Locally Sourced Food Trend Persists

By | February 4th, 2014

In an assessment of food trends, the Vineland, N.J.-based Daily Journal reported that several old trends are continuing into 2014.

The top food trend of 2014 is locally sourced foods, the Journal reported, but not necessarily healthy food. When we eat fatty foods or comfort foods, we want it to be fresh and local, not processed, according to Elizabeth Dinice of Burlington County College Culinary Arts Center.

Marianne Andreotti, of Andreotti’s Catering, said the new trend at weddings for 20-year-olds is a “good night station” that serves comfort food, the Journal reported.

Comfort foods, such as grilled cheese and tomato soup or fresh-made Belgian waffles with decadent toppings are meant to counteract too much booze and is prepared at the end of the evening, Andreotti told the Journal.

According to local experts, the kale trend is over, though the National Restaurant Association’s trend report for 2014 still puts dark, leafy greens at the No. 3 spot for hot trends in produce, the Journal reported.

“This year, there will be more unique greens, such as dandelions and beets. And collards, which don’t wilt as easily,” Andreotti said.

The newspaper reports that gluten-free foods will continue to grow in popularity, and notes that it has moved beyond a trend into a staple for many consumers.

Locally cured meats will show up at home and “house-made” is definitely the trend in restaurants, Dinice said, adding that more pickling, fermenting and canning will occur this year, the Journal reported.

Restaurant critic Adam Erace sees the fermenting trend taking off. “In 2014, I think fermented foods will continue to blow up and reach a more mainstream audience,” Erace said.

“I think we’ll also see an increase in combination restaurant/markets (such as The Farm & Fisherman in Cherry Hill), and, on a related note, more Philly chefs exploring opportunities across the bridge.”

The newspaper predicts several other trends for the coming year:

Pies — There’s an increased market for pie pans, rolling pins, dough scrapers and other pie-adjacent items, and the pie crowd is younger than it used to be. There will be savory pies, unusual flavors, and miniature pies, the Journal reported.

Cocktails — Thanks to state law changes, many restaurants and bars make their own liqueurs, bitters and syrups and create infused boozes. The choices keep growing. Look for more micro-distilleries, said Dinice.

Preserving — The trend the trend of more pickling, fermenting and canning will be everywhere this year, Dinice said.

Charcuterie, local protein — Locally cured meats will show up at home and “house-made” is definitely the trend in restaurants, Dinice said, pointing out that several Philadelphia restaurants have built their entire menu around their own cured meats.

“We want a less adulterated, unprocessed version of fatty foods,” she added. “If people are going to eat fatty, they are going to eat the best.”

“And nose-to-tail eating is in,” from pig tails to organ meats, she said. The high price of heritage pigs and other pastured meats dictate using every part, the Journal reported.

Lesser-known fish, such as skate and sardines, will also be part of the push for sustainable and local sourcing of food, said Dinice.

Farm-fresh eggs also will grow, though Andreotti said they “do not taste that different at all,” but there’s a psychological component at work with their appeal, the Journal reported.

Vegetables — Most savvy food-trend watchers agree that vegetables are poised to become the center of the plate more often. Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, parsnips and beets have new cache, the Journal reported.

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