Food Trends 2015
Get Trendy Already!
Drop the quinoa and bacon everything. Cronuts? Don't even. That stuff is so 2014. Reset your palate with the newest of food trends -- pasta-fied veggies, kimchi, even smoked cocktails!
Welcome to the year of pistachios! The little green gems are bright, buttery, and literally referred to as the "happy nut" in China. They lead the nut pack in potassium and go great in almost anything -- gelato, biscotti, and pound cakes included.
As if a lemon drop martini with a sugar rim and candied citrus garnish wasn't personalized enough, in 2015 you will be your own mixologist, thanks to a well-stocked (and well-dressed) bar cart. With equal parts fashion and function, it's no wonder bar carts will be the life of every party.
P.S. Don't forget the gin! Rumor has it that gin is the 2015 liquor of the year.
DIY Food Bars
Bar carts aren't the only things rolling their way into the 2015 party scene. Look for DIY food bars like crostini stations, s'mores bars, and build-your-own taco buffets at your next wedding, shower, or even at-home happy hour.
Global foods aren't going anywhere. In 2015 we will continue to be intrigued with enticing ethnic plates from the Mediterranean, Middle East, Vietnam, and Korea.
Do as the Koreans do: Put kimchi in almost everything. We recommend trying the signature cabbage condiment on fried rice, noodle dishes, omelets, and grilled hot dogs.
And the new quinoa is... teff! Or freekeh, or kaniwa, or millet. Whichever whole grain it is, America is going crazy for it, and we totally get why: They're filled with proteins, iron, and calcium, and they taste great in almost everything -- including piecrusts, cookies, and savory mains and sides.
Farmers have caught on quickly, too! They're producing more regional alternative grains to sell to local bakers, chefs, and brewers.
These days, a six pack of light beer just won't do. Lager-lovers are expanding their repertoire with brewed and craft beer options. As for flavors, it's out with the hops and in with the bitters.
Go small or go home. More Americans are grazing than ever before -- munching on smaller meals and snacks throughout the day and sharing plates at restaurants.
Small-plate foods we love: mini tacos, individual-size pizzas, and lamb sliders.
We're getting pickier about foods and their function -- specifically fermented foods, which can aid in digestion and gut health. In 2015, you'll see more bacteria-boosting foods like yogurt, fermented condiments, and miso soup on grocery store shelves and restaurant menus.
Minimalist ways take over the restaurant world in 2015 -- shorter menus, shrunken staff sizes, and smaller venues. Instagram-worthy plates featuring tweaked basics and surprising dessert mash-ups will also rise in popularity.
Want to make a change to your order? Not anymore! It's all about menu specialties in 2015 -- what you see is what you get.
Sriracha hasn't sizzled out just yet, but the next flavor trend to watch is smoked everything. And we're not just talking meats. Expect smoked veggies, butters, and cocktails to grace your menus.
Bakers and paleo dieters will be on board with this new food trend: coconut sugar. The island-spun sugar comes from the liquid sap on the flower of the coconut palm. The sap is then boiled until the water has evaporated.
Warning: Those with a sweet tooth should refrain from going too crazy. Even though it's natural, it's still sugar and should be consumed in moderation.
Salt + Spice Play
Americans are more accepting of spices than ever before. In 2015, it's the perfect time to restock your spice rack with spicy Japanese and shawarma blends. Also keep an eye out for more adventurous sea salts infused with flavors such as mango curry lime or sour cherry bacon.
As weird as it sounds, we might all be sipping on broth by the end of 2015. Broth producers are making it easier for health enthusiasts to access the protein-packed drink (which can take up to 24 hours to make) by shipping it to your local grocery and superstores. Look for flavors like chicken and lemongrass and Asian-style beef.
Grocery Store Changes
Day-of delivery services offered by mega retailers have quieted grocery stores. But while online shoppers click their way through aisles, superstores are finding ways to lure them back in -- with dine-in restaurants, food demonstrations, and wine tastings. Grocery stores might just be the next hangout by the end of 2015.
New Ways with Veggies
Veggie-lovers: Your beloved greens aren't going anywhere! Vegetables will continue to reign well into 2015, but not like you thought. Taco trucks are swapping flour for authentic corn tortillas. Colanders are now filled with new "pasta-fied" veggies like spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles. Even veggie pizza crusts will be popping their way into your oven.
P.S. If you haven't heard, kale's moment isn't quite over. The leafy green has joined forces with Brussels sprouts in America's next hybrid: the kalette or kale sprouts.
Don't worry, beer connoisseurs -- home brewing hasn't gone out of style yet. All you need to do is fancify your fermenting. Opt for hop-free suds made with herbs, spices, and plants. It's all about the taste -- bitter, sour, and just a little bit sweet.