I’ve been asked by a prominent cooking magazine to identify upcoming food trends.  I’ve talked with chefs and other food professionals to get their ideas but I thought I’d throw the question out to any readers of this blog who have strong feelings about what’s on the horizon in the home kitchen.  It might be an ingredient, chipotle powder, or a preparation, arancini, say, or chimichurri sauce.  Any food prognosticators out there, please feel free to make suggestions.  Thanks.

UPDATE:  Thank you all who took the time to comment.  I’m grateful for your help!

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208 Wonderful responses to “Question for Cooks in the U.S.”

  • Eugenia

    Just two words. Vitamin D. It’s the new health scare — Vitamin D deficiency. Increasing Vitamin D can (supposedly) help with Big American Health Issues like diabetes 2 and high cholesterol. According to our dietitian, testing for this deficiency has increased tenfold recently, and elderly people and children are at risk, so it’s the perfect breeding ground for alarm, especially with the Vitamin-taking, older-growing, grandchildren-having, wealthy Baby Boomers. So I predict a trend of Vitamin D-rich foods, such as sockeye salmon, enriched milk and eggs (local, of course), oily fish, etc. And limited sun exposure without sunscreen to suck up Vitamin D into your skin — a picnic luncheon, maybe?

    Yummy blog; thank you.

  • HarryK

    As said, prices of gas (transportation) and food going up at home there is going to be more …

    Slow-cooking and braising of cheaper, tougher (and tastier) cuts. Rices which keep varying (notice the increase in variety by Goya and Ricearoni) will continue. More people growing vegetables in their back yards.

    Dinner out will be at the local diner and pub food that a fine restaurant. Watch pub food continue to increase and vary in selection and quality. That is, you can now get bacon-wrapped shrimp and many of my local pubs in Philly. A far cry from the greasy burger of yore.

  • John Jezl

    Diversity.

    Diversity in ingredients. Diversity in techniques.

    The internet has virtually exploded (pun intended) with culinary information. /Anyone/ with a computer and internet access can learn to make amazing food. We have access to ingredients and tools previously only available to restaurants.

    Lard? Sure! Sous vide? That, too! Urine salt… ugh… yeah, why not. (well, not for me) charcuterie, wild game, cheap cuts, local/organic/whole foods, exotic ingredients, chinese, indian, middle eastern, south american, africa… BRING! IT! ON!

    Diana C said… “more uses of the many varieties of nuts out in the kitchen”… aren’t there enough “nuts” in the kitchen already???? I know I’m one. :-)

    John

  • big guy

    I second smoked paprika, game and (I’m hoping) old school preserved/fermented foods, canning, etc…. (‘Charcuterie’ was inspirational.)

    I think American food has been trending away from the process of making a given ethnic food into something more recognizable to the public…like the treatment Chinese, Mexian & Italian food received, and leaving a culture’s food unmolested. Just look at the ‘newer’ cuisines like Vietnamese & Thai and how little they’ve been altered to suit American taste.

  • Ted

    Goat, mutton, game and other “full flavored” meats.

    Home consumers buying whole or larger cuts of meat from small, local farms.

  • big guy

    Oh the locavore thing – it is going to get bigger but is super snobby (like self-important vegetarianism or veganism is), unrealistic & favors Californians & Texans who live close to or in year-round growing conditions.

    America has enough eating disorders already – we don’t need another guilt trip about eating a meal. And in my experience local does not equal cheaper in most cases and when given the choice, most folks will go with the cheaper.

    I live between the desert & the high mountains and the only localy grown stuff (in appreciable amounts) outside of a backyard garden is corn, beef, a few types of fruit, and maybe some marijuana. USDA rules & economics of scale hamper small-scale/local slaughter of animals and distribution of milk, eggs, etc…

    Funky, flavorful cuts of meat have been overpriced for years as well. I stopped eating flank, short ribs & tri-tip when they started costing over $6 a pound – like 10 years ago. Even soup bones have been too expensive (like $3-$4 a pound) for a loooong time. Tough, bland chunks of round is what’s cheap. Paradoxically, I can often buy boneless ribeye for cheaper than the so called cheap cuts.

  • Kristen

    Eating locally is definitely the trend around here – grass-fed beef, pork, and chicken from the local ranch, shopping at the farmers markets or participating in a CSA. Restaurants have already picked up on this and often highlight their local suppliers in the menu.

    As far as up and coming trends, I think bacon in dessert and other sweets will take off.

  • newby

    Back to the Future. As a chef in the Adirondacks, I find it shameful that I can never reply yes to the question of whether a food was fished or hunted locally. People are desperate for the authentic foods of every area they visit, not regional preparations of what SYSCO sells in every town and city. Hopefully, the NYS health department will start allowing those of us here in a state full of fish, deer, rabbits, squirrels, etc. to start using these readily available, and very sustainable food sources. The danger of them forcing us to use human produced and farmed foods is becoming more prevalent (mad cow, supposed wheat shortages, etc.) and relevant to our future. I would hope that we can overcome the short sighted policy mistakes implemented after WWII, to boost the profits of seed, beef, and national/international food companies, and go back to the farming and feeding systems of a hundred years ago or more. Every chef, home cook, food eater in this country needs to voice their opinion before the NEXT farm bill gets cookie cuttered like this most recent one.

  • Ben Engelsberg

    As a number of folks have said, local food will be popularized, in places with a good variety of local foods… and we’ll see large sellers marketting foods to take advantage.

    I think that we’ll also see upswings in the following:

    Hobbiest farming: Whether it’s raising a couple of heirloom chickens for their eggs, rabbits for their meat, or just a return to having a small herb and vegetable garden, I think that food enthusiasts will compete to show their skill and saavy in raising or growing their own ingredients.

    Offal: Organ meat will make a comeback. I forsee a dramatic rise in popularity for beef heart, for instance, as well as possibly tongue and other offal. I don’t expect that the offal that’s always been with us, like livers and tripes, will see much action, though.

    Foraging: I think this is the big one. I think that economy and the locavore movement are going to collide in a big rise in hobby foraging for foodstuffs. This is a tremedously fun hobby, with a great deal of potential prestige for successful gourmet foragers. It also brings home some of the elements of hunting, but for folks who like neither guns nor blood (and probably for those who do).

  • ASZ

    Real Food! I feel a strong sense of humans taking back control of where their food comes from….the neighbors garden, the small dairy farm, responsibly raised pigs, cows and lambs, bread with less than 7 ingredients……man, can you feel the revolution coming? If you own stock in the big artificial food producers….sell, sell, sell!

  • S. Woody

    The market where I work is finishing up a remodeling job, and one of the big “improvements” has been the increase in space given to pre-prepared foods ready for taking home. I’m not a fan myself, but the management of the chain obviously is. The question is, will the customers try to doctor these premade concoctions, or settle for what they’ve been given?

    And I can only hope the predictions of high fructose corn sweeteners hitting the skids proves true.

  • Schwarz

    Forage.

    For the new hunter/gatherer: wild foods and game of all sorts. Though they have been around since before cultivation and domestication, it is the ultimate in locavorism.

    That, and tradition preservation methods.

  • robin

    ok, like about 100 food blogs ago i mentioned home canning…anyone get it?

  • Flasky Jameson

    Braising! Learning to use a French oven, making amazing dishes with “cheap” ingredients, has completely changed our approach to cooking and layering of flavors. Simplicity rules.

    Wait. PORK rules.

    Either way.

    Read your labels and boycott HFCS.

    Thanks.

  • luis

    A new trend might be the emerging cuisine specific grocery stores. There are scores of these internet based grocery stores dedicated to providing us cuisine specific ingredients.

    We all know that the supermarkets provide half a dozen ingredients from a hundred cuisines and you never can find everything you really need to do an authentic dish of any cuisine. So the internet is the grocery of last resort. The place you will find that dry chile pepper or that special spice etc.

  • Matt

    personal chef in home cooking, and teaching mothers and familys how to cook and eat together

  • HappyHoarfrost

    Spring houses, root cellars, larders ~ “putting up” cans.
    Smokehouses, butter churns.
    Pressure Cooking.
    Meatloaf.
    Venison.
    Shortening, pies on kitchen sills.
    Coffee cans of bacon grease stowed under the sink.
    Trading melons with your neighbor.
    Turning into your Depression-era grandmother…

    Kitchengeeking: oh, say it’s true! Poached eggs!

  • shaun

    I say always be on the look out for the new “nationality” trend. Like chefs doing predominately spanish food, or peruvian or scandanavian or whatever. I noticed a lot of chefs doing indian and middle eastern cuisine these days. who knows whats next.

  • Kurt

    Interesting that the comments have been almost entirely about the economics of food, whereas the original question had nothing to do with that at all.

  • Eilish

    My vote goes to the local and seasonal food movement. It plays on many levels. It is healthy, economical and environmentally friendly. Also, it gives people a cultural and historical authenticity at their table that I think more and more people are coming to desire. This mays seem like junk psychology, but I think it plays with the foodies I know.

  • John Bowers

    1.Let’s take a moment to address the fact that Absinthe is finally legal in the United States of America. That is… of course… if the level of thujone contained within each batch meets the standards considered “safe” by the powers that be. Whatever your experiences may be with thujone.. Absinthe has quite the flavor. Anise, fennel, etc… cooks should be excited to know that they can pick up a bottle of absinthe in most large cities which could easily be used to make a sexy reduction or add a hint of goodness to a dish that would normally fall prey to something like Pernod. I’m not saying that Pernod is a bad thing.. .only that it’s fun to play with new things.

  • Urban Frontier Wife

    Community Supported Agriculture is my favorite source of food. Related to this is farmers markets, locally grown ingredients and homegrown vegetables.
    It’s getting rare to find popular recipes that are strictly from seasonal ingredients — a seasonal ingredient gets paired with another off-season ingredient. For some unique parts of the country, it’s feasible to get both summer and winter vegetables all year round from locally grown sources. For most others, the best one can hope for is early and late season crossovers.
    I hope that preserved vegetables and fruits (pickling, canning, drying or even freezing) will make a comeback. There is an incredible variety in those treatments that can yield some incredible results. My best source of information on these to date has been from older gardeners in my community garden. When these people can no longer garden, the sharing of that knowledge is also gone.

  • S. Woody

    This isn’t really food, but a shopping-related development:

    There’s been a real increase at the market where I work where customers are bringing in their own bags, for bagging their purchases.

    A year ago, I hardly saw any customers bringing in their own bags. Now, it’s not that uncommon. The biggest complaint is “I keep forgetting to bring the bags in with me, they’re either in the car or back at home.” I just laugh with them and say that it’s just a habit that takes time to get into, and a good one.

    But think about what this means: if customers are bringing in their own bags, that means they are going green and thinking about the environment, even a little bit more. And if they’re going to take the time to change their habits, even this little bit, maybe they’ll also be receptive to thinking more about the foods they’re eating, along with the bags they’re putting them in.

    Those new cases I mentioned in an earlier post, where all the pre-prepared foods are on display? They’re located right next to the produce department. It’s almost like the company running the store is suggesting to the customers “Here’s an easy entree, now help yourself to some fresh veggies!”

    The change that is coming isn’t an ingredient – it’s a thought process, an awareness. And, sure, some of the customers aren’t going to be bothered, they’ve got too much else cluttering their minds to think about food when they’re in a supermarket. But I’m seeing plenty of other customers who are starting to think more about what they are doing, and what they are eating.

    The question is, will the markets be able to keep up with this change?

  • Sara

    I agree with a lot of people here — butter and sugar will make a comeback (thank GOD), and locally-grown and locally-raised food will become increasingly popular.

    As a younger person (still kinda in the “fresh out of college” set), I think another trend we’re going to see a lot of, and which builds on some of the trends mentioned above, is cooking communally. As the economy slows down and kids like me can’t get the jobs they want, and we find ourselves paying higher rent and higher food prices, I think we’ll see a resurgance of classic peasant foods cooked and eaten in large quantities with many other people — basically, the same way people used to do 100 years ago. And even people like me, who live without microwaves (damn you, efficiency aparmtnet!), will be able to pop the leftover cassoulet, macaroni and cheese, or giant pot of soup on the stove or in the oven for easy reheating for lunch and dinner days later.

    I, for one, am looking forward to that.

  • Sara

    And to add a quick addendum to my comment — I think the biggest trend we’re about to see is people COOKING again. Not just one or two nice dinners a month, but on a regular basis. Young people, old people, single people, couples, families, the whole shebang. As the economy goes down, we’re all going to go back to the kitchen.

    I feel a little bad for the restaurants out there…

  • Kiersten

    I think that high-end, gourmet (aka expensive) ingredients are on their way out, simply because we can’t afford them anymore. I think more people will try to come up with exciting ways to cook cheaper cuts of meat and cut back on things like truffles. I think people will cook with more fresh produce and whole grains. Cooking with “natural” foods and ingredients is also popular these days, particularly in the food-blogging world.

  • Erin

    I see these food trends budding toward the mainstream:
    -wines from Austria and maybe a bit more of a backlash against Pinot Noir since it’s heyday after Sideways
    -crème fraîche used more frequently and in new applications

  • Tags

    While many folks might start buying cheaper ingredients, it’s possible that sales of gourmet items will also go up.

    Why? Because a lot of people “economize” by buying better food rather than traveling or doing other more expensive things.

  • Steamy Kitchen

    Expanding make your own:

    home roasting coffee beans ($10 popcorn popper, buy green beans from sweetmarias.com)

    making own soymilk ($90 soymilk maker, buy organic soybeans from http://www.tosteds.com)

    foolproof, easy, anywhere gardens – (like the Aerogarden…but maybe more practical and not-so-gucci like earthbox.com).

    NOT buying as many cookbooks – get all your recipes and meal ideas from food blogs, websites.

    Less packaging – come back of the bulk-bin buying

  • Nate

    Good box wine.

    It’s becoming acceptable for “wine drinkers” with “distinguished palates’ to drink wine out of a box. And for ready-to-drink wines there is literally no better, more economical, and even more environmentally friendly packaging. Saves freaking 40% on shipping over bottles.

    I’m also going to have to agree with a couple of you and say quinoa. I still haven’t been able to find a way it doesn’t taste good.

    I just posted an article about its massive comeback into the food scene.

  • Saffoula

    I think the answer somewhat depends on how you define “trend” which can be: (1) a general movement or (2) a current style or preference, according to at least one dictionary.

    I think food carts are becoming a trend. Here, in Seattle there are is a growing number of food carts/vans known for high quality “street food”. Also, Vancouver, BC has an active hotdog cart scene. Check out Japadog on Burrard for ‘dogs done up with traditional Japanese ingredients, like daikon, seaweed and specialty condiments, like misomayo. To die for!

  • Evan

    More upscale ethnic food restaurants. High end Mexican, high end Indian, etc.

    Assuming the FDA doesn’t have a cow, I also think a lot of chefs are going to do start curing their own meats, salumi, etc.

  • valereee

    Foraging. I think we’re already seeing a major upswing in this, based on the number of folks blogging about it.

  • Alanna

    1 – economics driving much higher proportion of food decisions

    2 – replacing commercial food products with those easily made at home (salad dressing, pancakes, coleslaw, etc.)

    3 – “packaged” recipes for quick and complete at-home meals (like Rachael Ray except without the calories, the expense and the dirty dishes)

  • Turtle

    I see a trend towards local food – CSAs, farmers markets, dyi gardens – and a greater interest in how food is produced, as well as in what ingredients are used in processed food.

  • Sarah Caron

    I think local food – because ultimately food that doesn’t need to travel as far will cost less and in this faltering economy, people are going to need to cut where they can. As a result, I think we could even see a rise in local food production in the next few years.

    And chia seeds as an ingredient . . . I think they could be the next pomegranate.

  • Puppychao

    I think there will be a trend toward regional comfort foods, such as chawanmushi, congee or arroz con pollo.

    These dishes are simple and do not require any special ingredients, but still make an impression with the food lover.

  • Ms. Glaze

    1. Gelées are making a comeback (why? Isn’t’ this 1970’s?))
    2. Micro greens / micro herbs/ edible flowers
    3. “Lost” vegetables: turnips, parsnips, celeriac, black radish, watermelon radish, beets in all colors (yellow, red, rainbow), heirloom carrots in different colors (black, white, yellow, orange), licorice root
    4. Game birds (grouse, pheasant, wild pigeon, duck)
    5. Offal
    6. Bone marrow
    7. Cooking techniques (sous-vide, food chemicals like activa, etc)

  • Ms. Glaze

    Michael, I read your request wrong! I thought you were asking for food trends in general, not specifically for the home chef. The list I gave above is what I’m seeing in restaurants right now. Sorry.

  • Bob delGrosso

    I’ll have to agree with those of you who have said that quinoa will become popular. And why shouldn’t it?

    Like eggs it contains a balanced set of amino acids, and it looks just familiar enough to disarm many of those who might be put off by it’s difficult-to-pronounce name.

    That it tastes like dirt and has the texture of beach sand that has gone through a blender with a jelly fish should do nothing to stand in the way of making quinoa just as popular in the homes of middle America as other formerly esoteric foods (for example Balut, and Lutefisk) have become.

  • Anne

    First of all, I have to agree with Bob about the quinoa – especially about the taste and texture and total lack of appeal. It tastes like a mistake.

    I predict that the trend will focus on locally grown and produced foods (meat and dairy and produce) as well as a decreased reliance on processed foods; more foods, and more complicated foods, will be made from from scratch. Things that sound fancy and foreign on the menu of expensive restaurants will become demystified and join the repertoire of home cooks everywhere. Most peoples’ mothers will be able to casually whip up aioli and Béarnaise and chiffonade basil without blinking an eye.

  • Bruce

    As Paul Krugman said in the New York Times this week, “The era of cheap gas and cheap food are over.”
    People will be interested in how to get the biggest bang for their shrinking buck. For foodies, it will still be quality of ingredients and preparation. Jaded palettes are hard to please. Once you how good it can be, it’s hard to go back. For the middle class with 2.6 kids, two jobs and two cars they can’t afford to fill with gas, it will be about how to feed the family on less money without feeding them crap and without cooking for hours.

  • milo

    Actually, I think gourmet sausages/hotdogs will be more of a trend. Here in Chicago, Hot Doug’s has been doing huge business for a couple years now doing that with exotic dogs and duck fat fries. He used to do foie gras until the city outlawed it…

    http://www.hotdougs.com/specials.htm

    And just today, tried a new hotdog place where everything is organic, and the dogs are grass-fed beef. I’d love to see more places like these two…

    http://www.drewseatery.com/

  • Chris

    There are a ton of comments here so I will keep this short.

    Sitting in Shea Stadium yesterday for the Mets’ home opener looking at the gorgeous new stadium being built just beyond the outfield wall, I was struck by the thought that one of the only undiscovered territories in food-dom are Celebrity Chef driven restaurants in our sports stadiums and arenas. Can’t you imagine Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in the Arizona Diamondbacks stadium, Emeril’s in the New Orleans Superdome, Spago in Dodger Stadium, Alice Waters opening a garden restaurant at AT&T Park in San Francisco (all of the produce would be hydroponically grown in McCovey Cove) and, of course, Chef Michael Symon opening Lola at “The Jake” in Cleveland.

    Don’t tell Bourdain, me might lobby for a branch of Grey’s Papaya in the new Yankee Stadium.

    On second thought, that wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

  • Kate in the NW

    “Interesting that the comments have been almost entirely about the economics of food, whereas the original question had nothing to do with that at all.” Posted by: Kurt

    Yeah, but here’s the thing – it’s all well and good to talk about what we fortunate, rarified, probably upper-middle-class folk crave and see coming down the slide – and granted, foodies will always be foodies, but if/when the economy tanks I really fear for my beloved local farmer’s market and the restaurants I adore, tended lovingly by brilliant, dedicated, non-celebrity chefs.

    I can walk 5 blocks every Saturday and buy Mangalitsa pork; raw milk; pampered, humanely raised and grass-fed beef; free-range chickens; fresh eggs with unctuous, saffron-colored yolks, and a dizzying array of local, seasonal organic produce. But I or my husband should lose our job, or if 15% our neighbors have to default on their mortgages, very few of us will be buying that $12/lb. meat, much less the $25. (though I have to say – DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO BUY THE MANGALITSA – it’s an orgasm wrapped in uncooked chicharron).

    So it’s all well and good to maintain one’s foodie standards, but a lot of wonderful farmers and producers will simply go bankrupt and vanish if no one does something to teach folks to appreciate good food and cook for themselves. ALL of us will lose something if folks can’t afford the time or money to really, critically shop and cook. And heaven knows farmers have to grow what the market will bear, excepting the few who can cater to the shrinking tiny sliver of haute-cuisine-munching uber-rich who can always afford the best.

    I know I’m on a soapbox, but I’m really sad that so many people have apparently lost the wisdom of the ages (and the Moms) and resorted merely to using the drive-in or the deli container.

    So I really hope the trend that someone mentioned with communal meals and/or cooking groups holds some truth. I want to KEEP my farmer’s market, my Whole Foods, my restaurants. I hope we’re not at the end of the Edible Rennaissance, because it gives me hope and I love it. I love foodies. But I also have to pay for college for my daughter, and I sympathize with folks who will get priced out of the Foodie Set in a down economy. We should all invest in bringing kitchen skills and diversity of palate to EVERYONE, not just the few of us who are lucky enough to catch a reservation at Bernadin.

    So yes, the tastes of the Applebee’s crowd affects ALL of us, because the aggregate of their meager dollars helps dictate what the Farm Bill says and what farmers can afford to grow. They have to feed their families too, and most run on a razor-thin margin. I’d like to see ALL of us eat well.

    Maybe that’s not what MR was asking, but there it is.

    Sorry if I offended anybody.

  • TC

    Well if Ted Turner is any sort of culinary prognosticator then “Soylent Green” will be a pantry staple in the coming years.

  • Jeremy

    My job requires me to travel, so as a result I have to eat out for most meals. I *wish* a trend in this country would be that national chain restaurants would serve fresh, simple, healthful meals. Limited selections of good fresh simple meals. I usually end up going to a supermarket rather than to a restaurant while I travel, because where I travel, the choices are usually Chili’s, Friday’s, Applebee’s, etc. How many more of these restaurants does this country need???

  • luis

    Too many axes to grind here…. Interesting how we all choose different paths in our lives. More interesting is to follow everyone’s path and watch it converge into one as it most definitelly must. The point of convergency is the issue. Like the end of the rainbow. Wouldn’t it just be something awful for us to converge and find Bourdain chomping on some gnarwly bitter innard?????
    This is my nightmare. Just what lies at the end of the road for us?

  • Elise

    Hmm. Are you looking for general trends in home cooking, or trends in the home cooking of people who might subscribe to this magazine? I think there’s potentially a big difference, depending on the magazine.

    In general I would say anything that saves the home cook both time and money, especially time. Not surprising, given that most families have both parents working.

    General Trends:

    – 30 minute meals (will continue, working people with kids are too busy to spend much more time than that)
    – 10 minute meals (Bittman’s list of 101 things to make in 10 minutes or less was the one of the most emailed NYT articles ever)
    – Reliance on nutritional information to make eating/cooking choices. People are demanding this info – calories, fat content, etc. – and I don’t see that changing. Somehow we as a society have been brainwashed into thinking that we have to know the numbers before we can eat anything. How the heck did this happen?
    – 9% fat, lean ground beef – wow, low fat and low carb (shoot me now)
    – Pre-cut, pre-washed, ready to cook foods like spinach, lettuce, butternut squash (butternut squash is hard to cut, so I can see why this one might be popular)
    – Industrial organic, like what you can get a Trader Joe’s. Inexpensive organic. Sounds better for you. Might be.
    – Everything vegan. Because we all want to be Skinny Bitches. (Do not get me going on this one.)
    – Slow Cooker cooking. Hey, it’s just a low-temp braise. Crock pot cooking marketed with a less low-brow name. Convenient, inexpensive. All Clad has a gorgeous slow-cooker on the market right now.
    – Ready, prepared foods at your grocery store, your grocer becomes a cafeteria.
    – Mexican food. More than just salsa and guac.
    – The use of skinless, boneless chicken breasts. No one knows how to cut up a whole chicken any more. Bones and skin are icky. (Again, shoot me now.)
    – Basic cooking skills – people getting out on their own right now are having to teach themselves how to cook. Many of them had working parents to busy to cook or to teach them how.

    Trends with people who care enough about food and cooking to buy a cooking magazine:
    – Local, sustainable over industrialized organic
    – Humanely raised pork, grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, fish not on the watch list
    – Farmers markets
    – Cool vegetables like thai eggplant that you can pretty much only find at farmers markets
    – Kabocha squash
    – Quince (okay, so this is more of a wish than a trend)
    – Pomegrantes – PomWonderful has done a great job marketing
    – Omega-3
    – Anti-oxidants
    – Heirloom everything
    – Yukon gold potatoes – they just taste better
    – AeroGarden, grow your own herbs and vegetables

    Trends within the foodie fringe:
    – Raise your own chickens for eggs
    – Butcher your own chickens for meat
    – Game
    – Start a food blog

  • Ulla

    Eggs.
    Really nice quality eggs with saffron colored yolks. I think I think this because my chickens are laying them like nuts at the moment, but with food prices so high, i can see a back to basics trend.

  • Ken Paris

    It seems that more and more I see Pandan Leaves being used in “cutting edge” foods.

  • sara

    I second the microgreens. They throw those things around like candy on iron chef.

    also ancho chile, the real stuff, fresh ground.

    and cocktails with fresh herbs (or herb infused simple syrups).

    I have to say I disagree with the man who said meat would go by the wayside. Meat is in its heyday. Now you don’t just care where the cow came from, you care about what it ate, whether it ran free. You are obsessed with the meat.

    acorn fed pigs! Need I say more?

    -sara

  • jonathon strand

    Local, eco-sustainable, organic, even wild foods will be the pop-foods of ’08 – ’09 – ’10. With more and more fear about the future of food and it’s origins, people are waking up to the reality of sustainable agriculture being the only hope. Lots of chefs, like myself, are jumping on this organique band wagon. Its not just cool, its cool because its the right thing to do. Think about Batali and the other Food Network CDhefs that want to give back through good causes. What cause could be better than true susatainable, humaine food practices. What sounds better? Cloned or Kobe/Wagyu?

  • drfugawe

    An increased emphisis and awareness on any culture that has already faced the necessity of creatively using its “throw-away” foods to feed an increasingly hungry public. This is obviously our future, and even our TV choices for “foodie” programs about the strange eating habits of other cultures is evidence we are next in line!

  • Avery Yale Kamila

    Ethical eating is the big trend just beginning to hit. This will mean different things to different people — for some grass-fed beef and homemade butter for others locally grown food and everything organic. The drive to eat sustainable food also is giving a boost to meat-free meals, with vegan cuisine garnering a growing following (and not just among vegetarians).

  • Sara

    I think it’s interesting — a lot of the ethnic foods people are claiming will begin their heydey now are ethnic foods that regularly rely on ingrediants that are Cheap, Cheap, Cheap-ity Cheap Cheap CHEAP. I think Kate in the NW is 100% on target with her rant.

    Money is tight, peeps. I love my farmer’s market, but I know there will come a day (potentially soon) when either they will have to drop their prices, or I will have to start shopping at a supermarket again. Sigh. That’ll be a sad day, as I predict the latter will happen before the former.

  • Nathalie

    Botanical, City Park, and neighbourhood gardens being raided for eatible flowers :)

  • Francina Sanders

    Sliders, and not just burgers. I’ve seen meatball, crab melt, mini brauts-and-kraut, and fried chicken sliders fly out the door.

  • luis

    I think the new trend is folks will be brewing their own beer soon…..at home!

  • allie

    I’m just not sure all the comments about ethical, organic, local, etc., eating is realistic for an overall food trend. even if the majority of the population is interested in those things, it doesn’t mean they’re willing to pay for them… heck, I’m a (sort of) foodie and I can’t afford most of that stuff.

    when I consider major food trends, I think of cuisines like thai and japanese that have really exploded in the last 5-10 years. even my little hometown in the middle of nowhere has thai and sushi restaurants now. so my guess for upcoming trends would be middle eastern food, south american, and maybe some of the less-explored asian cuisines like korean. I can totally see americans getting on board with korean barbeque, it’s kind of like asian fajitas.

  • kristi

    With the impending doom of the Castro Regime in Cuba, I’m thinking that we will begin to see more (legal) culture exchange. If/When the US ever releases restrictions on Americans travelling and spending money there, it’s bound to be an instant ultra-cool vacation spot, and the local cuisine is going to become all the rage. I’m sure there are plenty of resort firms that are just giddy with anticipation of American tourism dollars flowing in.

  • Jose Cisneros

    This may may only be a national thing having to do with
    the changes that have been taking place in the loosening
    up of the federal and state wine and liquor laws.
    Michigan has cut the cost of a distiller’s license from
    10,000 to 150.00 and there is talk of opening the door even more.
    So now the small distillers will join the small beer
    brewers, wine makers, cheese makers, organic hog farmers
    etc and we will all benefit.
    The large distilleries will react to this and attempt to create products that emulate what the small distilleries do.
    For want of another word I believe we are on the verge of become Balkanized in the best of all possible ways.

  • Pessimistic Diva

    Our looming recession, high gas prices and the re-runs of Chefography on the Food Network is turning me into a pessimist so I foresee another mad cow breakout in the US.
    I also suspect that tuna, salmon, swordfish, lobster and other fancy-schmancy fish and crustaceans in our oceans will deplete. And the current shortage of hops will take its toll on us.
    Therefore I predict that Americans will start eating more lamb, buffalo or venison; the trend will also be to eat affordable fish such as mackerel, monkfish, perch; and our microbrews will become so expensive that we’ll have to start drinking cheaper beer like Bud, Miller and, dare I say, Coors Light!

  • Jennifer

    I agree with the many posts that touched on the economy and food prices. I also think that local cooking classes will be utilized to help home cooks work within a tight food budget. I foresee beans, cassoulet, grains, pastas, less meat and more veggies in general. Already in my community there are charitable organizations that help poor people shop wisely and cook healthier food with less money. This service will be needed by more and more of us.

  • Miss Needle

    Not just a trend with the foodies, I predict a lot more cooking at home due to the economic downturn. While Applebee’s is by no means an expensive restaurant, it is definitely cheaper to make the stuff at home. So I see a proliferation in cooking 101 — eg. how to make a burger (believe me, there are a lot of people who just don’t know), how to roast a chicken, how to make meatloaf, etc. An ex of mine told me he once wanted to go to cooking school so he can make diner food. Though he was extremely ambitious in his career, that didn’t really carry through in the kitchen. But his idea of cooking was throwing a can of Campbell’s condensed cream of chicken soup over a chicken breast. But I feel that’s where the majority of the American population is at.

    With the foodie circle (which really is a small subset of the entire American population but growing; anybody who says otherwise is living in his or her own little fantasy world), I agree with those who said local movement, sustainable farming practices, aniamals that are raised more humanely, molecular gastronomy, DIY, etc. But that’s been going on for a while now. As much as the idea fascinates me, I don’t think we’re going to be seeing urine in our food anytime soon. Korean cuisine seems to be expanding beyond just Koreans and those with yellow fever. I think we’ll see some Korean-fusion restaurants in the future. Because of people like David Chang (who brought kimchee puree to the forefront), I think we’ll see a lot more Korean-influenced food on menus.

  • Justin Marx

    I’m late in the game here, but here’s my forecast:

    -Heirloom anything
    -Grass-fed, humane, sustainable anything
    -Wild produce (nettles, ramps, sea beans, etc, etc.)
    -Wild Mushrooms – real wild mushrooms, not what’s marketed as “wild” in most restaurants and retailers.

    That’s at least, what I’m hoping for…and what I’m trying to develop my business to serve…making progress slowly: http://www.marxfoods.com

  • Chris

    I didn’t think my opinion would carry any weight because I am not an authority on anything, but when I saw one of my favorite cheeses in the local chain supermarket I knew I had to through in my two cents… Sheep’s milk cheese… Not something most Americans are aware of. Like the surge of goats milk cheeses like feta a couple of years ago, I think sheep’s cheeses are gonna be big. I just hope that American creameries don’t do to my beloved Manchigo, what they have done to the average cheese offered to American palate.
    Cheers

  • Andy Little

    a return to eating offal as a ‘normal’ thing in the home kitchen. The home cook will continue to explore the idea of ‘looking back to look forward’ as they get more and more in touch with where their food comes from. Tongue, heart, livers, tripe, marrow….all of these items are coming back…..Get ready for some great eating!!!!

  • Amanda

    I agree with all the comments about the return of offal and other more “bargain” cuts to daily home cooking, at least among those who love to cook. I think we are also going to see a greater polarization between the people who simply love to cook and work to bring “slow food” magic to the table and those who rely on prepackaged, premade items so they can eat and get on with their lives. Sometimes, when reading comments on various food sites, it doesn’t seem like there’s a real middle ground between the two camps.

    One trend I’ve noticed among the food oriented lately is the rise in use of bento style lunches in non-Japanese households. It seems to be very fashionable to send one to school with one’s children.

  • zyllah

    The father of a friend of mine used to say that we (South Asian people) will have truly arrived when our cuisine is as popular and normalized as Chinese food. Slowly but surely, a greater number of Indian restaurants have arisen, and endured with some lasting success. My non-foodie friends and acquaintances are less afraid of the unfamiliar spicing and the much-rumoured heat.

    I’m Canadian, and so my perspective is a little different; and Ontario’s Indian/South Asian population is I think proportionately larger than in many American states, but I think that Indian food is a slow-moving trend that may very well have its ‘five minutes of fame’ yet to come.

  • Davis

    I think we are on the verge of great nutritional/diet break throughs in this country. The medical/nutritionist/chef connection will improve the lives of many. My personal direction will to be to produce more food from home, not for savings, but to gain a greater understanding of food and the traditional processes in making, storing and preserving it.

    Quick and convenient will continue to be the norm. I hope it will blend with variety and quality. I also think the gap between the feeders and the foodies will get even broader. Sometimes when I talk food with people they look at me like I need professional help. Speaking of quick I understand certain ovens can roast a chicken in under six minutes.

  • mike regan

    I think you should examine kosher kitchens. The national economics support the idea of someone picking up the banner of kosher. Billions of dollars are spent every year buying kosher food.
    For many, just their faith in the kosher process propels them. I would welcome you to spend time in our house preparing kosher food.

    Chefregan@gmail.com

  • CarolinaGirl

    Finishing salts…. anyone check out the hibiscus variety yet? mmmm…..

  • Clifford Replogle

    I always get a certain amount of pleasure, if not down right joy, by reading through everyone’s comments on a good blog topic, which in cyclical fashion keeps kind of repeating the same thing over and over and can be divided into a number of columns of similarity. I know that is the point of a comment section for a blog, to blurt then discuss while adding maybe a new blurt to the discussion of the previous blurt, etc, etc. so that the author of the topic can sieve through this sand and retain the larger nuggets. Some of the nuggets that I got out of the previous posts are;

    “Do It Yourself acronym (DIY), local, whole, sous vide, bad economy, Applebees, dried urine(WTF?), seasonal, sustainable, home grown, my favorite organic ( Organic, Organic, Organic— “He says his name is.Raaaaaaaaalphhhhhh” What a croc of crap that industry is. No chemicals, but soaps are OK, and I can pay three times normal market value) Indian cuisine (which is one of my presumptive winners of a prediction), wild game, and cocktails with fresh herbs –Now your talking!!

    I also really like the “animals that are treated more humanely” column. So does veal taste better if you name it and give prayer for it?

    I think these are all legitimate answers to the original question which was—What are the predictions on the horizon for the “home kitchen?.” But in a home kitchen wouldn’t that involve some kind of “Family Style Meal.” In restaurants this concept does work – big dishes of good homemade food served in proper course. As an owner and operator of a restaurant in an extremely small town in Santa Barbra wine country I am always striving for consistent, diverse yet simple, real, and uniquely Californian. What brings people into our place is my wife and I do it ourselves. Great steaks grilled over a redo oak fire, fresh local seafood, creativity, and audacity. Is this a trend? No –not where we come from. Local, that’s kind of a given isn’t it? Same with fresh —- I mean DUH! Can I have my produce out of a can please?

    Aren’t we all going to be drinking our meals soon enough considering the depressive direction the last 40 years of conservatism has brought to us? My meals will be the olives in my moonshine martini’s. But if I am forced to predict what trend I see as popular—I would have to say Flatbread Pizzas is a super hot item now to feed the uber posh wine aficionado’s that all look like they’re from Aspen kind of crowds. And again that whole thing and that organic (raaaaalph) thing and that local thing plays into the part that makes it successful.

    I myself like the wild game – forager-hunter thing. I wouldn’t call it so much as a trend as it is human DNA. How long have humans been cooking meat over fire?? Give me a bison ribeye seasoned in a coriander, drycoffee, garlic and olive oil rub with a chimmy churry dip accompanied with miners lettuce salad with chanterelle mushrooms (I just go off the trail a bit in our local park to get that stuff) and some good garlic mashed potatoes. Finish with Santa Maria strawberry and rhubarb ice cream. Stick a fork in me …..I’m done!!

    Mom and Pops Kick Ass!!

  • john

    sriacha and fruit
    or, in general, chilies and fruit.
    you just wait…

  • Claudia

    OOooo – I HOPE you’re right about chilies and fruit, John. I think it can co-exist happily with pork belly (I hope so, at least!)

  • john

    pork belly + chunked mango + sliced garlic + tamarind juice + long beans + thai basil + fish sauce + chilies to taste, sounds good to me right about now.

    ive also had fun with chilies and raspberries.

  • Veronica

    I think the next big thing on cooking will be southamerican food, especially Peruvian. People don’t know too much about it, but little by little it’s making it’s way to the eyes of the world. A lot of renowned chefs are going to Peru to see what’s cooking there, like Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert, Arzak, Andoni, you name it. So i suggest you all take a time and check it out, or if you can go there, you won’t be disappointed.

  • brad

    sous-vide will become exponentially more popular in the home kitchen in the next few years. I think the average enthusiast is ready to step up to the challenge and explore this incredibly diverse technique.

    Coming to a Target near you,

    Introducing!!! the new “imsersocirculitron”!!! by KitchenAid!!!

    All kidding aside, it’s coming and it’s a good idea.

  • brad

    Also, I forgot to mention something.

    Here is what is on the “Dead and Dying List”

    Anything molecularily gastronomic. There’s one true practitioner in the world and we all know who he is. The rest jumped the bandwagon. I hope MG dies,(not in Roses of Course).

  • becket

    Hands down the hottest new food trend…

    GOVERNMENT CHEESE!!!

    The official sponsor of “Recession 2008”!!!

  • Natty

    I think a big upcoming trend is a rejection of the idea of “professional” in the world of home cooks and a new trend towards making foods that are best made in the home with techniques and equipment better suited to the home cook. Additionally, home cooks will take pride in growing their own herbs, tomatoes and other foods. Victory gardens in ’08!

    I agree with folks who have discussed cheap cuts of meat coming back in a big way and believe meats like venison and rabbit will begin to be available more (especially in areas where deer are overpopulated.) Curing your own bacon and making your own cheese may be on the horizon as well.

    My hope is that HFCS will be vilified and chased out of the food world with pitchforks and torches.

  • pdkaizer

    I know in my own home kitchen I am taking a more paired down approach to cooking and letting the natural flavors of the great (and often local homegrown) ingredients available come through and be the dominant flavor profile of a dish. No longer do I try to find the most complex recipe but am working towards simplicity.

  • Dana McCauley

    Michael,

    I write a quarterly ezine called Topline Trends and appear regularly on Canada AM and other television shows as a food trend expert.

    I hope that you and any of your readers who are interested will stop by and read the latest issue and back issues. Subscription is free for anyone who wants to receive a quarterly notice when each newsletter goes live.

    At the foodservice level I think you’ll see more restaurants attempting portion control menus, more bold flavoured/umami driven menu items, and the wider spread use of dukkah and sumac on restaurant menus. Of course sustainability and onsite purified water will continue to gain momentum as well.

  • Chris66

    -Heirloom beans
    -More personal gardens, and more gardeners growing heirloom varieties
    -Butter
    -Lard
    -Artisanal honeys and maple syrups
    -Foraging
    -Homemade preserves
    -Homemade sausage

  • Chris66

    -Heirloom beans
    -More personal gardens, and more gardeners growing heirloom varieties
    -Butter
    -Lard
    -Artisanal honeys and maple syrups
    -Foraging
    -Homemade preserves
    -Homemade sausage

  • Katelyn

    Korean and Japanese cuisine — fermented foods, okonomiyaki (I’ve seen that on a number of food blogs lately), cabbage, edamame.

    Heritage beans, yes, and PORK. Especially pork belly.

  • Joel Wittenmyer

    I believe that some Americans are beginning to understand the difference between ‘food’ and something truly great that is prepared with love and attention to detail by someone that knows what they are doing. We are already seeing the return of classical french cuisine in New York. I hope that it will be a success and that Americans will learn to eat again. This, I believe, may be the next trend (If we are very lucky!)