The arrival of warm weather and long days are sure signs that the wedding season is upon us. As the season shifts into high gear, we thought we’d check in on what’s hot and happening food-wise in the world of weddings. A whole lot, it turns out. Be assured the old rubber-chicken buffet clichés no longer apply. All the excitement of the contemporary food scene — street foods, far-flung flavors, techno-wizardry, updated retro classics, etc. — is coming to the party. There’s a lot less “continental” stuffiness and, ironically, far more sophistication and worldliness. A new adventurousness and license to have fun is unmistakably in evidence, allowing couples more room to personalize and invent. Wedding food is no longer something to endure; increasingly it is becoming another part of the evening’s entertainment.
Food Network Kitchens has come up with its annual list of the top trends that will define 2012 in food. Check out one of the trends here, then visit Food Network’s Healthy Eats and Cooking Channel’s Devour for the rest of the list.
Mustard in its many forms — from condiment to vegetable, spice to cooking oil — is about to get its moment. Heat is hot, and this multifarious member of the cabbage family represents a vast, underexplored source of culinary heat. Look for sharp, peppery Indian mustard oil, spicy-salty Sichuanese pickled mustard greens and pungent-sweet Italian fruit mustards. We’re all about to learn that this genuinely global ingredient is much more than a hot dog condiment.
In 2012, condiment mustard will be made from scratch (it’s so easy) by more home cooks and chefs, mustard seeds will be pickled and scattered over all things rich and porky; mustard oil will move beyond Indian (and Korean and Chinese) kitchens, becoming a common cooking and seasoning oil (it makes a great salad dressing); and the greens, so healthy and so long neglected, will be next year’s kale.
More Top Food Trends of 2012:
During our time hunkered down in the Food Network Kitchens research labs formulating our 2011 FNK Forecast, we rounded up dozens of previews and predictions from all over the web, ranging from the thoroughly focused grouped and methodologically rigorous to the wildly guessed at and purely intuitive. Food trends, like food itself, are a subject nearly everyone has an opinion about. And round about the New Year, everyone, ourselves included, starts speaking up. Now that the year is beyond its New Year’s hangover, what food trends are popping up in your neck of the woods?
While for our own purposes we wanted to keep our focus national and our trends fairly general, we took a particular interest in those prognosticators who worked a local angle and taught us something about the burgeoning culinary scenes in cities around the country. We enjoyed these so much, we thought we’d share them to give you an idea of what to expect for the rest of 2011.
The Food Network Kitchens compiled a list of trends to look for in the coming year — some flavor-focused (Southeast Asian Black Kale Tacos, anyone? How about an extra helping of comfort, or veggies in a starring role?) — and some a continuation of the food-meets-technology-craze (digital cookbooks and your favorite cooking sites on your mobile device). Devour listed the first five predictions earlier this week, and we gave you more here on The FN Dish here and here. Before you begin your NYE reveling, check out our final two predictions below — eating well and doing good.
Local Sourcing Surges – Time was, if you wanted to eat locally you went to your nearest farmers market and bought directly from the producer. Well, times are changing. Some of the biggest fish in the food industry—Walmart, Bon Appétit Management, and Sysco, among others—are getting into the game. As a result, in 2011 we’ll be seeing local foods cropping up more frequently in supermarkets as well as in some surprising places—schools, hospitals, ballparks, and chain restaurants.
The Food Network Kitchens has compiled their list of delicious predictions, and we’re serving it to you in bite-sized nuggets. Read yesterday’s trend predictions here, and check back tomorrow for the final installment. Then, visit Cooking Channel’s Devour for the even more new-year prophecies. Now, for today’s tech-savvy trends:
Food Goes Mobile
In 2011, smartphone apps will take over the tasks of restaurant search, reservation booking, and on-line food ordering. (Don’t wait till 2011 — check out our Food Network mobile offerings for iPhone, iPad and Android.) Food trucks will proliferate like never before. Pop up eateries will spread, while restaurants become increasingly ephemeral, conceptual, chef-centered less and less defined by brick and mortar spaces. And spaces will, as with the recent wave of food courts/gastro-malls, become more versatile, more multifarious, more designed to be moved through, grazed. The unvarnished good news is that it will never be so possible to eat well on the move.
The Food Network Kitchens offer for your perusal eleven trends that will define the coming year in food. Check back here tomorrow for another installment, and then visit Cooking Channel’s Devour for the rest of the list.
And if reading about these trends makes you hungry, you’re in luck. This year they’ve distilled (or rather mashed up) the predictions into emblematic recipes, thus giving you an opportunity unique among year-end forecasts: The chance to eat the predictions! Up first: Southeast Asian Black Kale Tacos (with a bit of Pork Belly). If these recipes are any indication, the year 2011 is going to be a delicious one. Bon appétit! Now for today’s two trends…
Tacos, Authentic to Eccentric
In 2011 chefs will do for tacos what they’ve spent the last several years doing for burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and sandwiches: that is, raising the quality of ingredients, and lavishing high-end technique and creativity on a popular food. Get ready for celeb-chef taquerias, wild fusion taquerias (look for many more Asian/Mexican mashups), locavore-friendly taquerias, hyper-authentic regional Mexican taquerias and many, many more.