As the year 2012 closed and 2013 rolled in, we’ve seen a number of food, cooking, and restaurant trends come and go. Some of these trends have been exciting and made us want for more, while some of it couldn’t wait to see out the door. Now that the first quarter of the year is drawing to a close, what cooking fads in 2013 have we seen emerge? Here are our observations gathered from various authority sites.
Restaurant Trends of 2013
A Forbes.com article gave some interesting insights on what a few top chefs believe will be the top trends in food and fine dining in 2013. Most of the chefs interviewed have mentioned exploring cultural diversity and using ethnic ingredients in restaurant dishes. This is largely thanks to the expanding minds of today’s diners who are becoming more and more educated on the kitchen of other cultures through the Internet. So if you have never had kimchi or escargot before, it won’t be difficult for you to find a restaurant that serves them in the most unexpected yet pleasing ways.
It was also mentioned that the restaurants industry is looking into using veggies as the centerpiece of their dishes rather than meat. If meat and fish are to be used, diners can expect the less common and more unusual parts on their plates. There is also a growing interest in restaurants growing their own vegetables or partnering with local farmers to ensure the freshness of the vegetables chefs are using in their kitchens. Culinary experts are also becoming interested in utilizing using heirloom vegetables as well as the original strains of vegetables in their food. Ancient culinary items like chia and quinoa are no longer vegetarian staples these days. They are also finding their way in fine-dining kitchens, too.
Flavor Trends of 2013
Modern and often overly complicated cooking techniques such as avant-guard cooking and molecular gastronomy type of cooking seem to be on the way out in 2013 as more and more chefs are going back to basics and are presenting their plates in the simplest yet most flavorful way possible. Food is king, as these chefs are won’t to say.
Incorporating smoke into dishes is another flavor trend to watch out for, according to Huffington Post. A carryover from 2012, smoke flavoring is still finding favor in restaurants. It can be a tricky process, however, because few kitchens are capable of handling the kind of mess smoking food can make. Moreover, using artificially crafted smoke to flavor dishes can result in an acrid taste.
Dessert Trends of 2013
Desserts are taking on an interesting turn this 2013. Let’s take popcorn, for instance. This staple snack for watching movies is now turning up in a fine dining restaurant. Sometimes they come in different flavors, while sometimes they are presented as garnishing in other desserts such as ice creams and chocolates.
Cookies are becoming popular desserts, too. But don’t expect your homey chocolate chip cookie to show up as its prosaic self on a fine dining menu. Instead, look out for more exotic-sounding varieties such as fig cookies or cookies topped with mascarpone.
Bakery Trends of 2013
More and more restaurants are now paying attention to the contents of their bread basket. So this 2013, you can look forward to seeing not just regular buns or rolls on your table. Many restaurants now have their own bakeries where they produce artisan bread so good they can stand for the main course. There are also so many choices when it comes to bread these days, including gluten-free bread.
Cupcakes, the darling of bakeries these days, have yet to reach the peak of their popularity. Bakers are becoming more daring at their cupcake creations, experimenting with different flavors, frostings and fillings. You can look forward to seeing more unusual cupcakes in your local bakery. But you don’t have to bust your daily calorie count on a cupcake – many cupcake masters are now coming up with flavorful but low-cal mini-cupcakes that you can savor in two bites.
General Food Trends of 2013
The concept of healthy eating has been around for years. But thanks to various campaigns promoting healthy living, diabetes awareness, the fight against obesity and other such movements, the healthy cooking and eating trend is growing more strongly than ever. It is not just in a restaurant that you’ll find healthy menus; more and more home cooks are embracing healthy eating as well.
According to a report by Allrecipes, there are three emerging fads worth noting from the results of their survey of home cooks in the US. A good third of cooks at home are getting into the probiotic movement, which is all about incorporating good bacteria into your diet to aid digestion. This involves using more yoghurt and pickled dishes in their cooking.
The second trend noted by Allrecipes is the rise of clean eating. Around 44% of the surveyed home chefs indicated their preference for using whole foods and fresh vegetables as opposed to processed products as well as for trying out organic ingredients. They are also adding more veggies in their cooking and cutting back on the meat in their meals.
Creating drinks and smoothies from vegetables and fruits is the third trend home cooks are catching up on. This is often referred to as green juicing, and more and more cooks at home are trying out flavor combinations they can make out of juicing their fruits and veggies.
These are the cooking trends in 2013 that you should watch out for. Happy restaurant hunting and bon appétit!