Fermented foods continue upward trend

Bread & butter pickles

Restaurant discovery service Urbanspoon compiles restaurant reviews from various sources including bloggers, food critics, and local diners. After sorting through the data from their app's Popular Dish feature, reviews, comments, and user data, the service has come up with their predictions for 2015's food trends, along with the top cuisines of the current year.

The reigning cuisines in the US & Canada for 2014 were Spanish-style tapas, Italian, Mediterranean, Southern (US) and soul foods, and Japanese. The popularity of pickles and other fermented foods soared this year, and the service predicts that trend will continue, and in 2015 we'll see "cauliflower, onions, eggplant, zucchini and fennel bulbs get dunked in vinegary, herbal and garlicky solutions." (See Susie Chang's recent report on pickling and preserving cookbooks for 2014.)

Other Urbanspoon predictions for the new year include smoked vegetables and the return of old-fashioned desserts and candies, especially brittle. Look for the terms "artisanal" and "homemade" to preface the treats.

North American trends seem to be in line with what's expected in Australia. One Australian source predicts a fermenting frenzy: "Originally popular amongst the raw food enthusiasts, the trend of using microbes in your own kitchen is set to go mainstream with DIY lessons going beyond creating homemade yoghurt. Think sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), kombucha (fermented tea), kimchee (fermented vegetables) and kefir (cultured milk product)." Tourism Australia's predictions for next year also include smoked foods (everything from meat to fruit), plus savoury cocktails, an emphasis on vegetables, and outrageous sweets.

No one seems to have made similar pickle predictions for the UK for 2015. Members there will have to fill us in on whether 'fermenting frenzy' is taking hold in the UK as much as it is across the pond.

Photo of Bread & butter pickles from Food Wishes by John Mitzewich

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