All Posts In News

“Water Tasting Menu” at Dublin Coffee Shop Aims to Educate

by in News, Restaurants, December 19th, 2015

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.

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And the Most-Instagrammed Restaurants of 2015 Are …

by in News, Restaurants, December 15th, 2015

And the Most Instagrammed Restaurants of 2105 Are ...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:

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The Food Trends to Look for in 2016, According to Food Network Kitchen

by in News, December 10th, 2015

The Food Trends to Look for in 2016, According to Food Network KitchenStunt 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

Chefs Tip You Off to the Top Trends of 2016

by in News, December 5th, 2015

Chefs Tip You Off to the Top Trends of 2016To 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.

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The Hottest Thing in Cocktails? Room-Temperature Drinks

by in Drinks, News, December 3rd, 2015

The Hottest Thing in Cocktails? Room-Temperature DrinksThe trend pendulum swings — first toward one extreme, and then toward the other. At least that’s true when it comes to what’s cool in cocktails.

One minute bar culture is all about fancy ice cubes — “premium ice,” they call it. “As with diamonds, cocktail ice is judged by its clarity, density, size and cut, all of which add to the quality and aesthetics of the experience,” Christopher Jones wrote a few months ago in a Wired.com piece looking at the “obsessive world of artisanal cocktail ice.”

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Big Beer Merger Will Create One Giant Megabrewer

by in Drinks, News, November 27th, 2015

Big Beer Merger Will Create One Giant Mega-BrewerSoon, when you grab a beer with friends, even if each of you orders a different brand, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll all be made by the same brewer.

The recently announced $106 billion acquisition of SABMiller (which currently makes Coors, Miller, Blue Moon, Hamm’s, Leinenkugel, Grolsch, Peroni and many others) by Anheuser-Busch InBev (Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Beck’s, Leffe, Hoegaarden and many others) means that almost one-third — roughly 30 percent — of all beer sold across the globe will be made by a single massive company.

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This Is How Much American Dinners Have Changed in 100 Years

by in News, November 18th, 2015

This Is How Much American Dinners Have Changed in 100 YearsWe know we’re slaves to fashion when it comes to the clothes we wear, but sometimes we forget just how of-the-moment the foods we eat are.

We Americans weren’t always dining on grilled salmon, quinoa and kale salad for our evening meal (so 2015) — something the video makers at Mode.com make super-clear in this video surveying 100 years of dinner trends in less than three minutes.

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Colorful Packaged Foods Are Taking a Natural Turn

by in News, November 15th, 2015

Colorful Packaged Foods Are Taking a Natural TurnMany otherwise vigilant parents at least occasionally look the other way as their children eagerly scarf down candies, snacks and drinks dyed vivid, frankly unnatural, shades of pink, purple, orange, red, yellow, green and blue. But as we Americans become more deliberate about the foods we eat, we’re growing increasingly uneasy about the potential effects of all those artificial colors — Blues 1 and 2, Red 40, Yellows 5 and 6 — and their lurid, unimaginatively named ilk.

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Is Cafe Mocha to Winter As Pumpkin Spice Is to Autumn?

by in News, November 13th, 2015

Is Cafe Mocha to Winter As Pumpkin Spice Is to Autumn?Are you feeling unapologetically pumpkin spiced out as autumn begins to give way to winter? Wondering what seasonal stunt flavor comes next? Wonder no longer: It’s cafe mocha.

Sure, sure, winter has often been considered the season of peppermint — what with candy canes and all. But this year Mars is apparently augmenting its minty winter holiday candy offerings with Christmassy bags of cafe mocha-flavored M&M’s.

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Guinness Is Going Vegan

by in Drinks, News, November 12th, 2015

Guinness Beer Is Going VeganSoon even vegetarians and vegans will be able enjoy a nice pint of Guinness. That’s because the stout will no longer include traces of dried fish bladder.

Perhaps you didn’t know Ireland’s favorite beer featured fish bladder in the first place. Indeed, for 256 years, the stout has been filtered using isinglass, a fish byproduct used by some brewers to accelerate the settling of yeast in beer. Most of the bladder is filtered out in the process, but some residue — “minute quantities,” as Guinness put it — may remain.

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