From food trucks to ramen, sriracha to quinoa, 2015 brought us a myriad of flavors, textures and trends in the world of food. Unique eats and the chefs that make them continue to captivate the pop culture of America. In the past year, eaters around the nation adapted the Olympic motto of “faster, higher, stronger” to “tastier, healthier, fresher.”
If 2015 was a good year for foodies, then expect 2016 to be a great one. Here’s the top trends to get your taste buds buzzing in 2016:
American food goes global
Ethnic cuisine in the US has historically amounted to cheap Chinese and Olive Garden. In the next twelve months, be prepared for an invasion: Middle Eastern kabobs, Korean pork buns, Jewish kosher delis and African stews are coming to town.
Resolve to keep an open mind, as many of these countries use unfamiliar spices, sauces and different cuts of meat (try beef tongue or turmeric!). In Fort Collins try Maza Kabob for Afghani eats or Nyala for a taste of Ethiopia. Check out The Bagel Deli, a traditional Jewish shop in Denver, for homemade cream cheese, lox and authentic New York bagels.
Eating healthy gets easy AND delicious
Vegans and meat eaters alike should be excited about this one. Eating well means fresher ingredients. Think local, grassfed meats, ancient grains and varieties of fruits and veggies.
The Kitchen, a community bistro in Old Town, turns dinner into an eco-friendly endeavor by dishing up produce and meat from area farmers and even composting their scraps and left-overs. Look for chefs who are placing plants in star roles. The variety of textures and flavors that trendy vegetables like romanesco and watermelon radishes makes eating your greens an adventure. Even fast food chains like Panera Bread Co. and McDonald’s are taking GMO’s, artificial ingredients, and preservatives off the menu. Other health trends include leaving out added sugars and boosting the amount of “good” fats, like those in avocados and nuts, in foods.
Cook, brew or ferment-it-yourself
America was built on a do-it-yourself mentality, and although its taken some time, the food world has finally caught on. This is the year to turn your kitchen (and basement) into an edible workshop.
Home brewing has soared in popularity in the past few years and isn’t slowing down. Get in on the craft brew scene by visiting Hops & Berries on Olive Street to pick up your starter kit and supplies.
A great cup of Joe comes back into the kitchen this year too in the form of cold brew. Soak coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, then strain for a slightly sweet, concentrated kick. Be sure to check out Harbinger Coffee on South Mason. The baristas brew their coffee right in front of you, and can teach you some good techniques to brew a better cup of joe. Harbinger also sells imported coffee beans so you can add a unique twist to your home-brews. The do-it-yourself trend doesn’t stop at beverages, however. Ferment your own kimchi or sauerkraut at home to add a custom tang to any dish. Or make your own pickles with little more than salt, sugar and vinegar.