Which 2016 Food Trends Will Become Classics?
Whoa, 2016 was a blockbuster year for interesting, ultra-delicious, and over-the-top/wacky food trends. We look back on some of the biggest hits and predict whether they have enough staying power to become classics or if the flash of sudden heat means they're sure to flame out.
1) Bone Broth
Beloved for its healthy healing powers, this beefed-up, slow-simmered, artfully finished stock first made a big splash in New York City a few years ago. It's since been embraced by home cooks and soup companies looking to expand their reach, but we're still not seeing a bone broth shop on every corner.
Verdict: This trend is going to cool off unless or until it evolves to be more of a full meal deal.
This raw seafood salad with roots in Hawaii is a smash hit for eaters looking for lean protein that's got a super fresh flavor. Simple, yet spectacular, chopped ahi is tossed with seaweed and sesame oil, and often served on top of rice. BTW, it's pronounced PO-kay, as in that's some awesome Poke-mon!
Verdict: This one's got long legs, or should we say fins and tails? When you see a poke bar showing up at supermarkets, you know it's ready to make the leap to mainstream mainstay.
3) Coconut oil
Hello, Paleo! For the cave-dwelling cooks searching for an alternative oil, this rich substance is heaven sent. It's high in the kind of saturated fats that are believed to raise your good cholesterol numbers. Vegans love its ability to turn pastries flaky without the assistance of lard or tallow.
Verdict: It's a keeper, especially as it continues to make inroads onto supermarket shelves across the country. And, not that we're bragging, but we called the Good Fats trend back in 2015.
Another so-called superfood with off-the-chart nutrients, the fresh version of the root has gained fans, who appreciate its ability to turn milk golden and season hundreds of Middle Eastern and East Indian dishes, adding a distinctive color and fragrance.
Verdict: Don't count on this becoming the next Pumpkin Spice blend, it's likely to remain in a niche category, even though enthusiasts could tip it into the kind of ingredient that inspires FOMO.
5) Rainbow Sprinkles
Well, who doesn't LOVE sprinkles? They just make you smile when you see them on top of sweet treats, right? Take this trend a step further, and you've got a bunch of
just primed for their big food porn moment in the sparkly sunshine.
Verdict: Classic status is a lock and we're just hoping someone will figure out how to bring this happy sprinkle into a savory preparation. Like a baked potato topped with bacon-flavored rainbow sprinkles, maybe? We would so be all over that!
6) Sushi Burritos
These supersize versions of a California roll are the latest culinary mashup that might leave you wondering: Why didn't I think of that? Or, quite possibly: Why would anybody want to eat that? Well, because they're deeeeeelish. If way messy.
Verdict: Because they're so new and novel, sushi burritos will stick around through 2017, but their popularity will likely fade when sashimi enchiladas or teriyaki nachos take over.
7) Grain Bowls
A brilliant excuse to experiment with all sorts of alternatives to rice, these endlessly imaginative combinations are BIG on flavor in such a small space. We're wild for bowls built on quinoa, sorghum, and savory treatments of oatmeal. Think of those typical breakfast grains being prepared like a risotto. Yum!
Verdict: WINNER!! There's no way to get bored with this concept because there's no limit to the tasty ways to spin your grains. Be on the even more exotic grains like freekah and farro to provide intriguing foundations for your fave toppings.
8) Korean Food
How fortunate are we to live in an era where bibimbap, kalbi, Korean Fried Chicken and all sorts of kimchi is no longer impossible to find. Like other Asian cuisines, this sometimes-fiery, always-interesting cooking style is rooted in ancient traditions, but is easily adapted to the busy, modern world.
Verdict: We're calling this one a dead heat. While its wonderful and complex lineup of dishes appeal to adventurous eaters, this still might be too much of a stretch for some. We'll be happy to eat those words when a major fast food chain adapts some element of Korean food and makes it even more accessible.
9) Hasselback Everything
First, potatoes, now there's nothing that doesn't seem ripe to be hasselback'd. That Scandinavian technique exposing more surface area to open up the ingredient to even more toasty caramelization might seem daunting to those who've never tried it, practice makes it so worth the extra effort. Look for more hasselback'n treatment of previously ho-hum veggies like squash.
Verdict: Yes, yes and heck, yes, the Hasselback is destined to be your new BFF when it comes to turning humble ingredients into something that looks like it's going to go viral on social media.
10) Alternatives to Carbs
Zoodles were only the beginning. Now, we're obsessed with cauliflower rice, pizza crusts made with cauliflower and golden roasted cauliflower steaks. Come to think of it, cauliflower deserves its own trend designation.
Verdict: This clever way of getting more veggies into your life is going to go on and on and on. Heads up for the next cool veg to be magically transformed: Jackfruit has a meaty quality that makes vegans as thrilled as a zucchini farmer who's just been gifted a spiralizer.
Agree or disagree? Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish the most outrageously fun predictions for trends that should definitely become classics.