Food Trend Predictions for 2015 Show that Latin Food is Always in Style
As 2014 draws to a close, chefs, food companies and marketing organizations are trying to figure out what we will be most excited about eating next year. Based on a few of their reports, Latin cuisine is poised to be more popular than ever.
Tacos have been one of America’s favorite Latin foods for generations, and they could be one of 2015’s trendiest food items. According to Andrew Freeman & Co.’s trend report, notorious chefs like Rene Redzepi are turning their attention to traditional tacos. Redzepi’s taco shop hasn’t opened yet, but it has already gotten a lot of hype. Tacos inspired by street food are also listed in the National Restaurant Association’s list of top food trends for 2015. With all the interest in traditional tacos, we might be seeing more regional taco recipes and more upscale versions of old favorites.
Eggs and Breakfast
This year’s toast trend seems to be making way for a new favorite breakfast food. The National Restaurant Association predicts that traditional ethnic breakfast dishes, such as chorizo con huevos, will be a hit in 2015. Ethnic egg scrambles might also show up on more lunch or dinner menus; the Andrew Freeman & Co. report deems scrambled eggs the new trendy egg preparation that’s fit for any time of day. Latin egg dishes like migas and huevos a la Mexicana are perfect candidates for our changing tastes in breakfast foods.
Food marketing analyst Phil Lempert predicts that grilled and smoked foods will be on the rise in 2015. With the increasing interest in smoky flavors, chipotle powder and canned chipotles in adobo could be in higher demand. Perhaps we’ll even feed our smoky chipotle cravings with homemade or artisanal versions of this Mexican specialty. Latin cuisine is also famous for its smoky grilled meats, with Brazilian barbecue, grilled Argentine steaks and Mexican dishes like carne adobada.
We have already seen Peruvian quinoa surge in popularity, but other ancient grains from Latin America might soon join its ranks. The National Restaurant Association forecast includes ancient grains as one of the top trends for 2015. Amaranth, a tiny ancient grain with Mexican roots, is one option. Like quinoa, amaranth is a gluten-free option that is high in protein. Heirloom corn from Mexico is another possibility. Tortillas made from heirloom corn are starting to pop up at specialty food retailers.
Pickles and Probiotics
Three predictions — from Andrew Freeman & Co., Phil Lempert and the National Restaurant Association — all expect pickles to continue growing in popularity next year. Just about every cuisine around the world has a tradition of pickling or fermenting to preserve food, and Latin cuisine is no exception. Pickled onions, jalapenos and carrots are among the tangy condiments for Latin dishes. Fermented pickles like Salvadorian curtido — the fermented cabbage slaw served with pupusas — have the added benefit of healthy probiotic bacteria. According to Lempert’s report, an increasing understanding of probiotics is one of the reasons pickling and fermenting are becoming so popular.
The report from Andrew Freeman & Co. suggests that spicy foods are steadily gaining ground. Although Southeast Asian food is one popular source of spicy dishes, the craze for capsaicin heat originated in Latin America. Chili peppers have been cultivated in Latin America for thousands of years, and they didn’t spread to other parts of the world until European explorers got a hold of them. The long history of cooking with spicy chilies has bestowed Latin cuisine with a plethora of vibrant, spicy recipes to choose from.