Instead of looking back, I prefer to peer into the food future, or, at least, look at what others are forecasting for the upcoming year. These lists are fun whether they pan out or not. Here are some of the predictions.
—No surprise: Organic and local foods will be in the forefront again. But they’ll get even more attention because "green can mean efficiency and cost savings," according to foodchannel.com. And who doesn’t want that in this economy?
—A return to home cooking—again a cost-saving measure, says foodchannel.com. It’s time to dust off the slow cooker, it says.
—When you do go out to eat, it will be for breakfast, says Bon Appetit magazine. Look for affordable seasonal menus with dressed-up pancakes, waffles, and eggs.
—The National Restaurant Association is all over the brunch trend, too. It predicts a leaning toward ethnic-inspired breakfast items like chorizo scrambled eggs, Asian-flavored syrups, and coconut-milk pancakes. It also mentions an increased interest in seafood breakfast items, specifically mentioning crab cakes!
—Desserts focus on the pantry-staple peanut butter, says Bon Appetit. Think peanut-butter and chocolate cheesecake swirl brownies and peanut-butter and jelly shortbread wedges, it says.
—Bite-size, mini desserts will be popular, too, the restaurant association says. Other trends: dessert flights, gelato/sorbet, drinkable desserts, and savory desserts.
—New Southern cuisine will shine. Classic country cooking gets gussied up with such ingredients as cornbread croutons and crispy country ham in beet salad and brioche-breaded fish, says Bon Appetit.
—New cuts of meat will land on our tables, like Denver steak and pork flat iron, says the restaurant association. (I found some great suggestions for one new darling, pork petite tender.)
So we’re in for some great eating in the year to come. I’ll share more trends soon like one for nutrient-rich superfruits. Goji berries, anyone? How about mangosteens?