Saturday, February 23, 2008

Happy New Year!

I thought I would give an update. I had my baby! He was born on December 22, 2007 at 1:30 pm. Hence-why there has not been a regular post for so long! He is a beautiful baby boy that we named Evan.

Food for 2008? Each new year I love to research what is being marketed as the food trends for the upcoming year. Here are some of my findings:

Local, fresh, natural, organic. All I can say is THANK GOD would we want it any other way? This has been an ongoing trend for the last few years. But now it is affecting every level and aspect of food, from farmers markets to convenience stores, even fast-food chains.

Probiotics. Have you seen those yogurt commercials about digestion? Geez. This friendly bacteria keeps us healthy is now moving beyond yogurt to a wider range of foods, even chocolate bars. While most aid digestion, one strain targets cold and flu symptoms.

Natural no-cal sweeteners. The introduction of erythritol (zero-calorie natural sugar) sweeteners and Coca-Cola's move toward gaining patents and FDA approval for the food use of stevia (up to 300 times sweeter than sugar) put that longtime industry goal within reach. And artificial sweeteners on the "out" list.

Umami. The satisfying but hard-to-describe taste sensation is linked to high levels of glutamate in foods like Parmesan cheese and mushrooms. As more foods are stripped of fat, sodium, sugar, calories - and with that, flavor - chefs are starting to use umami (oo-MA-mee)-rich ingredients to compensate and heighten remaining flavors naturally.

Eco-friendly. From individual foods and packaging to sustainable agriculture, wind- and solar-powered farming, fair-trade foods, it's the wave of the future. And to reinforce that. . . .

Farmers. These new food stars are moving into the high-profile territory ruled by celebrity chefs. Locally, that puts the spotlight on our own Farmer Glenn - Glenn Brendle, owner of Green Meadow Farm in Gap, which supplies produce to area restaurants, including the sweet berries used by chocolatiers John and Kira.

Food on speed dial. Quick cook, quick serve, it's all about convenience and saving time. Placing orders (and paying) by cell phone while en route to pick up food from a take-out, a supermarket or a neighborhood restaurant is about as quick as you can get.

Online groceries. A slow starter, but catching on as delivery service improves. I did this recently. I wasn't that all impressed. They brought to my door 20 boxes of Cheez-Its. Now I didn't order one box let alone 20! I looked at the delivery guy and said, "Are you serious?"

Niche restaurants. Coffee bars spawned chocolaterias. Sushi bars led to seviche bars. There are "restaurants" focused on mac-'n'-cheese, others dedicated to desserts. Restaurant consultants Joseph Baum and Michael Whiteman call then "slivers" in the market. Among the latest entries: shops for Korean frozen yogurt, the tart stuff, not imitation ice cream.

Gastro-pups. Coined by Rozanne Gold, author of Kids Cook 1-2-3, the term refers to the revival of serious kids' cooking. Kids' cooking classes are cropping up across the country, and we're seeing more prepacked kids' foods in stores. On the downside, that includes more beverages like Crayola-colored vitamin waters and bottles reusable as toys.

Bottled-water backlash. Still a huge chunk of the beverage market, bottled water is seen by activists as a major source of environmental overload, however recyclable. Why spend billions bottling and shipping water around the world when it comes free from a tap? It is all about the tap this year. Forget all of the water taste tests!

Yumberries. This subtropical fruit from China, with its cranberry-like taste, is the next hot "superfruit." It's already being teamed with familiar flavors in blended juice drinks.

Caffeine. Eggs are back in the good graces of the food police, and even some fats have their blessing. Now caffeine is being not deleted but added to foods from oatmeal to mints to potato chips.

Gastro-thrills. Talk of pork bellies these days is less about investments and more about menu additions, as less familiar cuts and animal parts, nose to tail, turn up on menus - making it all the more important to know and trust the chef.

Clean labels. Ingredient lists are getting easier to read, more consumer and eco-friendly, less like a chemistry experiment. About a quarter of new food products last year made claims of being additive- and preservative-free.

The bar chef. Gastro-bartenders are making creative, constructed cocktails, using more fresh and health-oriented (including organic) ingredients, from fresh herbs to superfruits, along with combination dessert-cocktails.

Food travel. Tours and trips planned around food experiences, a country's cuisine or cooking lessons - once just for dedicated foodies - are attracting ordinary vacationers.

Quoted Trend source


Anonymous Erika Haub said...

Yea!!! Fer is back! You have been missed, but your beautiful baby is a testimony that you have been busy :)

Can't wait to see how motherhood informs what you do here at Ferfood!

11:30 AM  
Blogger Tamelasr said...

I second that Yeah! Congratulations, well done and how did you get him to smile so cute like that?

5:33 PM  
Blogger Susan from Food Blogga said...

He is simply precious. May motherhood bring you much joy and happiness.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous naomi said...

...glad to see you are keeping up on your lovely blog, and inspiring others to do the same with theirs!:)
hope all is well....


9:38 PM  

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