The New Year is a time for reflection, resolution, and endless lists of the best or worst whatevers of the past year. Best Special Meal Requests by Vegan Customers, Worst Italian-American-Jewish Restaurants Ever, Most Underrated Vegetables You’ll Never Find at Whole Foods, and of course, Most Popular Food Allergy. (Gluten free still tops the list 5 years running, while peanut allergies have mysteriously plummeted to 8th place, once again allowing airlines to toss us bags containing 5 peanuts or less.)
Here are our Aroma Cucina “2014 Trends & Predictions”.
Chef Tattoos: In a timesaving move, many restaurants will have on-sight tattooing stations for line cooks.
Sustainability becomes a hot button topic as two chef contenders in the reality show “Last One Standing” shoot each other over the final remaining morel in the state of Oregon.
Food Mashups will continue to evolve. After the doughnut married the croissant to begat the cronut, what's next?
- Dogburger: Ground hot dogs shaped into round hamburger patties and deep-fried.
- Pizzacorn: Cryogenically frozen nuggets of Sicilian style pizza are blasted to look like popcorn.
- Meatghetti: Using special meat glue, pork is force fed through a pasta machine creating nearly-almost 100% meat noodles. The Gluten Frees are thrilled with this non-wheat noodle until they find out the technical name for meat glue is transglutaminase and that must be a problem, really, for some reason….
Inner Lives of Carrots Revealed. Vegetables have feelings too. Exhaustive research that began with understanding how chickens count more accurately than toddlers has lead to even more tiring research about the inner emotions of vegetables.
The Farm to Table movement is alive and well. New legislature requires the name and history of each person who helped raise the vegetable be printed on a sticker that must firmly adhere to the vegetable. This gives rise to the “Sticker Shock” mini-cottage industry of greenmarket workers who will remove the stickers without damaging the fruit.
Kiwi Free & Proud. Intra-state shipping of produce is banned in the U.S. This leads to widespread rioting in New York when residents learn that tomatoes cannot grow in the snow. “Who knew?”, asks Shirleene Madison, sandwich shop employee at the popular Organic Brooklyn Eatery.
Status Symbols of the Foodistas:
Frack-Free Water Bottles: These water bottles are made from 100% pure Himalayan stone and do not contain any petroleum products. The stone is hand-harvested by children attending the free Frack-Free Day Care Facility in Nepal. Although the bottles are quite heavy, they can also be purchased with an optional Sherpa who will schlep and refill the bottles as needed. (See craft water below for further info.)
Virtual Kitchens: An expanding trend originating with the skinny hipster crowd who don’t eat anyway. These virtual kitchens utilize the latest 3-D projection technology so it actually looks like you have a kitchen instead of a bulletin board crammed with take-out menus.
Extreme Ethnic Foods: Remote island destinations are seeing a surge in chef tourism as chefs are forced to find rare and unusual plants, animals and protein-rich insects. We are all still in shock over the untimely death of Chef Rad Forager who did not know that raw water hemlock has some nasty side effects.
Craft beer and distilleries have led to the craft water movement. Hand-held sparking tools are used to smash home grown hydrogen with filtered high altitude oxygen to create custom craft waters. Roaring Bull Energy Drink has been banned in most EU countries, but their marketing campaign for “Hindenburg Death Rain” Craft Water has been highly effective as it features the extreme danger of sparking hydrogen to create water.
The Anti-Foodista movement has had resurgence in street cred as they embrace the previously derogatory label of “Foodie”. Foodies remain the number one readers of food-centric blogs and purchase more VitaMix blenders than any other demographic.
And that, Dear Readers, is our year-opening roundup of what we have to look forward to in 2014!
Happy New Year from our crazy family of cooks to yours!