Food and dining make up the majority of human social bonding activities. Think about it; dates involve food, and going out with friends often involves food too. Business luncheons are all about food with a side of business. There is almost no social connection that people make that doesn’t eventually involve food. That said, since food is a major part of our social lives, here are the food and dining trends we are likely to experience in 2017.
Top 6 Food Trends Of The Year
Toute Les Choses Francais! (Everything French!)
French restaurants make the most elegant, rich and delicious foods, using none of those “diet” ingredients popular the world over. As such, French cuisine and French-inspired foods are invading fine dining menus with a vengeance. You will find that some of these foods are taken directly from classic French cuisine, while others offer a modern or American take on the old French favorites.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Confit de Canard is succulent young duck, fried in its own fat.
- Croissants (pronounced KWAH-sahn, if you want to impress your date) are made from pounds of butter. The modernized versions include both sweet and savory ingredients baked into the middle of the popular French breakfast staple.
You can loosen your belt if you want to, but the French know that moderation is key, which means that portions are controlled, while flavor is not.
If any two nationalities can come together and create dishes to delight, it becomes fusion cooking at its best.
Other types of fusion cooking and foods you may find and want to try include:
- Thai and Polynesian
- Middle Eastern and Greek
- Italian and Mexican (Spicy Sicilian and Mexican fuse well together)
- German and Russian
- Welsh and Irish
The key to really good fusion cooking and fusion foods is to find foods, spices, and recipes that are somewhat similar or come from similar ancestral backgrounds. This encourages the exploration of these foods and spices in new ways while introducing them to the public in a valuable, multi-ethnic way.
Wood-Fired And Grilled Foods
Also, many restaurants opening their doors this year are looking at all grilled foods, including grilled seasonal vegetables and grilled fruit, like pineapple. All-natural mesquite is preferred for a smokier flavor, but charbroiled meats are best over charcoal. Restaurants are investing in safe, indoor grills and fire practices to get these kinds of foods on their menus and avoid the griddle and the fry griddle to encourage more health-conscious consumers to come in their doors.
Regional Hot Meat Sandwiches
The Philly Steak and Cheese sandwich is a staple for most franchises, but nothing beats the real deal while you are in Philly. Regional hot meat sandwiches will be big this year because they are easy to cook, easy to serve and easy for consumers to customize right at the table. If consumers want to take their sandwiches to go, condiments and fresh veggies are served and bagged on the side.
The “Ugly Food” Movement
The “ugly food” movement is another trend that will overtake a lot of the food trends this year. Restaurants are already cropping up around the country to answer this trend. Essentially, any healthy, clean food that is too twisted, knarled or “ugly” to eat or sell in a produce section is bought up by these restaurants. These “ugly foods” are cleaned, trimmed, cooked and served, often at a reduced price so that even the homeless can afford a bowl of fruit or veggies.
The purpose of the movement is to eliminate food waste, which has become a national concern. Far too much food is tossed in the garbage and then trucked to a landfill simply because customers will not buy “ugly food.” Some restaurant owners are hoping to change people’s minds about these foods and encourage others to not be wasteful and eat all food, regardless of what it looks like before it is cooked or prepared.
This trend started just a few short years ago, but now it has really taken off. People who do not want to grocery shop and/or do not know how to cook or may not like cooking can order a complete meal-in-a-box. It can get pretty expensive, but it is convenient and it will provide you with a complete healthy meal. Plan ahead, as most of the participating companies, will take up to 48 hours to ship your chosen meal.