By Allie Hardy
Registered dietitian for the Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center
Wondering what will tempt your taste buds in 2013? Get ready for a year of exotic flavors, lesser known veggies and the exodus of sugar.
1. Say goodbye to traditional and comforting flavors such as sweet, creamy and salty. Cuisine in the new year promises to awaken the senses with notes of bitterness and acidity. Look for this trend to pop up in foods and alcoholic beverages thanks to pickling and brining.2. Nutrition-minded New Year’s resolutions will welcome a healthier preparation of old favorites. Instead of browned butter sauces and cheesy layers, expect bright, fresh herbs and flavorful vegetable stock to complement the whole grains on your dinner plate.
3. Meat loaf with pickled cucumbers? 2013 will be the year when comfort foods give a nod to traditional Asian flavors. Don’t expect to see kimchi on the menu –- this popular condiment is yielding to lesser known flavors like togarashi and yuzukoshi.
4. Make way for veggies! Previously unrecognized and overlooked veggies such as kohlrabi, beet greens and seaweed will take center stage on plates and in glasses. Expect an emphasis on local produce from farmers markets and school gardens because more consumers want farm-to-table food.
5. Kids will now be able to order miniature versions of adult meals when out to eat instead of the traditional breaded protein and french fries. Toy not included.
6. Fruit leaves breakfast and dessert behind for a starring role in appetizers and soup. Dehydrating and salting the fruit allows it to complement savory flavors such as beef or chicken at dinner for an unforgettable flavor profile.
7. As fruits and veggies dominate more during meal times, plates will shrink to offer smaller servings of custom-made dishes. Further personalization will be available for the gluten-sensitive, lactose-intolerant and vegan diners.
8. Popcorn will become the go-to snack and dessert. Served sweet, savory, hot and buttery, this whole grain will show up everywhere in 2013. Look for it in a traditional bag, as a bar snack, or as a topping for ice cream.
9. Mason jars aren’t just for drinking or making cute dessert vessels anymore. Home canning and picking will be all the rage in 2013 as consumers focus on cost-effective ways to preserve their summer bounty from their gardens or CSA shares.
10. Complimentary bread baskets might be a thing of the past. As restaurants highlight their artisan-bread-making prowess, they are charging for customers to consume their baked creations. Expect more products to be made in house and to move beyond the standard dinner roll.