With each passing year, there are new products in the grocery store, new dishes on the menu, new food trends on the block. As a nation, we’re constantly exploring options to eat and drink. While health is on the mind, good flavor is becoming increasingly important. Restless palate syndrome—an endless pursuit of new dishes and radical combinations—is a very real affliction. So we’re not only fishing for healthy, but also more adventurous food. Let’s find out what 2015 has in store for the discerning gastronome.
1. Fat Fights Back
Whether it’s with full-fat yogurt, real butter, sizzling steaks, creamy cheeses or whole milk, Americans are likely to get over their fat phobia this year. Author of The Big Fat Surprise, Nina Teicholz explains that our conventional ideas about fat are actually wrong. When eaten in moderation, fat is actually good for you. We’re not talking about the trans-fats in processed food, but natural, animal-derived fat. Frank Lipman, founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center also predicts that the whole egg is poised to make a comeback (unlike the egg-white trend that’s been prevalent for a while). Egg yolks are not fattening. They contain anti-oxidants, proteins and essential B vitamins.
2. Veg Shifts Shape
Last year, cauliflower overtook kale and was pureed, grated and stir-fried to become part of many of our meals. Drawing inspiration from the humble veggie, several others will become shape-shifters this year. Spiralizers, tools which cut vegetables into curly strings, will pick up as a kitchen trend to shape veggies into healthy meals (think zucchini pasta or cucumber noodles).
3. Bugs Become Big
What started out as a novelty item on fancy restaurant menus is soon going to become a full blown movement. Prepare to see more insects in foods like energy bars and cereal products. Creepy crawlies will gain popularity by piggybacking on three major trends that already made their presence felt in 2014: foraging (searching for wild produce), invasivore (eat them instead of killing them) and the continuing craze for more protein.
4. Familiar Becomes Fancy
It’s reaching sky high proportions now but the latest trend on the rise is to take something comforting and familiar and give it a twist, ostensibly to increase its taste or health factor. So coconut water and cucumber water will get flavored with mango and coffee. Hummus will be served with beef cheeks and chicken liver, while plain old toast will go artisanal with a variety of toppings that could cost up to $8 a slice. Smoking will lend its beautiful, rustic flavor not only to cheese and meat, but also to butters, veggies and cocktails.
It is heartening to note that we’re still going strong on eating local and sustainable. Here’s hoping for a healthier, tastier year ahead.