Predictions for the upcoming year in food are always a mixed bag. Some are aversions to this year’s trends (pie to cupcakes, lamb belly to pork belly) while others are just random (sweet potatoes as trendy? Um, OK. And every vegetable then, too). Some are just continuations of this year’s movements (Local! Sustainable! Artisanal!). But it’s hard to come up with a list of predictions that span the country because the whole country eats differently. So here’s a list of five potential New York City-centric trends for 2011. Or at least it’s a list of cool things that are worthy of becoming trends in 2011.
Microdistilleries: Thanks to recent changes in distillery laws, it’s become a lot easier for small-batch distillers to open shop in New York State, and we’re already beginning to see a bunch in the city. Kings County Distillery opened up shop this year and is selling bourbon and moonshine, while Breuckelen Distilling Company and Brooklyn Gin are battling it out for the BK’s gin rights. Many more will surely follow.
Exotic meat: First there was hunting and foraging for your food, but that became too popular. So to up your culinary cool, start digging into exotic meats like lion, bear, and raccoon. Get started by ordering your prey at Exotic Meats USA and check out Dave Arnold of the blog Cooking Issues, who has written about the best ways to cook these unusual delicacies.
Candy bars: Candy is dandy, but often filled with high-fructose corn syrup and the like. Since you can’t be trendy without being artisanal these days, the next wave is likely to be found in candy bars. Liddabit Sweets has an amazing selection, including homemade versions of Snickers (the Snacker) and Mounds (the Lime-in-the-Coconut). BonBonBar and Zzang Candy Bars are doing the same thing outside of New York.
Brunch backlash: (Hopefully) in 2011, people will finally realize that waiting on line for an hour to eat poached eggs isn’t worth it. Because eggs are never, ever, worth an hour’s wait. Unless if Jean-Georges Vongerichten is personally making you his oeufs au caviar. And that’s only a maybe.
Nordic cuisine: Duh, Noma is über-popular, so other people will re-create that type of cuisine soon. New York is notoriously short on Nordic restaurants, save for Aquavit, Smorgas Chef, and White Slab Palace. Bring out the umlauts; get the herring curing and the smørrebrød buttered. It’s time to get Scandinavian!