The Top 10 Recent Culinary Trends
The culinary tastes of the nation are continually changing and evolving as new chefs push the art form in new directions. With each new season comes surprising new techniques and applications, some of which don’t take long to sweep through restaurants across the nation. Here is a breakdown of some of the hottest recent trends to hit diners’ plates.
Locally raised: The push for locally raised meats is being aided by the changing food preferences of millennials. The new generation of foodies cares about where their meat comes from, and is willing to pay a little more to know that it was raised humanely and locally. Chefs are embracing this nationwide shift in food tastes by partnering with local farms to procure their meat.
Rethinking fruit: Fruits are being embraced in savory dishes more and more as chefs experiment with new applications for the sweet produce. Fruit’s high water content can add a crispness and refreshing nature to dishes without over sweetening.
Dessert veggies: Vegetables are swooping in to replace fruits in the dessert course. As diners become more and more health-centric, chefs have responded by creating desserts that are not too heavy on the fats and sugar.
Nose-to-tail: Sustainability efforts have led to chefs embracing all parts of the animal in their preparations. The reduced waste appeals to environmentally-conscious diners.
Asian influence: The spices and flavors of traditional Asian dishes are showing up more and more in different settings like fried chicken and condiments.
No sharing: The prix fixe chef’s tasting menu of about seven small plates each designed to be enjoyed by one diner has eclipsed the trend of tapas-style sharing.
Pucker up: More and more sour flavors are showing up in dishes through the inclusion of pickled ingredients. While the American culinary scene has traditionally been dominated by sweet, salty and fatty flavors, new products like sour beer are working toward adding a whole new flavor dimension to American food.
American artisans: While European methods of beer, cheese, and oil production have centuries of history behind them, American producers are beginning to borrow those techniques to produce craft food products of their own.
International brunch: More and more people are dining out for a brunch meal at least once a week. As a result, the hybrid meal has seen an influx in modern interpretations of classic international dishes such as chilaquiles and dim sum.
Cocktail as course: Alcohol pairing is getting a big bump with the addition of cocktails. Pairing food with cocktails offers up an exponential increase in possible food/beverage flavor pairings.