Inevitably, the first food articles of any new year will be about the new trends that “experts” believe will come to the fore over the following 12 months.
Journalists, not being fortunetellers, tend to take stabs in the dark rather than base their predictions on any scientific research. That being said, it is always fun to look ahead and try to predict which often-unrecognized cuisines will bubble to the surface of public consciousness and which food items will go from one chef’s bright idea to becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
Rather than give you a whole list of things that probably won’t actually happen, here are two types of foods that I genuinely believe will become prominent over the next year.
I should fully disclose that I am already a massive fan of Filipino cooking, based on numerous visits to the Philippines and the gaining of an endlessly food-obsessed gaggle of Filipino in-laws since I married a Pinay in 2010. With that being said, I still truly believe that Filipino cuisine is one of the most underrated in the world and certainly the most underrated from Southeast Asia. Now, with a host of young Filipino chefs coming out of their shell in the United States from restaurants like The Park’s Finest in Los Angeles and Pig and Khao and Jeepney in New York, it is finally going to get praise from the wider audience it so richly deserves.
As a man of half-Indian heritage, I have always been rather fond of cauliflower, particularly when cooked with potatoes and spices to make the classic dish “Aloo Gobi.” This year, however, will be the year of cauliflower “rice,” a healthy foods dish that was created by those enthralled to the Paleo diet to provide a light carb alternative to traditional rice, which has become a thing in its own right with recipes appearing all over the internet. So look for it to become a regular side dish on more than one of the hippest menus over the next 12 months.
Is it curtains for bananas?
It’s hard to think of a world without the humble banana, an ingredient in so many party food ideas, but according to some recent research that is exactly what might be about to happen. The variety of banana that our grandparents enjoyed, the Gros Michel, has already succumbed to a virus called Panama disease, and now it looks like the variety that now graces our fruit bowls, the Cavendish, is likely to suffer a similar fate. So, be sure to enjoy that smoothie while you still can.
No More Beefing Up The Beef
With a U.S. population that has been brought up to believe that proteins should be cheap and readily available and a farming industry that is geared up to supply that demand, there are always going to be casualties.
In this case, those casualties are the steers themselves, which are often given large supplies of antibiotics as much as is needed to promote the rapid growth of the animals as to safeguard their wellness.
This has always been a very contentious issue, particularly in Europe, where any beef imported from the U.S. needs to prove that it has never been “treated”. Now, pressure on suppliers in the home market has resulted in the first moves to lessen the amount of antibiotics used in the production of beef meant for the American public.
The FDA has asked farmers to stop using the drug treatments solely for the purpose of increasing growth and, while it is only voluntary at this stage and may only be the initial baby steps, it is a major move towards improving both the quality of the beef that reaches the American dining table and the image of its producers.