2012 was an exciting year for many food and cocktail trends. It was also the year that ended
with many trends on the horizon and awaiting their turn to blossom from the minds of geniuses
and out into the world to turn us on.
Leave your ‘sweet tooth’ behind
2013 is the year of the bitter, sour, and spicy! Let’s talk digestifs if you will; though it does
appear to be and odd place to begin.
Amaro. Interpreted as “bitter” in Italiano. 2012 ended with great interest in such digestifs as
Averna and Fernet-Branca, which made quite the reintroduction to society along with aperitifs
such as Campari and Aperol.
The American palate is being forcefully pushed toward bitter and herbaceous and we should
all be grateful. Don’t believe me? Next time you’re out on the town, order a Fernet-Branca or
perhaps a Menta-Branca and watch your bartender’s eyes light up then hold on to your chair for
the astringent, though pleasantly smooth and very grown up experience that is Fernet.
House made (wonderfully inviting new buzzwords) bitters, simple syrups, and shrub syrups.
It’s a pretty surreal experience to sit at the oak in your favorite watering hole and observe hand-
written labels boasting “grapefruit shrub” or “house bitter blend”. It almost takes you back to
Organic Chemistry class, but with a more entertaining result.
House made hot sauce is also challenging us all beyond Texas Pete (not that there’s anything
wrong with that). But aged, fermented Korean chili paste (gochujang) and even fresh
horseradish based hot sauces are leading the way these days. Most are simple, but brace you for
a few with a storyline.
Salted & Boozy Desserts
Not so unusual in Asian cuisine, salted desserts are capturing and holding the attention
Westerners. Salted caramel has eased us into this trend. We’ve found salted caramel swirled in
vanilla ice cream, enjoyed bacon chocolate, stout(ed) chocolate, bacon cotton candy, and salted
caramel candies/chocolates. It’s quite an interesting ride! Adult milkshakes (think banana with
rum) are also all the rave!
Fun-Filled Deviled Eggs
I never imagined such a phrase would ever be written, but restaurants everywhere seem to be
competing on how to design the trendiest deviled egg. Think smoked, spicy chicken liver, pesto,
or smoked salmon with capers and you’ll understand what I mean.
Not Your Average Kid’s Meal
Fancy kiddos celebrate! Your child is not a second class diner with limited choices of chicken
nuggets and mac n’ cheese. Even the palates of babes are becoming more sophisticated. Treat
your little gourmands to panko hand-breaded chicken, whole grain items, pot stickers, even small
filet mignon and they may not expect a toy afterwards.
-Markeya enjoys sharing her experiences one bite and/or flight at a time! Her work can be found
at Traveling Foodie 2006