Hottest food trends for 2013

Jo Romero
Yahoo Lifestyle
8 January 2013


2012 was the year of Korean food, the gourmet burger and street food trucks - just as the experts predicted. But what do they reckon we’ll all be eating in 2013? We take a look...

Chicken

According to insight and concept development company Lost in Catering, chicken will be one of the hot new trends for this year - and not just on this side of the pond, either. New York-based restaurant consultants Baum and Whiteman agree.

Despite the rise in food prices, chicken is seen as a widely available and affordable meat. And there have never been more ways to cook it. Expect to see it spit-roasted, spatchcocked, barbecued, slow-roasted and also seasoned with jerk, peri-peri and Korean flavours, too.

[Related: Top 10 winter soup recipes]

Spanish, Basque and Catalan flavours
2012 saw a number of Spanish tapas restaurants open all over the UK.  And this year, it seems set to rise further, according to Lost in Catering, who see us nibbling on tapas and guzzling back Cava and sherry through 2013. Also be prepared for Basque and Catalan flavours, too.

Hotly-awaited openings in the capital this year include Basque restaurant Ametsa with Arzak Instruction at the Halkin Hotel and the Basque and Catalan-influenced Bilbao Berria in Lower Regent Street, to be run by Masterchef: The Professionals winner Ash Mair.

Designer hot dogs

Hot dog night takes over burger night, and even goes gourmet. According to Lost in Catering, ‘this is about double-smoked blends of pork and beef with marjoram, topped with exotic treats such as caramelised lettuce.’ Gourmet hot dog restaurants include Bubbledogs, the champagne and hot dog bar in London’s Charlotte Street and also Primo’s in Castleford and Leeds.

Expect to see marinated frankfurters, unusual toppings and inspiration from other cuisines, such as the bacon-wrapped ‘Tijuana’ dog from Mexico, Chinese and Japanese-spiced hot dogs and French-inspired franks topped with melted cheese.

[Related: Winter warmers that won’t have you piling on the pounds]

Fast food gets fancier... and healthier
Baum and Whiteman predict that fast food joints around the world will continue to upscale their menus, offering more choice. They reckon we’ll see sweet potato fries added to menus, ‘fancier buns’ and ‘gilded burgers’ topped with a range of gourmet ingredients. Some experts also think that fast food will continue to get healthier, with reduced levels of fat, salt and sugar, continuing the trend from previous years.

We’ll eat more greens
Kombu, nori, cabbage, kale; you name it, we’ll be adding it to foods this year. Baum and Whiteman tell us to expect to find seaweed-sprinkled fries, salt, crackers, cereals and butter. US-based  strategy, innovation and communications firm SRG also say that greens will be ‘no longer prepared as just a side or salad, vegetables will get their chance to star as the main dish.’ Look out for seaweed in meat pies, crispy baked kale with dips and cheesy cabbage and potato bakes.

Popcorn will be the new trendy snack
Put those crisps away. This year’s big snack will be popcorn, and not just salted or sugared. SRG predict that this ‘all-time favourite (and healthy) snack will pop up everywhere.’ Expect to see it in sundaes, ice creams and other desserts, and in some interesting flavours, too. Joe and Sephs currently offer a range of flavoured popcorn including caramel, macchiato and Scotch Whiskey; Madras curry; and smooth caramel, pepper and chilli. Dairy Milk also appeared on supermarket shelves late last year studded with toffee popcorn.

We’ll be drinking a lot more tea

Lost in Catering have spied a new trend for tea, in all its forms. This will be the year to try out new varieties of tea, but not just as a hot drink. Many bars have started adding teas to cocktails, such as the Gilbert Scott Bar at the St Pancras Hotel which has featured an Earl Grey, brandy, Amaretto and cream cocktail. At Hix Soho, try the non-alcoholic Lost Valentino: a combination of lemon sherbet, chilled green tea, mint, orange and nutmeg. The bubble tea craze also shows no signs of slowing: chilled, fresh and reviving, it’ll be a hit again this summer.

Do agree with the experts? What do you think we’ll all be eating and drinking in 2013? Let us know over on Twitter.

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