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2014 Food Trends: 10 Delicious Predictions for the Year Ahead

As 2014 gets underway, our national obsession with novel foods, whether on the plate at the hot new restaurant or in the aisle of our local grocery, shows no sign of abating. With so many creative chefs, grocers, and producers working to feed our food-focused culture, the year ahead is sure to bring lots of culinary surprises — foreign dishes new to American palates, the reinvention of old ingredients, and radical takes on historic favorites. What will the top food trends be? Head below for our 10 predictions of the top 2014 food trends.

  • The Top Food Trends for 2014 1 of 11
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    What will we be eating in 2014? Click through to find out!

  • Cauliflower Everything 2 of 11
    roasted-cauliflower-salad

    Cauliflower is poised to be the new kale, but what really sets the vegetable apart is its possibility as a grain substitute, gaining popularity with those who are gluten-free or paleo. Cauliflower can stand in for flour in a pizza crust, for couscous, and for rice, among plenty of other tasty uses.
    Make lemony cauliflower salad
    Image: Brooklyn Supper 

  • Food Mashups (Cronuts and Beyond) 3 of 11
    Salted-Caramel-Crescent-Doughnuts-624x416

    If there's one thing that births trends, it's other trends. The cronut, a cross between a doughnut and a croissant, quickly became a mega-trend in 2013, with people willing to wait in line for hours and cronut copycats popping up everywhere. This year, look for even more unlikely mashups, from ramen burgers to the croger (a cheeseburger served on a croissant) to Oreos baked inside of everything.
    Make a cronut at home
    Image: Courtesy of Pillsbury 

  • Smoke as a Flavor 4 of 11
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    As evidenced by our national obsession with grilling and barbecue, smoked meats and fish are longstanding favorites here in the states. But in 2014, look for smoke to make the jump from a popular cooking technique to a flavor. Smoked paprika has been trending for a while, and now we can add smoked beer, chocolate, and even fruit to the list.
    Make roasted sweet potatoes with smoked paprika
    Image: Brooklyn Supper 

  • Rise of the Root Vegetables 5 of 11
    rutabagas

    What saturated fat was to the '90s, gluten is to the present day. Ingredients like soy flour and almond flour have picked up some of the slack, but we expect to see old time-y, intensely humble root vegetables like parsnips, rutabagas, and turnips making a comeback in 2014 as featured ingredients in all kinds of entrees. 
    Make roasted rutabagas with pomegranate
    Image: Brooklyn Supper 

  • Spicy Foods 6 of 11
    Sriracha

    Sriracha quickly went from being a fun food trend in 2012 to the ingredient you were sick of hearing about in 2013. At this point, a menu that makes a point of using it is akin to a menu that boasts of ketchup. But it's undeniable that Americans have a newfound appetite for spicy food. So expect to see more in 2014, whether it's house-made hot sauces or the fermented Korean hot sauce gochujang, which has been appearing in food trend pieces in recent years and looks ready to hit the mainstream soon. 
    Make your own sriracha
    Image: Kelsey Banfield 

  • Turmeric 7 of 11
    10 Food Trends for 2014The Year Ahead: 10 Food Trends for 2014

    Once an ingredient gets the "superfood" label, it's only a matter of time before it becomes a trend. Turmeric, a mainstay of Indian cooking, got the nod from Dr. Oz in 2013, so 2014 could be its year. Proponents claim the antioxidants in turmeric have powerful anti-inflammation properties that may battle the effects of aging, relieve stress, and stabilize blood sugar. Happily for all of us, turmeric makes for a tasty addition to curries, meats, and stir fries. 
    Try turmeric in a meatball kofta curry
    Image: Brooklyn Supper 

  • Micro Distilleries 8 of 11
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    The soused relative of the microbrewery and the locavore restaurant, micro distilleries have been popping up around the country for the past few years. In Chicago alone, six have opened at the end of 2013 or are slated to open in 2014. The long lead time in making many liquors means, happily, that this trend will be hard for producers to abandon once it's started.
    Make a classic gin martini
    Image: Alison Needham 

  • Small Fish, Bycatch, and Invasive Species 9 of 11
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    With so many of the world's fisheries in danger of being over-fished, which seafood we should eat has been an environmentally fraught decision for years. But while that bluefin tuna may be increasingly rare, there are still plenty of less prized, smaller, and even despised fish that can you can feel good about eating. That's why outlets like the Houston Press are predicting you'll see more bycatch (the fish that fisherman unintentionally catch while fishing for other species) on menus. Similarly, the Daily Meal expects that more chefs will cook invasive species like the snakehead. This sort of culinary attack on an invasive species has a precedent in the UK, where patriots eat invasive gray squirrels to keep them from out-competing native red ones. Just think, when you eat that Asian carp, you'll be doing your patriotic duty.
    Image: Angie McGowan 

  • Glass-Bottled Milk 10 of 11
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    Once standard, milk in glass bottles faded into obscurity along with the milkmen who delivered them. But as farmers markets experienced a resurgence, so did reusable glass bottles, which cut down waste and allow dairies to cut out bottling middlemen. One glass bottle manufacturer has seen sales double in the last ten years and expects even more growth in coming years. We're considering it a 2014 food trend because we've started seeing glass bottled milk in local groceries and expect it will hit even more as the year goes on.
    Image: Shaina Olmanson 

  • Beer Cocktails 11 of 11
    beer-cocktail

    Beer cocktails were a trend that actually made a lot of 2013 trend prediction pieces (see here and here). But since we have yet to see them at any of our local watering holes, we think that 2014 will be the year this trend will take off. With even large chains like Red Robin embracing the beer cocktail, this trend is sure to hit the mainstream in a big way.
    Make a Campari and IPA spritzer
    Image: Brooklyn Supper 

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