Goodbye, kale salads; hello, ramen bowls. 2016 food trend predictions that are exciting, global, enduring and healthy.
With the advent of a new year comes the inevitable deluge of best-of and worst-of lists, and the culinary world is no exception, the Conde Nast Traveler reported. Everyone seems to have an opinion: the National Restaurant Association released its food forecast, chefs spoke off-the-cuff, the Food Network Kitchen’s prognosticators prognosticated, and even Pinterest got in on the action. Conde Nast Traveler compiled what you should know to stay ahead of the food trend curve:
Vegetables are the New Meat
Last year, we saw the ascent of vegetable-forward cuisine, with juice cleanses, avocado toast, and vegetarian entrees becoming the new normal. Next year will take the trend even further, with vegetables being given a rotation at in-house pickling and fermentation stations. Stephen Gillanders, chef-in-residence at Chicago’s Intro, noted the rise in vegetable’s popularity to Conde Nast Traveler.
“The incredible success of both pickles and Korean food in the past few years has turned many more people onto the idea of fermentation,” says Gillanders, who serves a pickled ginger remoulade as a riff on traditional Japanese pickled ginger. Around the country, other restaurants are already fermenting and brining everything from french fries and shiitake tempura to eggs and pumpkin.
Focus on African Flavors
To the delight of many, Mexican fare made huge strides in 2015. Thanks to chefs grinding their own corn for tortillas and to using ingredients like beef tongue and lamb kidney to stuff their tacos, the Tex-Mex of Taco Bell seems a distant memory. But come 2016, Mexican might just be yesterday’s news: the top mover and shaker for chefs in 2016 is African flavors. From coast to coast, changes are evident. Conde Nast Traveler reports to be prepared to add words like berbere, harissa, dukkah, ras el hanout, and tsire to your food vocabulary list.
From Milan to Madison, ramen has spawned slurp-worthy iteration after iteration of its standard components: noodles and broth. Further proof the soup’s stock has risen? Trend experts say we can expect to see the further globalization of the classic come 2016, so by 2017, you’ll just be completely over it.
Personalized Food Deliveries
Unsurprisingly, tech has infiltrated the dining scene. And while standbys like Seamless have undoubtedly done their part in helping us finagle the mediocre, middle-of-the-night Indian food we crave, 2016 will see the incredible personalization of delivery. New apps like Caviar have begun delivering cities’ best independent restaurants to your doorstep, and UberEATS (yes, like the transportation) claims to be the fastest delivery service in existence—it currently operates in 12 cities, and just launched its app. Retail behemoths Google and Amazon are continuing to test grocery and food deliveries. Joe Isidori, chef and owner of New York City’s Black Tap, told Conde Nast Traveler there’s no turning back.
“Traditional pick-up-the-phone and call the restaurant is over,” explained Isidori. “Everything you can do now you can do online or via an app while you’re walking home from work and want to order some dinner.”
See you later, spicy tuna roll. Where raw fish was once limited to sushi, sashimi, and ceviche, a Hawaiian export is slowly becoming trendy according to Conde Nast Traveler. Enter poke, chunks of marinated (and typically raw) seafood topped with seasonings like soy, salt, and green onions. Poke-by-the-pound bars have popped up at Seattle’s Metropolitan Market and Whole Foods stores across the country and could be seen at your local grocery stores soon.
An expansion of “heritage cuisines,” in which chefs explore their roots and respective food cultures, modern Jewish cooking is expected to make big strides in 2016. Look around the country now, and these reinventions are evident including kosher breads and toasts, smoked fish delivered and tiered, and foods from the Jewish diaspora.