The Up-And-Comers In The Food World
More and more restaurants and food processing companies are printing calorie counts alongside their food, which, coupled with the constant flow of educational information we receive about the benefits of eating healthy, has created an upward swing in the food choices of many Americans, one that will become an even further-reaching phenomenon this year.
Here are some food trends you should look forward to seeing this year:
1. Healthy food substitutions
Egg whites (instead of whole eggs), grilled meats (instead of fried), gluten free, and recipe substitutions (such as guacamole instead of butter).
2. Locally grown foods
Restaurants who can brag that their food is grown locally have a leg up on their outsourced competition as of late. In an attempt to eat healthier, less-processed foods, and to rebuild the American economy by supporting local growers, Americans are pushing for restaurants and grocery stores to offer locally grown ingredients.
Many restaurants are even hyper-locally growing their foods — eateries are growing their own produce in on-site gardens. Restaurants, like these in Los Angeles, are constructing their own gardens from which they get ingredients that couldn’t be any fresher or more locally grown.
Americans love comfort food. From sea to shining sea — thick, rich, creamy New England clam chowder, to Minnesota hot dishes, to California taco trucks — American comfort food has always been thick, warm, greasy. Restaurants have finally begun to get the hint and are adding comfort food with a twist to their menus. Spicing up comfort food can be as simple as adding newly popular truffle oil — for example, O Hotel’s Bar & Kitchen has the highest rated truffle mac and cheese in Los Angeles — or creating pizza without the traditional layers of grease and mattress-like crust, like Caioti Pizza Café has done.
With that in mind, truffle oil; seafood additions, usually ones with lower key flavors, such as lobster; foie gras; and berry compote are sure to become even bigger hits this year.
It appears coconut water is good for more than just a perfect pina colada — who knew? Many Americans have been turning to coconut water as their latest plea for assistance in the ongoing battle against weight gain.
Coconut water works in essentially the same manner as Gatorade, providing electrolytes and minerals that help balance fluids.
As traditional food loses its appeal, companies are finding themselves in tough positions with American consumers who notoriously always want something more, new, or different. So in order to please consumers, companies are working to create perfect combinations of pre-existing treats.
Restaurants now have menus with items such as cronuts, a unique cross between a croissant and a donut; ramen burgers, burgers with ramen “buns;" and soup dumplings, dumplings made with soup inside.
As Americans become more and more health conscious, they often reluctantly turn to age-old dietary recommendations. Vegetables have been known to produce health benefits for as long as anyone can remember and they are just now making their comeback. Vegetables are being commonly substituted for meat, added in smoothies and even used in sweet recipes, like brownies.
This year, look out for the following vegetables: tempeh, mushrooms, squash, gourds and beans.
Reach Staff Writer Ariana Shives here.