5 Food Trends: Looking Back

As a sushi-fiend, one of my favorite new culinary obsessions is number 1 on this list, Poke. It’s an off-shoot from another recent trend renaissance, namely a revisit to eateries past in which one lines up and picks their pleasure, (smorgasbord or cafeteria-style). Lemonade, a California-based chain, is a case in point with its abundance of high quality comfort food, sans table service, which in conjunction with its premium-priced menu selections certainly is a bottom-line booster for the company.

In the last year we were witness to some new tendencies in the food world, from the aforementioned obsessions with bowls of raw fish, to restaurants inexplicably lacking rooms where diners can be sat and served by humans. Here are some intriguing trends that have been on my radar screen over the last twelve months:

  • Poke: It all began in the paradisiacal setting of Hawaii in which fishermen would season their “off-cuts” from catches (ordinarily utilized as fish bait) to enjoy a work-day snack. Served cafeteria-style throughout the innumerable new establishments popping up across Los Angeles, poke seasonings are heavily influenced by Asian cuisine and, as I have found, the experience is highly addicting due to its deliciousness. I mean who wouldn’t deny themselves fresh chunks of a variety of fish drenched in soy and sesame oil marinade, served with seaweed-seasoned rice and vegetables, all in a fast-food format? 

  • Going Coconuts: My wife is, unfortunately, unable to enjoy dairy products, but riding to the rescue is the latest super-food that is now transcending the confines of beverage offerings. Coconut is becoming ubiquitous as a butter and milk replacement for ice-creams, crackers, spreads, oils and vinegars, even in the form of flour for baking.

  • Cashew! (Bless You): Speaking of my lovely wife and her dietary challenges, cashew is a wonder that is just now starting to make an impact in so many areas once reserved for dairy, including smears, creams, and cheeses. The amazing thing about this product is how good it tastes and how it still manages to satisfy despite its status as a stand-in for cow-based deliciousness.

  • DIY Meal Kits Delivered to your Door: Indeed, the cook-it-yourself meal kit is becoming a movement in our country as countless numbers of working (affluent) families with little to no time for traditional home-cooked meals are seeking a worthy alternative. Companies such as Blue Apron, Peach Dish and Plated (to name just three) are offering their regional services in which recipes and pre-measured ingredients are regularly shipped to consumers for easy and time-saving cooking at home.

  • Luxurious Movie Theatre Dining: As a film buff who also enjoys a cocktail followed by dinner while seated in a comfy reclining chair, I am being selfish here to include this is in a top-five list, but it is a dream come true for any cinephile! These premium movie theaters are still popping up around the country in increasing numbers. Classy establishments in which wait-people bring food and booze during screenings are exemplified by such places as Silverspot Cinema, Ipictheaters and AMC Dine-In Theaters.

 

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