In the culinary world there are no big surprises to predict for 2015. So I decided to make my own. Artisan toast will be big, chocolate covered bacon is out. Lake fish is in, sweet potato fries are out.
Unfortunately hybrid desserts (or Frankenpastries as I call them) haven’t offended our sweet sensibilities enough so they’re staying but you’ll probably see the simpler pie cakes replace the three-tiered cake of pies. Pancakes will be made with cinnamon roll dough, Oreo cookie will morph into macaroons and croissant will now be crossed with pretzels.
My two favourite categories will lead the culinary trend this year; artisan and local, albeit with a few interesting twists. Locally grown produce and hyper-local sourcing grow equally. Hyper-local sourcing include chefs who grow their own food, entrepreneurs who access every available foot of neighbourhood land to grow vegetables and just about every other hippy who give it all up to take up farming.
The heirloom attention given so generously to tomatoes turns to apples and we discover new and unusual herbs but with little information about how to use them.
Meat and fish straddle both local and artisan categories, especially the rediscovery of lake fish as chefs are looking to satisfy consumers palates with something beyond salmon. We’ll buy more jam and pickles from farmers popularizing artisan farm foods yet we’ll demand more from the farm with innovative convenience products like verjus, vegetable chips and dried snack foods.
On the family front, moms will be calling some of the shots this year as they forage around for healthier, already-prepared kids meals, looking for whole grain options, ready-baked items (fried is now evil) and a greater variety of vegetables as side items and salad entrée’s. Essentially forcing the kids brought up on junk food to eat healthy.
We will all start looking for more natural ingredients, minimally processed foods and meatless dishes. That’s not to say we’re giving up on meat, far from it. While locally sourced meat is on the rise, we’re tired of pork belly and pigs tails, consumers are now looking for new cuts of meat (really, is there any part of the animal we haven’t ravaged).
In come beef cheek which is the essential ingredient in any self respecting boeuf Bourgogne and short ribs that add that all-important flavour to a slow simmering tomato sauce. Inexpensive cuts are also in vogue as chefs and home cooks slow braise briskets, shoulders and skirt steaks with the umami richness of artisan whisky and other hearty spirits.
On the sugar front, I predict 2015 will be a year with less sugar. I’m not distinguishing between granulated sugar, fructose or glucose, I just mean a year of less of the addictive sweetness that is so harmful in excess. I may be alone on this change, but I hope as consumers are looking for a healthier 2015, they’ll join me in balancing our diets. Replace as much sugar with vegetables and at the end of the year, we may just have the semblance of a more balanced diet. Either way, 2015 is looking to be a delicious year. Eat well.