Each year sees different food trends, whether it’s a certain favored ingredient or the resurgent popularity of an entire regional cuisine. What will prove trendy in 2013? Read on to find out.
Freekeh is the New Quinoa
This smoky, bulgur-like Ancient grain is slowly replacing the super-food of the Incas on restaurant menus. Freekeh (pronounced “free-kah”) is native to Jordan and Lebanon, and can be used in place of rice or couscous, added to soups, and even eaten as a breakfast cereal.
Whole Hog Goes Beyond Hogs
Whole hog dinners, requiring several days’ advance notice, have become extremely popular of late. Expect more of the same in 2013, with restaurants moving beyond pigs to feature whole duck or even whole lamb dinners.
Pop Up Restaurants
A recent Vancouver pop-up restaurant featured Twin-Peaks themed diner that served cherry pie and ice cream. This trend of temporary restaurants will continue in 2013, with pop-up restaurants featuring everything, even macaroons.
Green Walls Move Inside
Restaurants will start experimenting with even more ways to reduce their carbon footprint in 2013. The latest experiment will be drip-irrigated green walls that create a living wall of foliage. Who knows – the lettuce on your next hamburger might have grown up next to the bar!
Local Artisan Goods
The local trend is not going anywhere soon, but 2013 will see an upswing in the amount of locally produced artisan goods. Expect previously exotic imported products, like Serrano ham and buffalo mozzarella, to start appearing at farmers markets in small batches with a local stamp.
Vending Machines Galore
You can now buy iPods and toothbrushes with an easy swipe of your credit card, but in 2013 you can expect even more unexpected things to start appearing in vending machines. Look out for cupcakes, popcorn, and even freshly cooked gourmet burgers.
Greens Beyond Kale
2012 has been a golden year for kale. Whether it’s dinosaur, curly or Red Russian, you can now find this dense green in chip, salad, soup and stir-fry form. Now that the public has gotten used to seeing something other than iceberg lettuce in their salads, it’s time for other greens to shine.
Everything Will Be Fermented
Many bloggers and food writers have sung the health-promoting praises of fermented foods, so you can expect that fermentation will bubble its way on to restaurant menus in 2013. Oddities like fermented apple chutney and fermented cherry juice may soon become standard fare. In the meantime, sauerkraut may soon get a gourmet upgrade.
Popcorn in Many Forms
This year saw gourmet donuts stealing the spotlight, but next year popcorn will emerge from the dusty shadows of the movie theatre to grace everything from cookies to roasted chicken. Also expect to see uniquely flavored popcorn on the menu at trendy bars and small-plates restaurants (like Gastown’s Wildebeest), where everything from truffle oil to cocoa powder may get tossed in with those puffed kernels we all love so well.
Chefs Will Learn to Watch Your Weight
Until recently, any healthy eater knew that eating out can wreak havoc on a diet simply because restaurants amp up butter and oil in an effort to achieve superior ‘mouth-feel’ in their dishes. In 2013, chefs will begin to experiment with other ways to achieve mouth-feel, from slow-roasting vegetables to using the freshest ingredients. Dieters can finally rejoice!
Food trends in 2013 will build on certain fads from 2012 and outright reject others – good-bye, kimchi. Be sure to keep and eye out for these trends and taste Vancouver’s take on them.