The culinary taste trends and the gladiator pizza
Edible trends tend to have a short life span in the modern, tech-driven world. With a large focus on finding the next “new” food, chefs may feel as if their restaurants are being thrown for many culinary loops. Chefs, and many online culinary students, scan the Web for hints of the next food trend so they can incorporate it into their cooking repertoire or a menu. The New York Times attempted to simplify this process for chefs by analyzing their article database in order to decipher what trends are on their way out and what will be the food staple of tomorrow.
Food trends are only considered vogue when they are sparked in the think tank kitchens of new and innovative restaurants in central hubs of culinary arts like New York City. After the public has had the opportunity to approve of a trend, it begins to make its way into more accessible food establishments until it takes a slot in a chain restaurant menu.
The data compiled by The New York Times quantified the total times a food trend was mentioned in the paper during the past three decades. After logging the numbers, it was revealed that the hottest trends of the 1990s and early 2000s included fried calamari, sun dried tomatoes, radicchio, quiche and goat cheese. Discovering that these trends are on their way out should not encourage chefs to avoid including them on their menus, but they should consider toying with the food trends that The New York Times discovered are on the rise.
These newly famous foods include quinoa, short ribs, ramen, kale (yes, it is still on the hot list) and Brussels sprouts. However, after the article listing the new food trends was published, writer for the Times Neil Irwin felt there was a clear omission: pizza.
Pizza has such a strong connection with American youth and culture that it has been on a culinary rise since the mid 1950s and only recently peaked. In 2011, pizza had a record number of mentions in Times articles, making it the top dog of food trends. If food trends are to be measured as the Times has suggested, by number of paper mentions, pizza is still the No. 1 food trend. What makes it such a popular choice is that it is not a stand-alone product. It can be made with kale, Brussels sprouts or goat cheese toppings. Pizza can also be baked with a quinoa crust. Pizza may be a comfort food staple, but it is a trendy one.