Everywhere you look, it’s prime time for foods on sticks – corn dogs at the State Fair, kebabs on the backyard grill, paletas at the Brooklyn Flea. But leave it to the Japanese to combine two great skewered foods in a way that only they could want to eat: Yakitori Popsicles.
Electronic Dance Music is hot. Outdoor music festivals are hot. Sriracha is hot (and also hot). It was inevitable, we suspect, that at some point someone would attempt to merge all three - and now it's happening, at the Electronic Sriracha Festival taking place in San Jose this August. Attendees can enjoy 3 stages of electronic music, dozens of acts, and over 120 Sriracha-enhanced dishes.
Adults don’t get the summer off, the way kids do, but there are some compensatory pleasures – like a nice cold beer. Some recent beer offerings, however, seem to be playing directly to consumers’ nostalgia for childhood.
PBJ (& B)
We all know that when it comes to nutrition, “conventional wisdom” can boomerang in the space of just a few years (just look at the redemption of fat!) – giving hope to even the most demonized of foods.
At the moment, no food has a lower nutritional reputation than white bread (or what, in decades past, would just have been called “bread”). It’s been in a steep decline since 2010, when sales of whole wheat bread surpassed. And, in fact, a full 56% of shoppers say they currently want nothing to do with it.
If the mysterious fifth taste, umami, is still one of your go-to conversation topics at cocktail parties, brace yourself. At some point this summer you'll be at a social event, perhaps a barbecue, telling a gaggle of acquaintances about how roasted tomatoes, red meat and portobello mushrooms all share the same understated, savory flavor notes, when some smooth operator in an apron with a clever slogan on it will sidle up to the crowd and toss off something along the lines of,
You may remember that a few months ago, we welcomed IBM's Watson, the artificial intelligence that dominated Jeopardy, to our little corner of NYC. Now, it looks like he's edging into our industry, too – IBM has just sent out samples of Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce, a condiment created entirely by Watson.
If you were told you could make a hybrid of any two vegetables, which would you combine? If you've been following restaurant trends, you'd know you couldn't do much better than a mashup of kale and brussel sprouts. Two vegetables that had suffered from image problems for years, they've since become hot items on menus around the world. And now, British vegetable breeding company Tozer Seeds has announced a hybrid of the two - Kalettes™.
What does true brand loyalty look like? Well, you can't do much better than WhatsApplebee's, a new iOS app independently created by programmer Mike Lazer-Walker to let Applebee's fans network with each other. He's labeled it "The Most Exclusive New Social Network," and given that it will only work while the user is physically inside an Applebee's location, that might just be true.
Bitter Italian liqueurs, known as amari, have been on our trend radar for a little while now. Though their recent reemergence was led by bartenders and mixologists, it's not because these cocktail thought-leaders were adding them to menus; instead, amari became popular because drink mixers were downing them after-hours as a way to end the night and reinvigorate tired tastebuds. Word got out, of course, and we're now in the midst of a revival of complex, bitter cocktails.
Contemporary meatless eating has come along way since its days as a hippie fad in the 1960s. Starting in specialty health food stores and macrobiotic restaurants, it really began to impact the mainstream by the early '70s. And a new article in Smithsonian points out that much of its success since that moment has been spearheaded by the veggie burger, invented by Londoner Gregory Sams and initially known as the VegeBurger.