Pick A Pie, Any Pie
First there was the fro-yo. Then there were the cupcakes. Then came the macaroons. But in 2011, those desserts will be as played out as the Cake Boss's bad jokes. In fact, it's time to put away your frosting tips and send your fancy french cookies back where they came from. Because 2011 is going to be the year of the pie.
Yup, good ol' American pie. Of course, 2011's pies aren't quite the simple crust-and-fruit concoctions of yesteryear. Nope, in 2011, the pie (like most things that make an appearance in pop culture these days) is getting a makeover. From sweet to savory, supersized to pocket-sized, pie is the new cupcake. And, it's going to start showing up in just as many varieties. Not the least of which is this monstrosity -- yes, that is the turducken of pies. And yes, it was made right here in the good ol' US of A. Gives new meaning to the term 'as American as apple pie', don't it?
It's A Miracle!
Few things have food geeks more excited than synsepalum dulcificum, otherwise known as miracle fruit. When the fruit is consumed before eating, it causes sour things to taste sweet, thereby opening up a whole realm of newly-edible possibilities in a world that's rapidly becoming more and more concerned about the overconsumption of its food sources. Not to mention getting geeky foodies more excited than Paula Deen in a bathtub full of butter.
Look for miracle fruit to start popping up all over the molecular gastronomy map in 2011, and maybe even on the menus of some more mainstream restaurants too. Because once Wylie Dusfrene is talking about it, you know it's only a matter of time before everyone else is jumping on the same bandwagon...or at least deconstructing the bandwagon and blasting it with liquid nitrogen.
All For One
One is the loneliest number that you ever knew...
Unless you're a small restaurant trying to make your mark in an awful economy. Then, it turns out that focusing on a single thing can actually make you a bigger star than the big guys trying to do everything at once. From New York's Peanut Butter & Co. and Meatball Shop to Greenspan's Grilled Cheese opening soon in LA, it seems like restaurateurs are now picking their pleasure and sticking to it like white on rice. Which, come to think of it, is actually a great name for a rice-themed restaurant...
Take It To The Streets
From bahn mi to burritos, street food and its more sedentary American cousin, diner fare, certainly witnessed a resurrection in 2010. From trucks to taco stands, suddenly everyone wanted nothing more than to eat greasy goodness off of paper plates and plastic utensils. And, the trend is only going to get bigger and crazier in 2011, as the recession keeps eating people's paychecks and people keep eating comfort food to cope.
Forget fusion tacos, they're as overexposed as Lindsay Lohan's lady bits. Inventive street food purveyors are already plumbing the culinary classics of Vietnam, Korea, India and even America's own deep south in search of exciting new ways to tantalize your taste buds. And land themselves on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Great Balls Of...Meat
And, continuing in the comfort food vein, meatballs are poised to become pop culture's next big Italian-American infatuation -- at least as big as Snooki's hair. With entire restaurants opening up around these tiny balls of beef, it's only a matter of time before those balls become as ubiquitous in foodie culture as cupcakes are today. Look for chefs to start serving up truffle-topped, duck-stuffed, gourmet meatballs, and using them in everything from street food sandwiches to slightly ridiculous Iron Chef dessert concoctions. Because making savory ice cream is totally out. But making sweet balls of meat is totally in.
Stick Your Neck Out
In case you've been living under a rock -- or had your head so far up Daniel Bouloud's $150 truffle burger that you didn't notice -- we've been in a bit of a recession these past few years. Not to mention dealing with growing concerns about resource scarcity. Which is why chefs and foodies alike have been making a return to the frugal food practices of our less fortunate ancestors. From the aforementioned return to street food to the resurgence of the farm to table movement, the trend has definitely been to take food back to its simpler, more rustic roots.
In this vein (pun intended), 2010 also saw the rise of restaurateurs determined to make use of every part of the animal. From the aptly-named Animal restaurant in Hollywood to the growing popularity of shows like Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on Travel Channel, offal has really taken off in 2010. And, in 2011, look for the neck to be the next big thing in gourmet butchering. From fish collar to lamb neck, everyone will want a piece of this extremely tender type of meat. So go ahead and start working on your necking jokes now...
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