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What Food Trends have you noticed or forecasted for this year?

I live on a very small island and love to follow food trends. There have been bacon, eggs, pomegranates, lunch trucks, the cronut and on and on. What have you noticed or forecasted in your culinary travels? Thanks for any imput or info.

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  1. Pati Jinich predicted that napales (cactus paddles) were going to be the next big vegetarian thing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Njchicaa

      seems like Mexican is getting really trendy so it makes sense. My neighborhood has 3 trend-mex places slated to open 2014 within blocks of each other.

    2. Have recently seen truffle-everything, "put a fried egg on top", and farm-to-table (not done terribly well.) I'm not in the best place for trends - they show up a little (or a lot) late in my town. Thankfully foam passed us by. But a good interesting question that I look forward to hearing the answers to.

      2 Replies
      1. re: NonnieMuss

        The "put a fried egg on top" trend bothers only because I don't care for fried eggs.

        1. re: UTgal

          Most places let you omit the egg.

      2. I don't follow food trends that much, but it seems to me people are tired of kale. I noticed and article that suggested Swiss chard, and sort of complained that people didn't use it instead of kale.

        11 Replies
        1. re: sueatmo

          LOL - Kale has become a running joke, which is sad because it is really a versatile and useful green, it is easy to grow, sustainable to harvest etc but now it is like a washed up pop star - it had its moment in the sun and now it's yesterday's news. Kale is like so totally spring of 2012 no self respecting gastro pub should have it on the menu.

          1. re: JTPhilly

            I love kale. I don't give a flying f@rt if it's trendy or not! If it was maligned in every headline, I would still eat it! I am SO uncool that way.

            1. re: sandylc

              Thank you. I really wanted to say this. I don't get food trends that dictate what people eat. Kale may no longer be trendy but it's still in the store and I'm still eating it. I probably only tried it because everyone kept talking about it but now it's always in the house.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                Exactly! I am grateful in that one way for food trends, because they often bring foods to my attention that I might not have noticed otherwise.

              2. re: sandylc

                The only reason I'm happy about kale's being "trendy" is that it increased the everyday availability of Tuscan kale, which used to be a bit hard to come by. Now I can get it from Ralphs instead of trekking out to Whole Foods, and that's a good thing. Mrs. O does not like most greens, especially not chard (a pet hatred, in fact, of her entire family!), but trimmed and braised black kale with beans and a cheesy polenta is one of her favorite meals nowadays.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  I like braised kale. But we've seen so many recipes for it that maybe we should concentrate on learning about some other veggies for awhile.

                  It certainly broadens the availability of greens in the winter.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    'braised black kale with beans and a cheesy polenta'
                    --that's exactly what i want!

                  2. re: sandylc

                    I loved kale before it was trendy, I'll love it after it's trendy, and I'll love it still in 15 years when it's trendy again.

                    I got your back, kale.

                  3. re: JTPhilly

                    Like a hipster I liked kale before it was cool.

                  4. re: sueatmo

                    Underneath my desk is a Whole Foods bag - a makeshift trashcan - emblazoned with "Collard is the new Kale!" so you're probably right.

                  5. I'm in nyc, our food trends may or may not be nyc-centric.
                    Cauliflower is still having a moment, cauliflower "steaks" and dramatic whole roasted cauliflower heads, with mashed cauliflower and cauli crusts being made at home.
                    Chia seeds are much more common in drinks, puddings, and smoothie shops.

                    All of the frozen yogurt shops (like tasti d lite) are closing and fresh juice shops like organic avenue and juice press are expanding all over.

                    Artisinal bread bakeries with interesting loaves like green olive and walnut, or hazelnut tumeric are having a resurgance- i think its a backlash against the poofy nutritionally void grocery store loaves that just keep getting worse.

                    Tiny restaurants with only one very specific specialty, like the takoyaki at Otafuku or yakitori at Yakitori Totto or korean mandoo dumplings at Mandoo bar.

                    Still going strong are large format family style meals for groups, savory elements to desserts, complicated cocktails with obscure made in house syrups, and unique bread baskets and spreads.

                    I think once spring veggies are here the kale situation will loose momentum, and thank god the bacon on and in near everything (especially desserts!) has finally moved on.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                      Went to Mandoo Var back in 2009 and they had wide variety of food not just Mandoo.

                      1. re: melpy

                        Correct, but they focus on the mandoo. To my knowledge mandoo-centric restaurants are not common....that was my only point.

                    2. My biggest hope is that Brussel sprouts go away. I've tried to like them but just can't. And I see them everywhere on the cooking shows and restaurant menus.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: boyzoma

                        I'm sorry, boyzoma, but we of the Illuminati have decreed that Brussels sprouts will continue to worm their way into everything from milkshakes to floor polish … bWAH-hahahahaaaaa!

                        Seriously, they are not going away, though I'm sure our monkey-see attention will soon be diverted to some other "underappreciated" vegetable. Parsnips, maybe.

                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            I love parsnips, bring it on! I wish quinoa would go away. Really don't like it and it ruins so many good dishes.

                            1. re: cowboyardee

                              Didn't parsnips have their chance a few years ago and blow it?

                          2. re: boyzoma

                            A pox on you! I actually seem unable to resist ordering Brussels sprouts when offered as a side on a menu. Have loved having them more available in restaurants the last few years.

                            1. re: debbiel

                              Well, I wish you no ill will, just the same. But that said, I've tried to like them and just can't. So my post is just as valid as yours. Sorry you feel the need to vex me. Enjoy your sprouts. Look at it this way - I leave more for you.

                              1. re: boyzoma

                                I do hope you realize that "A pox on you!" was a joke!

                            2. re: boyzoma

                              eat brussels raw as a slaw?
                              that's what got me into them: slice in food processor. add olive oil, lemon juice, little rice vinegar, salt...squeeze it up as hard as you can with your hands making fists- to break it down.

                              1. re: helmut fig newton

                                Thanks, but it is just not going to happen. I have tried it every which way from Sunday - I am a sucker to give anything a chance. Its just not one I am able to wrap my taste buds around. Everyone keeps trying (oh, you haven't had them how I make them - sort of thing). I'll try, still no go. So I will leave you all with all my extras. I'm sure there is something in your culinary life that you don't like (and maybe I do).

                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                    Ok I have one more way! lol Whole, halved,chiffonade whatever but season with s/p, parm! and lemon! ....not bad! lol but if you don't like them I understand. It took me years.

                              2. I'm seeing more white balsamic vinegar being used.

                                1. I see a good many foods infused with curry powder or labeled curried well beyond chicken. A recent trip to WF's I noted curried nuts, crackers, cheese, cupcakes, dips; including hummus, ice cream, oil, vinegar, and frozen prepared foods like mad!

                                  1. I think chia is getting big. I made a pudding @ lunchtime with chia, coconut milk, sliced peaches, slivered almonds. Boy it was good.It's so nice to not have to thicken some things.

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: mortswife

                                      I love it. I admit that again I probably only tried this because I started hearing about it more and more, but now it's always in the house and I eat it every night mixed in yogurt. I have been meaning to try chia almond milk pudding.

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        I'm curious- what do they taste like? Where would I buy them? Whole Foods?

                                        1. re: Bunny007

                                          Costco has them. I'm sure whole foods does. Local "megamart" probably has them too, but where exactly is always fun to predict.

                                          They taste and texture is similar to kiwi seeds. They are a bit bland, I use them for the nutrition boost more than flavor

                                          1. re: Bunny007

                                            No specific flavor really. They are great for adding to smoothies or to make a pudding since they absorb water and create a "gel". Try the bulk section of whole foods, trader joes sells a small bag as well. Tons of nutrition (omegas, protein, fiber etc...) in just 2TB serving.

                                        2. re: mortswife

                                          We've been tossing the chia into our morning smoothies for about a year now.

                                          1. re: sandylc

                                            We prefer hemp over the chia seeds but I don't know if hemp is getting the same attention on trend.

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              I have heard about using hemp, but not in detail. Can you fill me in?

                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts (raw shelled hemp seeds) is what I keep on hand. The "hearts" remind me of a soft bird seed. They smell very similar to sunflower seeds. They are high in fiber but a low carbo. Avail. at Costco, WF and health food stores.

                                                On the bag, the owner of this particular brand details how they went on a health quest as a 300 lb person to regain weight control and attributes all hemp products to their finding renewed vitality and energy.

                                                I add hemp hearts to everything. Yogurt, salad, as a breading for fish, on fruit, in baked goods. I really enjoy the flavor and the seeds don't get caught in between my teeth.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  Thanks! We might have to get some...

                                        3. I'm definitely seeing runny fried eggs on everything now, especially pasta dishes and even pizza. I was over it after the first one.

                                          I think upscale comfort food and soul food continues to be popular, especially macaroni and cheese and fried chicken. Chicken and waffles are catching on in a big way, even though I had to leave the South and travel to Seattle to have the best chicken and waffles ever.

                                          The frozen yogurt and food truck fads seem to be withering, at least where I live. Unfortunately Orlando's City Council really cracked down on food trucks with new regulations, so a lot of them have gone out of business or left the area, and we had some great ones.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                            Ugh, frozen "yogurt" has enjoyed a resurgence around here. Hope it doesn't last long. More artificial crap in it than yogurt.

                                            1. re: sandylc

                                              Froyo places expanded like crazy here from about 2009 to 2012 (replacing the overpriced Cold Stones and Marble Slabs), but a lot of them are already going out of business. Even the first Pinkberry in Orlando closed.

                                              I would tolerate going when they had sorbet, which I'd load with fruit, but the actual yogurts always tasted fake and chemically to me, and never like the flavors they were supposed to taste like. (See also: Cold Stone and Marble Slab.)

                                            2. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                              where in seattle has the best chicken and waffles ever?
                                              jules maes?

                                            3. Ramen. Ramen shops popping up all over the place and ramen noodles as burger bun and taco shell...

                                              1. Pork belly. Braised, stewed, roasted, deep-fried, what-have-you.

                                                Fried egg, runny yolk, on top of [blank]

                                                Cauliflower (new kale)

                                                Carrot (new cauliflower)

                                                Collard greens (new kale)







                                                5 Replies
                                                      1. re: LotusRapper

                                                        Here's a YouTube video of a chef in Chicago working with them. Seems like a pretty nice intro to the ingredient.


                                                  1. Fermented foods are the next big thing.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                      I hope so, it is not easy to find real pickles or kraut and I am not wanting to do this at home - I took a class and tried - disaster.

                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                        Agreed. Especially in places that don't have constantly amazing access to local produce (e.g. Chicago).

                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                          I hope that doesn't mean kimchi on everything!

                                                        2. First, I say to those who seek it's demise, "Viva the runny fried egg!" I'll take mine on just about anything you can contemplate. Add some sliced truffle on top of the runny egg, on top of the melted artisan Swiss cheese, on top of my rare wagyu burger, sitting upon a pile of gently, softened, browned in butter, in-season Vidalias - leave the homemade ketchup in a ramekin on the side, "Oh, and, can I have an extra order of those french fries and another IPA? Thanks, Melody."

                                                          Second, I'd be willing to pay whatever the cost necessary to remove "comfort food" from menus. That's a trend that has outlived it's days. Let the Towers falling and Lehman's f*cking us be chapters in a history book and stop being an excuse for lousy plates at ungodly markups. I mean, "Freedom Fries" are no longer de rigueur why is mac-n-cheese still offered at places that charge for the second cup of coffee? Even when made with love in Granny's kitchen and straight from the oven it's not very good.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                            "Even when made with love in Granny's kitchen and straight from the oven it's not very good."

                                                            Naaailed it.

                                                          2. I really want Gluten to come out of the dog house - I LOVE bread and Pasta I am so tired of it being Enemy #1

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: JTPhilly

                                                              Don't hold your breath on that happening any time soon......

                                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                The Sourdough/heirloom grain thing may save the life staff.

                                                                1. re: shezmu

                                                                  I really hope so - fermented foods are all trendy these days so that could help. - ties in well with the beer fetishizing too

                                                            2. Swiss Chard - that is one green veggie I for sure like - bright lights (the name on the seed pkg we plant in our garden up here in the PacNW ---- you may sometimes see the label on the product in the supermarket - meaning multi-colored stems like Aurora Borealis ) - we are in the Pac NW so it does well here almost (not quite) yr round

                                                              the lobby group in WA DC likes Swiss Chard at the top of their go-to list of vegetables - see Nutrition Action website - https://www.cspinet.org/

                                                              *(i don't work for them or have any interest other than sometimes reading their website / magazine etc


                                                              regardless - it is easy to grow, is decorative in pots on your small patio, and easy to harvest (carefully use scissors and it grows back)

                                                              not sure about kale - I don't understand the trend - it does not agree with our household. - dry or fresh or steamed. we'd rather have swiss chard

                                                              ps - here is an "over-rated foods" link for you - take it as you wish- interesting to read as a cultural piece http://www.cspinet.org/nah/articles/o...

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Georgia Strait

                                                                Thanks, I enjoyed that article.

                                                                Purchased smoothies, I agree, give smoothies a bad name. We make ours with whole fruit, greens, chia, and water. They're healthy and refreshing.

                                                              2. Slow food movement...

                                                                I think its also going to be a meat year. It started two three years ago with all the tail to snout..charcuterie...

                                                                Lots of raw beef,raw fish,raw veggies dishes

                                                                Of course still farm to table. 'Orangic'

                                                                I hate to use the word 'sustainable' because I think its usually b.s. I think people pretend they are being environmentally/earth/humanely conscious When looked at closely these products aren't.

                                                                I agree fermentation (in food) started last summer still gaining popularity. Of course that great book out http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Ferment...
                                                                Kombucha of course 3 yrs in, now widely available. Yes I know hippes have been drinking it for years.

                                                                Chia seed cost had double in last year prices going the way of quinoa.

                                                                1. It's time for sushi to fade. Gas stations have it, for goodness' sake!

                                                                  It's rice. WHITE RICE. Very expensive rice with garnishes. It doesn't make anyone look cool. It's just food, and not that great at that. Overpriced, as well...

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                    You're right, sushi is "just" white rice. Of course, when done well, it can be absolutely fantastic. If by "garnishes" you mean great quality fish, I'm all for it.

                                                                    The fact that gas stations now offer it will have little to no impact to the decline of a huge part of Japanese cuisine. Just a hunch.

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      We're talking about food trends here. I'm not saying sushi should go away, I'm saying that it's become way overblown - this means a lot of inferior versions out there, with people buying it so they can feel trendy.

                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                        Good Sushi is one of life's great pleasures, great Sushi is almost religious, but meh? Sushi just makes me sad sushi+gas stations=NO

                                                                  2. Around here, side-of-the-road mobile barbecue joints have suddenly taken over. I saw the first one maybe 6-9 months ago, and now I pass three of their spots just on my way to work.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                        I keep meaning to stop and see if they're any good, but I've just kind of assumed they're cash only and I never carry cash....

                                                                        1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                          Don't assume! so many "vendors" have POS systems that can hook into a Smartphone for just this type of business.

                                                                          1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                            It would be enough reason for me to carry cash :-)

                                                                      2. Toast.
                                                                        Lynn Rosetto Caspar said so on "The Splendid Table"

                                                                        24 Replies
                                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                                          Shoot. That was my idea several months ago. A Toast bar in a really great bakery would be so cool.

                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                            With a variety of butters, nut butters, jams? Sign me up!

                                                                            1. re: gaffk

                                                                              Yeah! Not to mention eggs, chopped liver, chocolate, cheeses, meats, caramel, cinnamon sugar, and countless other things that a great imagination could come up with!

                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                Pestos, bruschettas, tapenades . . .

                                                                                OK laliz and sandylc, let's quit our boring jobs and open this shop.

                                                                                  1. re: gaffk

                                                                                    But I have to comment that bruschetta IS toast....

                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                      . . . .with tomatoes and cheese and olive oil.

                                                                                      1. re: gaffk

                                                                                        Not tomatoes and cheese. Olive oil, yes.

                                                                                        EDIT: While it IS often topped with tomatoes and herbs, bruschetta itself is toasted bread, rubbed with garlic, drizzed with olive oil, and salted and peppered.

                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                          You mean I can't make a meatlover's version ?!? ;-)

                                                                              2. re: laliz

                                                                                A couple of years ago a trend wend around Barcelona restaurants - toast with dark chocolate gelato, olive oil and sea salt. It's a pretty good foil to sweet, soft things like gelato. I could see that becoming a trend

                                                                                1. re: caganer

                                                                                  I could see endless possibilities for toast - sweet, savory, and combined....different styles of breads, too...

                                                                                    1. re: helmut fig newton

                                                                                      " patient fermentation and fearless browning"

                                                                                      Wow, what a great way to describe great bread-making!

                                                                                      1. re: helmut fig newton

                                                                                        Toast. Really. I'm getting back under the covers until raw meat becomes trendy.

                                                                                        1. re: emglow101

                                                                                          Too late, sorry. Tartar was all over menus in Asheville, and with good reason. It's delicious.

                                                                                        2. re: helmut fig newton

                                                                                          Nope. With the gelato i'd say $6, easy.....
                                                                                          (Yesterday my friend paid $12 for two pcs of not so fabulous toast schmeared with thick avocado. On principal i refused to order it.)

                                                                                      2. re: laliz

                                                                                        Actually, avocado toast is a very popular menu item in nyc for breakfast/brunches lately. Thick toast with very thick smear of avocado, some lime juice, often chili flakes or spices

                                                                                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                          Ooh, I LOVE avocado toast. I usually just put coarse salt on top, but I bet some powdered chipotles might really hit the spot, too.

                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                            Good stuff! But as my new above comment it can be stupid expensive to order out....

                                                                                        2. re: laliz

                                                                                          OMG toast is happening in Vancouver now:


                                                                                          Quote: "They’re also upping their food game with – get this – a toast bar. They’ll be using their in-house, naturally leavened organic bread and spreading slices with plain butter, walnut butter, seasonal preserves, tapenades, and chutney. Oh, and cinnamon toast, because when you have a toast bar, there has to be cinnamon toast (it’s in the rules)."

                                                                                          1. re: flowbee

                                                                                            Ugh, why didn't I do that way back when I first had the idea.....the world is full of wannabes and woulda shouldas, isn't it?

                                                                                            1. re: flowbee


                                                                                              Oh and for those toasts, we only want artisanal butters, made from pampered, free-ranging cows that grazed naturally and talked to with love and compassion. And that milk had better be squeezed by warm, silken farmer hands that have been treated with Dove moisturizer creams every day.

                                                                                              Whatever happened to that breakfast cereal bar that was in The Waldorf Hotel ?

                                                                                          2. There's a supermarket chain in NYC called Fairway, and late last year I noticed - unfortunately for two days only - ready-made Ethiopian. I'd like to see that become more ubiquitous.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                              I tried one of those!! They still have them, i tried one with several bean based dishes and collards- couldn't tell you the proper names- and i was pleasantly surprised. Good stuff!

                                                                                            2. Barrel Aging almost everything: sriracha, hot sauce, beer, kraut, chocolate.

                                                                                              Open flame/wood fire cooking in restaurants.

                                                                                              Bone marrow.

                                                                                              American made Belgian style beer (saison and sours). -and weird fruit beer.

                                                                                              Artisan beef jerky.

                                                                                              Experimental bar snacks (bartenders with makeshift kitchens)

                                                                                              1. Yes, eggs on stuff may be the new bacon...as evidenced by this "Breakfast Poutine" at Portland Craft (which is in Vancouver BC, not Portland).

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: flowbee

                                                                                                  I didn't know Portland Craft did breakfast !

                                                                                                  1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                    Technically brunch...only on weekends. But it's my kind of breakfast!

                                                                                                    1. re: flowbee

                                                                                                      yes. fried eggs on 'stuff'.


                                                                                                      anything goes.

                                                                                                      just add fried egg on top.

                                                                                                      this is something that I have noticed recently.

                                                                                                      leftovers? that was hash. now it's the new "in" thing.

                                                                                                      dinner? make anything and call it "breakfast for dinner" cause it gots a fried egg on it.

                                                                                                      as a teen back in the '80's I had a favorite diner meal, cheeseburger with over easy / over light egg.

                                                                                                      the only issue for me is that this trend has become an excuse to fry an egg "sunny side up".
                                                                                                      crunchy crispy and tough. not tender and delicious like an egg. but a bitter smelly off tasting egg that's fried crunchy crispy browned and gross.

                                                                                                      but I do like that "Breakfast Poutine". poached egg.
                                                                                                      any excuse to eat poutine anytime of day...

                                                                                                      1. re: flowbee

                                                                                                        If I didn't notice the curds, I would've guessed that it was ful.

                                                                                                        Ful as the next food trend. If only...

                                                                                                      2. Charcuterie is becoming more popular,though it's been happening for years. There is a shop where I live that is putting out some great salumis,pates,sausages,etc....

                                                                                                        1. I predict turnips, especially the small ones with their greens will start to appear a lot more on menus --perhaps replacing brussel sprouts and maybe even beets or kale.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: MagicMarkR

                                                                                                            From your lips to God's ear! TYVM!

                                                                                                          2. I am going to add to this thread that I am over bacon. Bacon is a nice addition to many things, but now Jack in the Box is advertising bacon in the burger, on the burger and in the spread they use on the burger. Really, enough is enough.

                                                                                                            Really good bacon is really good. Ordinary bacon is just ordinary. (We found some good bacon at Costco recently.)

                                                                                                            1. I am listening to Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Splendid Table and apparently buckwheat is on it's way up.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. Whatever happened to the gochujang trend (that was supposed to replace sriracha) ?