2012, food costs will increase: 2.0-3.0%, away from home 2.5-3.5%, at home
Breakfast is the new dinner. Everyone loves brunch and breakfast foods. Restaurants are re-interpreting breakfast for lunch, dinner and late night menus. Waffle sandwiches, savory turnovers, eggs in any manner of ways, pigs in a blanket, hollandaise topped sandwiches and French toast or bread pudding served either sweet or savory.
Shoppers have become increasingly interested in knowing where their food comes from, which is why 2012 will bring an added emphasis to a different kind of food celebrity – the farmer. We’ve seen “buy local” become one of the most important supermarket offerings; now we get to meet the people who are the producers, farmers and ranchers.
Many shoppers are learning to appreciate the tech-savvy nature of using their mobile device comparing prices at nearby retailers, scanners, QR codes, and mobile coupons - increasingly delivering information rich store visits. Shopsavvy.com Groceryguide.com Comparegroceryprices.org
It used to be that college students lived on Ramen Noodles and other inexpensive food that provided some sustenance without breaking the nearly nonexistent budget. Campus “cuisine” has now become part of the “clockless” world, where grocery stores are in student unions and you can charge food against your student account.
What is a food truck? A food truck, mobile kitchen, mobile canteen, or catering truck is a mobile venue that sells food. Some, including ice cream trucks, sell mostly frozen or prepackaged food; others are more like restaurants-on-wheels. Some may cater to specific meals, such as the breakfast truck, lunch truck or lunch wagon, and snack truck, break truck or taco truck.foodice cream trucks
It is all about “dad” and family; husbands who help out at home enjoy happier relationships. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 41 percent of men are now cooking at home – double that in 2003.
Everyone is their own food TV star these days. All it takes is a simple camera and a YouTube account. It came to the forefront with the book and movie, Julie and Julia, but today you can find everyone from precocious kids and teens to wiseacre twenty something dudes to Italian grandmothers, all cooking up a storm and teaching you how to do it.
Dates– Date syrups and glazes on meats and in drinks Marshmallows – Home-made flavored marshmallows in exotic flavors Gnocchi Hibiscus flowers Coconut oil Green papaya
On Solid Ground Cocktails in solid form. Frozen sorbet and popsicles and jellies infused with alcohol. Double Hitter – Bars are pitching double- hitters with offers of a cocktail or shot and a beer to chase it with. Call it a one-two shot. Ounce by Ounce Fram-Booze-le – Breweries are adding fruit to beers of all types.
Health-conscious diners will be satisfied with more nutritious meals and drinks that offer real appeal. Signature, whole grain salads and sides, a selection of plates available in smaller sizes, menu items that appeal to particular dietary needs, and high-fructose free sodas. Examples: Skinnylicious Menu at Cheesecake Factory http://www.healthydiningfinder.com/home
Consumers want transparency—looking for disclosure of everything from calories and allergens on menus to labor and local- sourcing practices. A small but growing number are serious about nutrition, labeling, sustainability and community involvement, and they are using such knowledge to make purchasing decisions.
Along with health concerns, food safety concerns, and old fashioned flavor, you have a new breed of chefs that simply like to cook with what they’ve grown. Expect to see this move beyond simple herb gardens or rooftop displays and into some full- fledged branded farms.
Consumers are not only more aware of global cuisine, they are also more aware and interested in the regional specialties that define American cuisine. Whether it’s Kansas City or Memphis barbecue, New England Chowder or Low Country grits, more consumers and restaurants are looking at the regions and cities in the US to identify the "Best of" cuisine.
As the economy crawls sideways, mom-and- pop eateries will be hit the hardest. Each time a big national chain cuts its prices, or flings a million half-off coupons into the market via social networks, independent restaurant numbers will take a dive. With no turnaround in sight, the US could lose 8,000-10,000 restaurants in 2012, few of them belonging to chains.
Stretching for even more differentiation, look for sandwiches piled on things other than bread. Arepas Flattened tostones Bao Waffles Rice cakes
House-made vegetable and fruit pickles will appear on more and more menus as chefs concoct ever more complex ways of making these preserves. They’re important because they: Enliven all those ingredient-laden multi-culti sandwiches they provide a foil for intensely flavored organ They’re not your grandmother’s pickles -- chefs are going global with additions of Asian fish sauce, Mexican peppers, ginger, yuzu, smoked paprika, star anise.
It’s the revenge of the dreaded vegetable as we discover those yucky vegetables everyone loves to hate taste really good – fried. New favorites include Fried Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts Chips and Kale Chips. Forget the potato chip – try it with turnip instead. Bet you can’t eat just one.
Chefs are shifting from stacking food as high as possible to stringing out ingredients in caterpillar-like lines along oblong or rectangular plates. This may looking like “dribble art” but at least it keeps the flavors separated.
We predicted last year that “gourmet burgers” would peak in 2011. But they haven’t and we may be premature. Seems that a new burger chain launches every few weeks without regard for the growing density of competition.
PIMENTO CHEESE! WHEY KUMQUAT SMOKING Pop Star HUMMUS PRETZEL HONEY