Full disclosure: I can’t see into the future. If I could, I certainly wouldn’t have drained my 401k for all that MoviePass stock. But I do have a feeling in my gut (which–full disclosure–is ample) regarding what we can look forward to in the year to come, at least when it comes to food. Read on as I channel Nate Silver, and predict who will be the Democratic nominee in 2020–wait, sorry, I channeled too hard–what will be the biggest food trends in 2019.
Sustainability will remain a significant issue in the culinary world, especially when it comes to aquatic eats. One of the keys to dealing with the systemic problem of overfishing is shifting to plentiful under-the-radar underwater alternatives. Expect items like blowfish tails, which made a huge splash this year at New York sensation Frenchette, and the invasive lionfish to rise in the seafood hierarchy. If you’re hesitant to try these unfamiliar species, just remember lobster was once a prison food staple, considered to be “the cockroach of the sea.”
This pick stems from the upcoming Mercado Little Spain, which is slated to open in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards next spring. Yes, it’s a food hall (which is a couple of years removed from being trendy), BUT it’s a food hall backed by José Andrés (famed chef and Noble Peace Prize nominee), Ferran Adrià (the mastermind behind El Bulli), and his brother Albert (also of El Bulli and head of Barcelona’s most celebrated restaurant empire). If anyone can generate enthusiasm for tapas, conservas, and jamón, it’s those guys.
David Chang helped elevate ramen and pork buns to superstar status in the U.S., but can he do the same with the fruit plate? Yep, the fruit plate–a plate…with fruit on it. Right now, at the buzzy Majordōmo in Los Angeles, Chang is serving up assorted platters of choice apples, pears, grapes, persimmons, basically whatever’s in season. It’s simple, no-frills (well, the grapes are frozen), and quite frankly, a pleasant capper to a meal. Besides, if store-bought cheese can become a fancy restaurant staple, then high-quality fruit should have an easy path to success.
If you love dining out but hate human interaction, then you have plenty to look forward to as restaurants begin to shift towards the employee-less Amazon brick-and-mortar model. Are we headed towards a future of maximum convenience or a post-apocalyptic robot war as foretold by James Cameron? Guess we’ll have to wait and see (personally, I’m hoping for the former).
Dan Dan Noodles
Sichuan cuisine has been heating up the last few years, but the region’s beloved dan dan noodles are finally ready for the solo spotlight. Fiery, porky, and peanut buttery, this Chinese treat is super tasty and equally messy. The milk and napkin industries shall benefit greatly.
Here’s the problem with gin: when it’s bad, it’s really bad. And tragically, most people’s first experience with the stuff involves the nasty bottom-shelf swill that can scar you for life. But there’s plenty of fantastic options out there just begging to be stirred (not shaken–apologies to Mr. Bond) in a martini or mixed with tonic. Over the past decade, a new wave of English distilleries such as London’s Martin Miller’s and Sipsmith have being leading the charge, achieving the ideal balance of juniper and botanicals. Last year saw the debut of the bright, citrusy Future Gin, which is produced in Los Angeles by an all-female team. Perhaps most exciting of all is the recent Japanese gin movement, which is already living up to the standard set by the country’s stellar whiskey offerings.
Goodbye lox and cream cheese, hello tomato sauce and mozzarella. That’s right-the pizza bagel is about to make a comeback, delivering a taste of carbtastic nostalgia we desperately need right now. Best of all, you can eat them in the morning, the evening, even during supper. Literally anytime.
Crafting shakes and smoothies can often be a frustrating chore, but thankfully, portable blenders have arrived to make the process a little easier. Gadgets such as Oster’s sleek and simple MyBlend model allow you to whip up a single-serving beverage in a sports bottle that you can take on the go. This is destined to be a hot ticket item for the next holiday season.
Oster My Blend Blender, $19.99 on Amazon
Stay on trend with this single serving blender for smoothies and more!
Wildly-priced sushi omakases are giving way to wildly-priced kaiseki meals, which predominantly feature cooked Japanese items. One such dish is chawanmushi, a delicate egg custard laced with vegetables, meat, and seafood. A dash of dashi broth provides the finishing touch. When prepared correctly, this silky, creamy delight is pure umami bliss.
The wellness community is big on innovation, but it’s also not resistant to going old school. While adaptogens may be new to many in the western food world, they have been utilized by numerous cultures around the globe for centuries. These non-toxic herbs, roots, and fungi are renowned for their ability to help with stress and other maladies. If you’re not familiar with maca, ashwagandha, or eleuthero, you soon will be.
Related Video: The 40 Biggest Food Trends of the Past 40 YEars
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Header image courtesy of Creator San Francisco.