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Food Trends of 2014

Last month’s winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco was, as usual, thought provoking. It’s hard to take in the sheer volume of products on display, which range instant can’t-live-without-it staples to why-would-you-make-that head scratchers. In this post I’ll recap some of the most interesting finds from the show and try to pick out which will turn into food trends this year.

Food Trends of 2014

Sriracha – It was hard to take two steps at the Fancy Food Show without coming face-to-face with a sriracha-flavored product. Some of these seemed awesome. For example, who doesn’t want spicy sriracha mayo or sriracha popcorn? But some foods are really better off without the addition of this addictive condiment. Sriracha lollipops? No thanks!

Bacon – I know, I know, bacon is old news. And yet, the number of products it’s added to increases each and every year. My favorite bacon-y treat was probably the spicy bacon peanuts.

Brownie Brittle – I had never heard of Brownie Brittle before this Fancy Food Show, but in the month that’s passed since then, it seems to have popped up everywhere. In fact, friends even brought a couple of flavors on a recent ski trip I was on. When a crispy crunch and rich, chocolatey flavor, it’s great for snacking on its own, using as a topping for ice cream, or – gasp! – crushing up and using as a rimmer for a chocolate martini.

Pasta Chips – At culture we’re always looking for alternative crackers to spread cheese on. And since cheese and pasta are natural buddies, we were thrilled to learn about these new Pasta Chips by Vintage Italia. Of the five flavors that are currently available, it’s the Spicy Tomato Herb that won over our hearts and taste buds.

Chia – In an age of superfoods, chia is clearly the new frontrunner. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you have memories of Chia Pets, and yes, these are seeds of the same plant. While the flavor isn’t my personal favorite, nor is the texture, it’s hard to deny that these teensy grains pack a nutritional punch. They are packed with protein, fiber, and the elusive but healthful omega-3 fatty acids.

Seaweed – Seaweed is clearly the new kale. From 479°’s Toasted Sesame + Seaweed Popcorn to SeaSnax “Strangely Addictive!” seaweed chips, it has transformed from something you might tolerate in miso soup to something you seek out for casual noshing.

Photo Credit: Feature image courtesy of Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle

Amy Scheuerman

Amy Scheuerman—culture's former web director—spent eight years in North Carolina where she developed a love of barbecue and biscuits before moving up north to get a degree in nutrition. She now works at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

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