Top Food Trends of 2012 (Saveur)
James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur Magazine, lists the top food trends of 2012.
What do you all think of this article? I was most excited by the idea that Kansas City is poised to "have its moment" as the next great food city.
I like Saveur, and they're usually reasonably well keyed in on trends. Of course, any list predicting food trends in the near future tends to be more wrong than right when dust settles.
A few thoughts:
Layer cake - this one strikes me as likely. People love their cake. And enough people have been bitching about cupcakes that the stage is set for a counter-trend.
Homemade pickles - I thought that was already a trend. No complaints. I love pickling and fermenting foods. But I think Saveur is kind of late on this one.
Goodbye Japanese knives, hello 'carbon steel' knives - Saveur is being kind of ridiculous with this one. For starters, many Japanese knives are carbon steel and from reading Saveur's description, I don't think they understand that. I guess they're saying either that people will start buying up vintage carbon steel knives or else that Western makers will start pushing more vintage-style new carbon steel knives. The former is highly unlikely to change much in 2012 - there's been a steady but small market for vintage knives for some time, and a lot of the people who buy em (me for one) are the same people who buy and love Japanese knives. The latter is just implausible, though I'm sure Sabatier will keep plugging along.
Meatloaf - I hope so, but see no reason to think it likely. If 2012 does wind up being the year of the meatloaf, maybe 2013 will be the year that homecooks discover terrines again.
Italian-American food getting a little respect - this is another one where I think Saveur is just noticing a trend from the last couple years instead of predicting a trend of the future.
Most Americans don't like to sharpen the stainless knives they have. So now they going to suddenly spring for knives that require even MORE care?
You're either a knife person, or you're not. Even knife people reach a limit on the number they should have. Those Japanese knives aren't going anywhere.
Layer cakes? I'm skeptical. Maybe if they are very small layer cakes. Now, I'm no particular fan of the cupcake trend, but I can see the reasons behind it- affordability, portion control, and frosting all in one cute little package. Even a small cake is meant for sharing, and will run you a whole lot more than $3. A cake is a commitment. A cupcake is an indulgence. The NYT had an article about mini desserts a month or two back, with minis getting smaller and smaller. I see that as the more likely trend.
Didn't meatloaf have its day circa 2003?
Around here they are normal cupcake size (like mom made, not Costco muffin size) and I'm pretty sure at least the biggest cupcakery offers minis.
Seems like ice cream shops are springing up all over the place, and frozen yogurt has come back from the 80's. But the bigger trend is probably out of work culinarians looking to entrepreneurship. All those trucks and pop-ups, and anyone who ever made anything sweet has taken it retail. So many small artisan chocolatiers now, and stores devoted to the huge variety of makers that you never heard of.
One phenomenon I hope becomes a trend is the fully sustainable sushi restaurant.
One periodical, I forget who, did a story on how many of last year's predictions they had gotten right. I think they got maybe one or two. If you go back and look at a number of writers' past years' food trend predictions for the coming year I wonder if you wouldn't find a trend like that. I feel that stories like these are just an annual tradition and way to fill space, mildly entertaining, largely meaningless.
Along with pickles I think there is a trend in canning and pickling that we'll see, on well beyond pickles.
excited about layer cake because cupcakes are getting a little boring and there is much more things you can do with cake layers. Now if we could just get rid of the dumb fondant trend.
I'd also agree that the list is more following trends on the rise than really predicting future things to come that haven't happened yet.
Kansas City has been an artsy city for a long time. It boast one of the top art colleges in the country and while Portland has always been hipper, It's also no surprise to me that Kansas city would ramp it up within the next year or so.
I don't know if I see a trend toward meatloaf unless you frequent diners. the size and the over all humdrum of it. It has to be elevated or at least as good as momma makes to gain any attention.
I would put more of a bet on meat filled pastries, pies and dumplings over meatloaf. Things such as empanadas, ravioli, gyoza, pot stickers etc.
I see a lot of peaked interest in game meats, venison, bison, pheasant etc.
A trend of making house or home made sauces is not just for the restaurant scene but for the home cook as well. Everything from hummus, tzaki, ketchup, salsas and chimichurri sauce.
With more and more people in the US being diagnosed with High blood pressure we can expect to see more of an attack on unnecessary preservatives and foods with a high amount of sodium.
Lemon will be the super food with lots of health benefits, especially this summer a return to a good old fashion favorite.
"Now if we could just get rid of the dumb fondant trend."
"I don't know if I see a trend toward meatloaf unless you frequent diners... It has to be elevated or at least as good as momma makes to gain any attention."
One of the problems with serving traditional meatloaf is that everyone will be comparing it to the near-Platonic ideal that is Mom's meatloaf. But I do see a lot of potential to gussy it up, elevate it. It's pretty easy to manipulate. Doesn't mean it's going to happen, of course.
"I would put more of a bet on meat filled pastries, pies and dumplings over meatloaf. Things such as empanadas, ravioli, gyoza, pot stickers etc."
You may be right, but I see this, like some of Saveur's list, as a trend that's already sort of underway.
"With more and more people in the US being diagnosed with High blood pressure we can expect to see more of an attack on unnecessary preservatives and foods with a high amount of sodium."
At the same time, more people are questioning the strength and/or validity of the case against salt from a cardiovascular perspective.
Yes, fondant is like adult playdoh and it taste just as bad. Royal icing decorations taste better, even though they are just a sugar snack.
The problem with meatloaf becoming a trend means it has to be embraced and elevated and as far as restaurants go, I'm not going to order meatloaf at a high end restaurant.
I'd agree with you on the meat filled pastry type things. I'd like to see Empanadas really take off though and be a street food around the country and not just in the ethnic areas we see.
interesting article about salt and sodium
They sound likely. Layer cakes, to me, are much better than cupcakes with the frosting/cake ratio. There is a bakery near me that sells layer cake slices that I can't resist, when I'm in the area. Meatloaf--so easy to doctor up, use nicer ingredients, lesser ones, add a variety of ingredients to and still have it be "meatloaf". So many different ways to serve it, too. Meatloaf cake is a favorite among the guys in my household so that would cover two trends. As Italian American restaurants go, I agree w/ cowboyardee-it's not new. But, it's nice to see an appreciation of it, well done, instead of Olive Garden type food. Homemade pickles--again, is that a new trend?
Really not that different from burgers so I'm sure there are those who'd pay for it, as long as the price was high enough. It would have to be exorbitant, though, to make it "must try". ;-)
On the meatloaf ideas, though, one of my favorites is to add Jimmy Dean sausage to it. It makes it like a breakfast--maybe a sausage meatloaf biscuit and gravy meal? Add it to bread and make it a lunch. Meatloaf calzone? Fried meatloaf sticks? Stuffed meatloaf? So many possibilities.