At the beginning of every year a variety of food experts predict the dining trends that we will be salivating over for the year to come. It is hard to say whether some of these food trends occur naturally or if chefs and restaurant owners are simply altering their menus in order to appear relevant. As the purveyor of the Pittsburgh Happy Hour food blog, people often ask me to predict what the next hot item is going to be for the upcoming year. Honestly, I think it is really difficult to estimate what will be popular on a city-wide level and I’m impressed that the experts even attempt to predict national trends Although the food experts occasionally get things right, sometimes they miss the mark all together.
Here are a few food trends from over the last few years that never really made it:
1. In 2007 Epicurious predicted that farmers would become the new celebrity chefs.
Epicurious decided that in 2008 we would be seeing the rise of the celebrity farmer due to the plethora of celebrity chefs already on the landscape and the public’s desire to know the source of their food. Sorry Epicurious!
While celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain are still household names, the television show America’s Next Top Farmer is not exactly a concept that ever came to fruition. Our favorite celebrity farmer is still Taylor Swift, who actually grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania.
2. In 2008 SF Weekly said that we’d all be enjoying Mexican-Italian hybrid dishes.
Just imagine the possibilities. Lasagna tacos, spaghetti ranchero or even red wine flavored horchata! Does all of that sound disgusting? The general public feels the same way and this is why taco pizza is the only Mexican-Italian dish that continues to reign supreme. Maybe Mexican-Italian caught on briefly in San Francisco, but the rest of us still prefer to eat our Taco Bell on the way to Pizza Hut.
3. 2012: the year of home sous vide?
Have your friends just been dying to have you over to their place to try out their new sous vide machine? Huffington Post says that they were supposed to, back in 2012. Although the prices of sous vide machines may have come down over the last few years, we don’t think this appliance will ever reach the popularity that fondue sets did in the 1970’s. Better luck next year Huffington Post.
4. The Food Channel said we would all have outdoor kitchens in 2012!
The Food Channel claimed that full outdoor kitchens were becoming the new food trend in 2012 and that people were justifying the expense by staying home to entertain more often. Wow! I guess the Food Channel didn’t hear that the economy was still hurting back in 2012. Although an outdoor kitchen sounds amazing, most of us are probably just wishing we could scrape together the cash to purchase an expensive frying pan that didn’t come from the Dollar Store.
5. In 2010 you likely indulged in a ton of New Austrian cuisine according to Bon Appetit.
“Want to go to Olive Garden?” “Why no thank you. I only dine at restaurants that carry a variety of new Austrian cuisine to go with my fancy craft beers!” Although it sounds crazy, you have to give Bon Appetit partial credit. The emergence of the pretzel roll within the last few years validates their off the wall prediction that we’d be chomping down on spaetzle every time we decided to order a Miller Lite draft.