Did you know you could drink 80-proof vodka made from seawater and organic sugar cane?
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Want to have your cake and wear it, too? You can do that with this sweet confetti-cake bag by Dutch fashion designer and blogger Rommy Kuperus, who sells her droolworthy, handmade, food-inspired foam accessories on Etsy under the handle rommydebommy.
“My designs are full of energy, a complete color explosion with a sense of humor,” the designer, who is based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, boasts on her Etsy page.
Burnt meals used to be the mark of a distracted cook or an unfortunate mistake. Nowadays, though, the blackened and blistered, the smoky and singed, is not only acceptable, but, the Wall Street Journal reports, increasingly desirable and totally on trend.
“Restaurant menus are rife with charred, browned, crisped and blistered dishes, and the trend is catching on with home cooks as well,” Cecilie Rohwedder recently observed in the Journal. “Cooking shows, blogs and magazines are propagating ways to burn food artfully. Kitchenware companies are rolling out products ranging from grill tools and cast iron griddles to small blowtorches.”
Is “Experiment with new things in the kitchen” on your list of resolutions for 2016? If so, you may want to try cooking your food sous vide — enclosing it in a vacuum-sealed bag and heating it in a water bath at a low, constant, precisely controlled temperature to achieve more consistent, flavorful results — and then (carefully) finishing it off with a blowtorch.
Sansaire has now released a companion to its sous vide machine: a searing kit, which, the company says, will add “the finishing touch” to those steaks, roasts, racks of lamb, salmon fillets, chicken or turkey breasts, veggies and other foods cooked sous vide. It’s basically a big task-specific blowtorch.
Looking for a totally rad party-theme idea? One word: Stonehenge!
About 4,500 years back, the celebrations enjoyed by visitors to the upright prehistoric-stone monument in Wiltshire, England, were “epic barbecues,” according to NPR’s The Salt blog.
New details about the revelry and feasts enjoyed by travelers to Stonehenge around the winter solstice, many of whom stayed at Durrington Walls, a village nearby, are starting to emerge, NPR reports, citing recent research published in the journal Antiquity.
It has been a few months since we passed along the news that savory yogurts were set to be the next big thing. Now it looks as if they’re hitting the mainstream and mixing things up in the grocery store dairy aisles.
U.S. Greek yogurt giant Chobani has just announced that, in January, it will release new flavors for its Flip line of yogurts — individual yogurt portions with separate ingredients you flip in to use as a topping or a mix-in — that are sweet and spicy, in hopes that American yogurt eaters will flip for savory flavors.
Here’s one to file under “people will pay for anything.” A Dublin, Ireland, coffee shop is now offering its patrons a “water tasting menu.” For only 3.50 euros ($3.84 U.S.), customers at java hot spot 3fe can sample three “shots” of H2O.
“It’s four glasses of water, and 90 percent of people will see that the four glasses actually taste completely different,” the cafe’s proprietor, Colin Harmon, told the Irish Independent.
There are restaurants you matter-of-factly grab a meal or a quick bite at — and then there are dining destinations where you make a point of snapping a photo of the sumptuous foods you are about to dig into to share with everyone you know on social media. Instagram knows the difference.
The social media photo-sharing service has just unveiled a list of the 10 most-geo-tagged restaurants of 2015. You got your decadent doughnut shops, you got your fancy bakeries, you got your seafood shacks and your meat-sandwich emporiums — spanning from coast to coast. So much eye candy to savor.
Here’s the list:
Stunt snacks that aim to shock consumers with their strange mash-ups of flavors and products are so 2015. The coming year, 2016 — can you believe it’s almost here? — is all about foods that fit our schedules and lifestyles.
And the new year will usher in a new emphasis on authenticity.
“The American food landscape is more diverse, global and fluid than it’s ever been before. The new authenticity isn’t about ‘exotic’ anymore; instead, it’s about getting something honest, passionate, original and unmediated — something
real,” the Food Network Kitchen team suggests in its food-trend forecast for 2016. “This means a lot of things, but the ones we’re most excited about: high-end street food and low-end fine dining, elevated-grandma food, food-nerd-chic, adventure cuisine, chefs of color making whatever food they’re passionate about, and travel apps that let you eat like a local anywhere in the world.”
That means eaters can look for border-crossing, boundary-pushing, authority-challenging personal cuisines; humble eats (like tacos) to be elevated and high-end foods (like French fare) to be brought down to earth; a new wave of culinary innovators and influencers who thumb their noses at preconceived notions and conventions; and the continued rise of local-food apps.
Here are a few other trends the team’s prognosticators predict we can all look forward to in 2016.
Fast and Fancy: In a trend driven in part by millennials, who are apt to blur the lines between high- and low-end cuisine in pursuit of a tasty, affordable, conscientiously created meal they can feel good about, formerly lowly foods — like burgers and burritos, falafel and tacos, and sandwiches boasting barbecued meats or chicken fresh from the fryolator — are being reinvented and raised up in an “explosion of chef-driven fast casual” dining. (Think “better sandwich.”) Established restaurant chains will up their games, too, with higher-caliber ingredients and more opportunities to customize.
Deliciousness Your Doorstep: Ding-dong — your food has arrived! In 2016, consumers can expect to see a greater level of convenience. With the delivery of everything from your groceries and meal prep options (meals, ingredients, kits) to takeout of every stripe. Do you follow a paleo or vegan diet? There are app-based delivery options for that, too. So easy. Read more
To find out what restaurant food trends to expect in the coming year, you could do worse than to ask the people who will be preparing those foods and setting those trends.
For its annual “What’s Hot” culinary forecast for 2016, the National Restaurant Association surveyed 1,600 professional chefs who are members of the American Culinary Federation about the “food, cuisines, beverages and culinary themes” they predict we’ll be seeing a lot of next year.