Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Trendy: Stuff I Might Actually Do

Food trend list season brings out my food snobbiness.

It didn't used to. For several years, I wrote at least one food trends post a week. I was full of fresh enthusiasm. I loved trend lists.

But then something changed. The lists all seemed stale. It was harder for me to spot trends early because nothing really seemed new anymore. I'd read too much about food. When you're deeply entrenched, it becomes impossible to figure out what's trending, even if it's just hype.

And the fact is that even though I stopped writing those "trendy" posts (mostly) a few years ago, stuff I spotted back then is still popping up on lists this January, like it's brand new.

That said, I appreciated this HuffPo compilation. The busy beavers at HuffPo food compared a bunch of other lists, culling the items that landed on more than one and putting them together in a nice neat little slideshow.

While most of what they include feels familiar to me - chicken, you say? - it seems that this year's lists have turned up a couple of trends that I'll probably try out myself here at home.

The three big ones:
  • Winter veg, served raw. OK, I probably won't really make shaved turnip salads at home. But I'm sure I'll see this stuff in a restaurant or two - and it feels legitimately fresh. Not so fresh? The trend involving vegetables in the center of the plate. I'm pretty sure Alain Ducasse has been doing that for a few years.
  • Gochujang, the Korean hot sauce that's poised to be the next Sriracha. Do we need a new ethnic hot sauce every year? Doubtful. But can I resist ethnic hot sauces? Nope.
  • Barrel-aged hot sauce. I have a barrel. I have made my own hot sauce (and we have a seemingly endless supply of cayennes in our garden - it's January and they are still growing!). Barrel aging the hot sauce is such a logical next step, I can't even stand it.
So it looks like around here, at least, 2013 is going to be one spicy year.

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