My 10 Food-Trend Predictions for 2012

You may have read my 2011 food trend ideas, but now I want to share with you some of my food predictions for the new year. As a registered dietitian, I love food. I love to cook it, eat it, try new things and experiment. Yes, dietitians do eat. Trust me.

Here are my top 10 predictions for what 2012 may have in store for us foodies.

  1. Foods from around the world — We all enjoy the usual Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, French or Japanese restaurants. We are even seeing more Thai and Indian foods too. I think 2012 will bring us all around the globe, dabbling into Korean, Morroccan, Peruvian and even Jewish food staples. I hope Filipino cuisine sneaks in there too. I am excited to try it all.
  2. Mixing world cuisines — With that being said, I think this will also take us down the road of mixing different global cuisines. I consider P.F. Chang’s a Euro-Asian fusion type of restaurant, so we do have them already. Another example I have seen was a spicy zucchini pizza that had a dab of hummus and spicy wasabi peas on it. This sounds delicious to me. I have also seen a ceviche taco with feta cheese. The possibilities are endless and personally, I can’t wait to see how creative people will get with this idea.
  3. Unique animal parts — Again to piggyback (pun intended) on No. 1, I believe we will also be trying different parts of the animal. You see this in many other countries, but not typically in the United States. For example, tongue, tripe, gizzards, sweetbreads and even bone marrow. Michael Symon’s Roast in Detroit serves bone marrow and sweetbreads and they are delicious. Being Filipino, I grew up trying some of these foods, so it is not that foreign to me. I say be adventurous and try them. You never know, you might like it.
  4. Mini desserts — I know you all saw the little mini dessert machines over the holiday season when you were shopping. There are mini brownies, pies, cupcakes, cake pops, donuts, you name it. I think this will lead people to make more desserts at home and they may try new things, maybe even healthier versions of desserts. There are also whoopie pies and macaroons that are becoming more popular too.
  5. Savory desserts — Speaking of desserts, I think there may be an emergence of more savory foods in dessert form, like savory donuts. I have heard about them and can’t wait to try them. I personally love savory foods over sweet foods, so this sounds like the best of both worlds to me.
  6. Buying local — I believe we will see more of this from restaurants and households alike. I know we try to buy locally and support farmers and businesses in our community. In hard economic times, it makes sense to do this. There are also a variety of restaurants in Michigan that do this too. Bagger Dave’s is my favorite burger place. It is owned and operated in Michigan and they support local Michigan products and companies. For more local restaurants that support Michigan, check out the Buy Michigan Now website.
  7. Natural plating — I also believe we will start seeing more food that is less manipulated, overcooked or overspiced. It will be an opportunity to actually taste the true essence of the food. This is somewhat contradictory to the foods-around-the-world prediction, but I am covering all my bases. I actually made a sweet potato and carrot mash the other day and I did not season it at all. It was terrific. I really enjoyed it with no salt, no pepper, no sugar, no butter, no sugar substitutes, nothing and it was yummy.
  8. Gourmet-ish comfort foods — We have seen some of this already with macaroni and cheese, where they have added lobster or other seafood. I have even had a fun Buffalo chicken mac and cheese that was spicy and had some blue cheese and celery in it. I think this will expand into an assortment of grilled cheeses, soups and even meatloafs that get fancier. What do you think?
  9. Food trucks — I love food trucks. They are very popular in larger cities already, but I think the trend will continue to grow here in Michigan. One of my faves is Jacques’ Tacos, which is in a different area of Detroit each day. I recommend following him on Twitter or Facebook so you don’t miss him.
  10. More Brinner — For those of you who don’t know, brinner is my made-up word to define breakfast foods for dinner. I think we will see more of this, because who doesn’t love pancakes? We will also see fun, savory concoctions of your favorites, like chicken and waffles or steak and eggs. I am even seeing sandwiches made with waffles or pancakes more and more, too.

From around the world to locally grown, savory desserts to breakfast for dinner, are these things you think you will see in 2012? Are you seeing them already? Do you want to see them or are you scared to taste food in its natural state or to try tongue or tripe? What did I miss?

The world is your oyster with food in 2012. Enjoy! Happy New Year!

Photo Credit: baratunde

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