These are Food Trends I’ve noticed happening in the second half of 2022. My observations come from eating out, following Social Media posts and reading food articles and newsletters. In particular, there was an article in the NYT Food section about The Fancy Food Show held in New York recently, which alerts forecasters to upcoming trends.
- Gin. Gin seems to be having a moment, with many different flavors becoming available. When I recently purchased Bombay Sapphire Gin, it came with a small bottle of Bombay Bramble flavored gin. There are also gins flavored with strawberry, cucumber, Rose wine and Earl Grey Tea. Some of these are good for G & T’s, others for martinis. There’s also a Miami gin called Tempt launched by Wayne Eldred, the former owner of Tarpon Bend. It is billed as a Tropical Gin with simple elegance and a citrusy taste, available at select eateries in Miami.
- Lapsong Souchong Tea. This type of tea, a smoked tea of the Camellia sinensis leaf, was mentioned in two NYT Food articles recently, one for a mocktail and one as a flavor popping up in new products, so it must be trending. This tea can be used and infused in cocktails, main dishes and ice cream.
- Wellness Waters. Also known as “functional beverages”, these waters (both sparkling and still) are supplemented with every thing from Magnesium, B-Vitamins and more. They promise everything from anti-inflammatory properties, to stress relief, sharpening focus and beyond. Do they work or is this the new snake-oil of our day? Wellness and stress relief is obviously on the forefront of everyone’s mind with the Pandemic, so it makes sense these products are trending.
- Collagen supplements. This isn’t exactly a food, but I have seen this popping up ALL over Instagram, so it must be trending hard. Celebrities, from Jennifer Aniston, Elle McPherson to Jillian Michaels (of Biggest Loser fame) are hawking these collagen supplements you stir into beverages. Ingesting collagen is supposed to improve your skin, hair and nails. Does it work? I don’t know- ask your dermatologist.
- Korean Food. Ok, so Thai and Vietnamese cuisine have had their day (and I love both so I hope their day never ends), but it’s time to broaden our horizons and try other Asian cuisines. The front page of the NYT featured Korean Essentials, with recommended dishes to try cooking. Korean food uses rice, veggies, seafood and meat, with very little dairy. Bibimbap, a rice dish that’s popular right now is an example of this cuisine. Also seasoned, roasted seaweed called gim and the spicy condiment gochujang, a red chili paste, are also trending. Luckily we have a Korean market in Miami called Kimchi Mart in Palmetto Bay, should you wish to try your hand at Korean cooking. Or just eat out.
- Bourbon flavored… everything. Bourbon, long a favorite in Kentucky, home to the Bourbon Trail, is trending and showing up in products as diverse as coffee, cheeses and candies. Bourbon Ball anyone?
- Plant-based Alternative Proteins. Is a trend that shows no sign of stopping, if anything, it’s getting bigger as the products being developed improve in quality and taste. Health, always important, has become the ultimate luxury pre, post and mid Pandemic. Hungry Girl just put out a newsletter with 16 plant-based Food Finds, so those pesky plants are sneaking into our everyday snacks and treats as well.
- Upscale Steak and Seafood Restaurants. Maybe it was the pent-up desire built from not being able to dine out in the Pandemic, but consumers realize what a luxury it is to eat out and eat well. The restaurant industry has responded in kind with top-of-the-market Meats (think Wagyu and Kobe) and Seafood in new restaurants opening Post-Pandemic.
- Upscale Japanese/Sushi Restaurants. In the same vein, people who love sushi are ready to kick it up a notch with expensive, Omakase meals where the chef decides which dishes to serve diners, based on the freshest ingredients that day. Sushi’s never been cheap, but people are now willing to shell out big bucks to experience premium seafood and sushi dinners. Naoe, on Brickell, is one restaurant that serves the Omakase menu. Your mouth will thank you; your pocketbook will not.
- Tasting Menus & Prix Fixe Menus. This may also be a result of the Pandemic and restaurants wanting to control food costs with selecting exactly what will be served instead of trying to field a huge menu. It also appeals to diners ready to have a special experience at restaurants, instead of same-old, same-old. I’ve seen this trend cropping up in New York and Miami, two good predictors of Dining Trends. Zits Sum, the Asian-inspired restaurant in Coral Gables helmed by chef Pablo Zitsmann, is now doing a six-course tasting menu for $85 per person, with an optional sake/wine pairing for $35 more. Personally, I love tasting menus, as they let you have a little taste of everything. My husband, who can be a cheapo, does not.
- Pizza restaurants. Pizza is perhaps the ultimate comfort food and it’s also affordable, making it a win-win. New pizza restaurants seem to be popping up on a regular basis. Whether it’s a restaurant that serves your basic pies, or a fancy wood-fired pizza with creative ingredients, pizza is a trend that keeps on rolling out. The Miami Herald recently named three Miami spots- O ‘Munaciello, La Leggenda Pizzeria and Stanzione– as finalists in the 50 Top Pizza places, by an Italian pizza guide, so go get yourself a slice!
- Artisinal Ice Cream. First it was Azucar, then Sweet Melody and then Portland original, Salt and Straw. Another comfort food treat that won’t break the bank, ice cream is loved by virtually all. With wild and delicious flavors like Orange Zest with Olive Oil and Dark Chocolate (Azucar) and Goat Cheese Marionberry with Habanero (Salt & Straw), this isn’t your typical Whip and Dip experience. Sweet Melody has a Zodiac flavor that changes with the sun signs. This month’s Gemini features Whipped Coffee Ice Cream with Biscoff Cookie Butter. Sounds delicious! They also give you a free cone on your birthday if you register to get their e-mails.
- Global Condiments. Remember when we only had the basic Heinz Ketchup, Yellow Mustard and Hellmans Mayo on the condiment aisle? Condiments have gone crazy these days and taken their inspo from all over the world! Curry Ketchup, Japanese BBQ Sauce, Kimchi Mayo, Hot Honey Dijon Mustard are just the beginning. Visiting the condiment aisle at Publix is now like taking a trip to different countries, with a dizzying array of choices.
Up Next: Hawaii.