Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Food and Dining Trends for 2012

A new year brings new food and dining trends.  The forecasts for 2012, compiled from lists by Allrecipes.com the National Restaurant Association, and the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association predicts the following trends:

Sandwiches are on tap to become one of the top comfort foods of the year grilled cheese sandwiches in particular, look for restaurants to develope signature combinations.
Crazy cocktails in which liquor is infused with flavors of food.

Mini-desserts will move out of the bakery case as home bakers discover the lure of little bites.
Potatoes are hot, with French fry menus that let guests choose the cut and crispness, and make-your-own mashed potato mix-ins.

Look for more vegetables used in desserts, far beyond the humble carrot cake.
Indian street foods will gain popularity through food trucks, pop-ups and quick-service restaurants.

Some Chefs will experiment with the flavors of the forests, using subtle infusions of pine needles, Douglas fir and eucalyptus to flavor sauces, rubs, meats, jus and broths.
Meatballs and more meatballs will appear with different ethnic interpretations on menus.

Appetizers will have more adventurous flavors, on the theory that consumers consider them less of a commitment or risk than ordering something unfamiliar for their entrée.
Desserts will find reposition from being an after-dinner option to a way for customers to treat themselves any time of day.

Long await more Nutritious kids' menus.
The grocery store shelves will be over flowing with gluten-free and food allergy-conscious items.

 Artisan ice cream
"Heirloom" will replace "artisanal" as the most overused food term.

Discover more foods to clean out arteries, or more technically, reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol.
Try the new fruit in town: Pluerry, a hybrid fruit combination of a plum and cherry

Coming to America soon, Fat taxes. Taxes that are a growing trend in Europe, where governments seek to push consumers away from unhealthy foods high in fat, sugar and salt content.
Hydration stations will respond to the movement to cut the use of plastic and ban the sale of bottled water. Look for them first on college campuses, where people can fill reusable bottles.

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