Top ten Epicurious foodie predictions for 2008

Here’s another fun prediction piece for 2008; this time it’s from foodie bible Epicurious. These prediction articles are fun to skim over for inspiration but more to the point, they make great quick ‘n’ easy stimulus for innovation workshops when you’ve run out of insightful platforms ;).
Article taken from Epicurious
by Tanya Steel
1) Farmers are the New Celebrity Chefs: With more celebrity chefs than we can shake a spatula at, it’s now time to salute the farmer and make him or her famous, rich, and, no doubt, host of a reality show.
2) Fancy Frozen Yogurt is the new Designer Cupcake: Some designer cupcakes taste great, like those from New York’s Magnolia Bakery–but many are small, dry, and flavorless. The FroYo trend, however, shows no signs of slowing, with lines around the block at spots like Pinkberry, The Big Chill and Naked Berry. Exotic ice cream flavors push the envelope and set the bar, with spicy flavors like wasabi, nuanced juxtapositions like blueberry cheesecake, ultra-seasonal influences like pumpkin in October, and new dairy twists like creme fraiche, goat’s milk, or sour cream.
3) Meatballs are the New Hamburger Sliders: Sliders are on lots of menus but while some mini hamburgers can be tasty, most end up dry and tough. Tiny hamburgers will soon be replaced by high-end meatballs like those made from duck at New York’s A Voce and veal at Washington D.C.’s Brasserie Beck.
4) Cambodian is the New Thai: A triangulation between Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai cooking, Cambodian’s emphasis on noodle dishes, curries, stir fries and prahok, the strong-flavored fish paste, will grow in popularity. Cambodian food has stronger flavors than Vietnamese, slightly more subtle that Thai and is not as heavy as Chinese.

5) Local Wine is the New Local Food Movement: Now that all 50 states have wineries–some of which are world class–and with more attention being paid to American brews, Made in America will be a stamp of pride for beverages.

6) Fair Trade is the New Organic: Big in Europe already, the push in coffee, chocolate, and table textiles, fair trade foods will become as big of a buzz word as organic.

7) Bacon is the New Pork Belly: In 2007, pork belly was on almost every restaurant menu. Now artisan bacon that’s nitrate-free, made from Berkshire pigs, etc., is showing up at restaurants and in unexpected products. We’ve even seen everyone’s favorite pork product in boutique brittle, cookies, ice cream, and chocolate bars.

8)Fancy Greens are the New Salads Everywhere: Dandelion, mustard, and kale are a few of the more exotic greens that will replace the typical romaine served in every chain restaurant in the country.

9) Quick, but High Quality Sushi is the New Lunchtime Salad: Led by those strip mall sushi spots in L.A., high-quality fast food sushi places will begin to open as both obesity and lack of time continue to be issues for Americans. McTuna Roll anyone?

10) Charging it Tableside is the New Ordering Online: Last year it became even more popular to order takeout online and keep your credit card information safe. Next up: protecting your account from restaurant workers with new tableside, wireless credit card swipers.