Being in the business aviation industry, it is important to know what is currently popular and to look back on the year of what the trends were for our passengers. Now that 2014 is coming to the end, let’s review what the hot food trends were for the year in the United States.
- Historic grains – From khorasan to farro and quinoa to chia, these ancient historic grains are popping up on more menus, on more local supermarket shelves, and are being incorporated into more products throughout the world. Historic grains offer great health benefits that are lacking in durum wheat, as well as keeping the trend of gluten-free alternatives for our passengers.
- Chicken – I’m not talking about your standard chicken fingers, but the bird went through a new trend in 2014! Chefs have been creating new dishes, like chicken and foie gras, sous vide, and even Korean-fired chicken have made the menu this past year. Chicken is now being elevated into new flavors.
- Charcuterie – This is not new, but this past year we have seen charcuterie grow throughout the U.S. and it is not just the staples that we are already used to. Now restaurants are creating duck prosciutto, beef heart pastrami, house-made salami and creamy mortadella. The future of charcuterie looks bright as chefs create new ways to make meat so tasty.
- Creative condiments – Say goodbye to your old ketchup and mustard, the new trend this past year was bold flavor condiments like coffee barbecue ketchup and hickory bacon mustard. Chefs are reimagining condiments and putting a new twist on all the staples to make your culinary experience even better.
- Pretzel breads – Although not new, this past year has seen an increase in every variation from hamburgers having pretzel buns to just a pretzel dinner roll. Pizzas are even starting to pop up that are made from pretzel dough. These breads are so diverse to the culinary palate that they can incorporate into almost every meal.
- Oily fish – Yes, I said oily. These fish made a big come back this past year. Anchovies (especially Spanish salt-packed boquerones), sardines and mackerel are on menus everywhere. These fish are not only tasty, but they are also healthy.
- Umami – This is the name for the savory portion of our five basic taste sensations. An increasing amount of chefs are creating dishes to stimulate and satisfy our taste buds. It can be difficult to recognize, but it is being incorporated into more meals to balance out the flavors.
- From the past – What comes around goes around, and the return of pickling, fermenting and home-made breads are back. Places are now making their own breads and exotic pickling flavors with everything from vegetables to eggs.
- Tea for everyone – 2014 has shown us that cup of coffee in the States is being challenged by more refined tea – and we are putting our pinky fingers up and enjoying it! The unique flavors of teas are everywhere, so explore them and find one your passengers really enjoy.
- Garden fresh – More menu items are vegetarian, and chefs are getting local ingredients and making masterpieces out of garden vegetables. These dishes are bold and tasty, so you won’t miss the meat.
2014 was an exciting year and I can’t wait for what 2015 will bring to the culinary world. Stay safe, and safe flying everyone!
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