Top 11 Food Trends for Summer 2013
Top 11 Food Trends for Summer 2013
In the past years, the restaurant industry has gained a strong momentum like we've never seen before.
With the ability access to recipes from all around the globe, cooking competition shows, and America’s interest in tasting the unknown, the culinary arts world has since been flooded with a number of up-and-coming fads.
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The restaurant trend-setting elite, including respected chefs and even Hollywood stars, coming up with tasty ways to keep their fans entertained beyond the big screen, are using familiar and not so familiar ingredients in to their menus with the publics’ wants and needs in mind.
Thus, there is no doubt that 2013 has been centralized on the use of spices, ethnic flavors, local produce, and superfoods for the health-conscious eater.
Here are the top 11 food trends, from Peruvian cuisine to donuts, that are taking over the restaurant industry this summer 2013.
This key Mediterranean cuisine ingredient is one of the most popular snacks out in the market, which has created a creamy influx of TV commercials, and original greek yogurt recipes on food-pinning website Pinterest.
When it comes to taste and health benefits, greek yogurt is much thicker than the regular yogurt, has twice as much protein, less lactose, fewer carbs, and won't curdle if used for cooking.
Many froyo and ice cream producing companies, including our partners at Pinkberry Chicago, have introduced their own versions of the greek yogurt, which can be topped with fresh fruit, honey, granola, and can also be used in smoothies, popsicles, and even salads.
Recipe: Lime Greek Yogurt from One Lovely Life
For centuries, this Chinese drink, made with water and tea leaves, has been used to promote health, reduce the likelihood of various diseases, and ease many other health-related issues.
As a natural antioxidant, tea contains slightly less caffeine than coffee, and comes in many flavors, the most popular being oolong, green, black, bergamot, and chamomile.
It has been incorporated into local cafes and nationwide brands, including Starbucks and Panera Bread, offering Vanilla Chai Tea Lattes and Hibiscus Iced Tea, respectively.
To make a cup of tea, simply boil one cup of water, and steep the tea leaves or tea bag into your mug for about 3 minutes, and enjoy!
Peru, located on the western coast of South America, has always been home to a large multicultural population of Africans, Spanish, Chinese, and Andeans. The mix of ethnic ingredients and traditional plates have most recently caught the attention of many chefs and restaurateurs accross the United States.
The National Restaurant Association named Peruvian cuisine one of the Top 20 trends in their What's Hot in 2013 chef survey, where they surveyed over 1,800 chefs.
Components of the Peruvian cuisine vary from street food vendors, selling fried treats like sopaipillas, to Peruvian menu staples from stews, seafood ceviche, hot peppers, pure cacao, and guinea pig, known as “cuy”, from the Andes mountain range.
Natural, Sustainable, Organic Produce
Customers are glancing twice at the labels on their food, and seeking to find out where exactly their fruits and vegetables are coming from, and how they were grown.
This call for transparency has changed the way people interact and connect with what they will consume.
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Some local growers and farms have taken a more ethical approach on this somewhat controversial topic, which appeals to those craving fair trade products, organic and environmentally friendly ingredients, reduce food waste, and supporting local produce markets all in one.
These bar snack-sized plates made for sharing are a crucial part of the Spanish nightlife, and have made their way to the states.
Tapas, Spanish for 'cover' or 'lid', got its name from the complimentary slice of bread, cheese, or ham used to cover your drink and keep flies out.
Small in size but big in flavor, common Tapas include olives, fried potato pieces with Spanish omelette, spicy tomato aioli, croquetas, a variety of cheese, and cured Serrano ham slices.
Many of our restaurants partners, including Lombardi Family Concepts' Sangria Mediterranean Tapas and Bar in Dallas, are drawn to the energy these plates create, from serving to eating, and the socializing aspect they bring to the table.
Image: Cured Serrano Ham slices
Bars and pubs, especially in the urban areas, are always trying to stay ahead with the latest craft beer trends. Lately, they’ve been jazzing up their selection with the full-bodied apple drink: cider (also known as hard cider).
According hospitality data service company GuestMetrics, hard cider sales grew by 40% just in 2012, which is why more and more restaurants and high-end bars are investing in the gluten-free drink rumored to become the next wine cooler.
Today, big brands of France, Canada, the American Midwest, and U.K. have contributed the resurgence of hard cider in 2012 and 2013.
South America isn’t the only region getting worldwide buzz.
Although the blend of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Indian, and other popular Asian flavors are nothing new to most food fanatics, restaurateurs are finding new and improved ways to keep it alive and mainstream.
Plating, presentation, and flamboyant colors are only some of the ways that chefs known across the nation are crafting a new wave of the Asian continent on a plate.
The Sweet-Savory-Spicy triple threat have never tasted better, with dishes including Sunda’s Szechwan Pepper Steak, Crispy Duck Noodle Soup from Jae’s Café, and The Mint’s Spicy Hot Texas Roll, a spin on the California sushi roll. [Available through DiningIn delivery]
Image: Szechwan Pepper Steak from Sunda New Asian (Chicago)
Heat seekers are exposing their palates and building their tolerance up to all things spicy, which is why hot sauce production has been booming in the recent years.
The Gochujang sauce is a fermented, Korean soybean paste used in East Asia, now being used in stir-fry, stews, rice bowls, noodles, and marinated beef plates.
Although it’s comparable to Sriracha sauce, the ketchup of Asia, gochujang adds a more spicy, and deeper savoriness to any meal.
You can find it in most Asian markets, the international section of your local grocery store, or you can make your own at home.
According to Bon Appetit, “the hottest thing since sliced bread is, well, bread,” and we agree.
Now that WiFi is everywhere, the rise of the café style spots and bakeries will be taking a major role in the restaurant industry, where head bakers are exploring innovative ways to go beyond the traditional flour, water, salt and yeast mix.
Today, artisan breads are typically made with creative, original recipes using bold flavors including tomato basil, rosemary sea salt, olive oil, dried fruits and herbs.
A few DiningIn.com restaurant partners using artisan breads:
The Art of Bread by Georges Perrier in Philadelphia
Café Express in Dallas
Toast It! in Chicago
Traditionally a method of preservation, fermented veggies and cheeses are in the upswing this summer.
Taking anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks to complete the process, restaurateurs, including Iron Chef Jose Garces’ Village Whiskey in Philadelphia, are taking the time to carefully flavor and store a mix of vegetables into jars, turning plain them from plain into nutrient-packed foods that can improve your overall health.
Read More at Cultures for Health: How to Ferment Vegetables: The Basic Culturing Process
Image: Pickled Herb Cherry Tomatoes from Village Whiskey in Philadelphia
If you’ve been keeping up with the latest in the dessert world, you might have already heard about the most recent fad: gourmet donuts.
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This classic treat has officially evolved into anything from the Grilled Cheese Donut, Maple Bacon Long John, and the trademarked Cronut (croissant + donut).
Watch Zagat’s Bizarre Bites: The Cronut, a Donut and Croissant Hybrid
With numerous independent donut shops popping up in major cities, they’ll be sure to give national bakery and donut chains a sweet run for their money.
By Bryan Ochalla from Seattle, WA, USA (Donut lovers Uploaded by JohnnyMrNinja) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons