As you eat your third kale salad of the week, it is hard not to imagine that this leafy green was almost unheard of a few years ago. The food trends of 2013 came over like a wave, as sriracha, pretzel buns, quinoa, Greek yogurt and, of course, kale, came to dominate our diets.
What will 2014 bring to the table? Here is what’s taking off:
Quinoa became ever more popular in 2013, paving the way for other odd-named ancient grains to come into the spotlight in the New Year. Freekeh (Freak-uh) is the next big thing to hit the world of “supergrains.”
In simplest terms, freekeh is wheat, yet it is so much more than an ordinary grain. Harvested when green before maturity, freekeh is proven to retain more protein, fiber, and minerals than traditional wheat, according to a study done by CSIRO, an Australian scientific research group. With three times the amount of fiber found in brown rice and two times the amount in quinoa, Freekeh is sure to become a household name this year.
“Sriracha on everything” was the motto in 2013, but watch out for gochujang (go-choo-jong)! This Korean staple is finding its way into the hands of many chefs and soon into many American pantries. This spicy condiment is made up of red chilies, fermented soybean, glutinous rice, and salt. The thick, concentrated paste is perfect for mixing with ketchup, adding to soups (ramen of course!), and marinades. So watch out, loyal Sriracha fans – this might become your next obsession.
From Acai to goji berries, everyone seems to be obsessed with so-called “superfruits” these days. You may not have noticed, but the next superfruit frenzy has already hit CC. Bai 5, a line of fruit drinks featuring coffeefruit that boasts plenty of antioxidants with limited calories is ubiquitous on campus. Bai 5 is a mixture of coffeefruit with different juices and some white tea, with only 10 calories per bottle.
Sold at The Preserve, Colorado Coffee, and the C-Store, this drink boasts the great flavor of popular fruit drinks with fewer calories and more health benefits. The coffee bean dominated the attention for decades, but in 2014, coffee’s antioxidant packed fruit comes into the picture.
Yes, I know cuisines such as Greek and Indian have been including yogurt in savory dishes for centuries, but savory yogurt is breaking through in a whole new way.
People could not get enough of Greek yogurt this past year, making its way into cream cheese, hummus, ice cream, and granola bars. Yogurt is clearly moving beyond breakfast. Blue Hill Farm debuted a line of savory yogurts late in 2013, including flavors such as carrot, tomato, and beet.
Chobani, the popular Greek yogurt purveyor, introduced savory toppings at their flagship store in New York. Olive oil, cucumber, smoked salmon, and dill are among the many creations on the store’s menu. As these companies pioneer these new flavors, consumers may begin to reach for salsas or veggies instead of fruit and granola.
So what really causes all the buzz about these chic foods? Diet trends such as eating healthier, going gluten free, or cutting down on meat all contribute to people’s excitement over a fruit or a grain. Some of these trends are the result of clever marketing and others are a refreshing alternative to traditional staples such as ketchup, rice, or fruit juice. Whatever the reason for the hype, food trends make their mark on our diets, bringing lesser-known flavors to the masses.