Food Trends 2011: Top 10 Predictions

End of the year, 11 hours and 53 minutes until ’11.

Menu set here, versatile and easily changed according to appetites: Goose foie gras, Cape oysters, tobiko, ikura, hiramasa, duck breast, and Waygu style strip.  Turnips, cho-cho, plantain, baby Yukons.  Plymouth gin, Vietnamese shochu, good red, Veuve C.  Pecan pie.  Etc.

My top ten predictions for The World of Food 2011:

1.  With the FDA armed, at last, as of 9/10 and recent, additional measures in Congress, expect to see more high-profile action against companies that say their products have health benefits.  In the U.K., the government has stopped the organic food industry from saying organic food is any healthier.  It’s not.  No evidence.  Expect the same on probiotics, omega-3, and other things of that nature.

2.  We’ll see more restaurants opening that serve inexpensive food that amounts to what’s served on the streets and in the pubs around the globe: Burgers will be this decade’s sushi.

3.  School lunches: The debate will get shrill.  Oprah will step in.  Kids will eat more vegetables at home and veg out on snacks at home.

4.  The top ingredients of 2011 will be: Plantain, okra, Thai basil, taro, and the array of spices from the subcontinent.

5.  The newest and hottest so called ethnic restaurants will be Mexican and Indian.  Mo’ better, that is.  Not that you’ll see me in these restaurants where muddied flavors prevail.

6.  Wishful thinking: Upscale, washoku driven, vegetarian restaurants on every corner!

7.  Home cooks will come to their senses and develop a list of ten recipes so good that they won’t waste their money and compromise their health eating out so often.  Ten dishes.  Ten.

8.  Celebrity cookbooks will appear in greater number.  In Life, Keith Richards’s memoir, he includes a recipe for, “Bangers and Mash.”  Expect to see Lady Gaga’s, “Pasta Puttanesca.”  Remember: You heard it here first.

9.  Food riots: With commodity prices up 26% since 9/10, the cost of staple foodstuffs–rice, bread, potatoes–will be so costly that people will take to the streets in the developing world.

10.  In terms of upscale dining, the top brands will continue their global conquest and dominate the elite’s thinking on food and service.  Paris is in France.  No, no, France is in Paris.

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