Food Network Kitchens: Top Food Trends for 2012

By: Jonathan Milder

The Food Network Kitchens peered long and hard into its crystal ball to come up with its annual list of the top trends that will define 2012 in food. Check out two of the trends here, then visit Food Network’s Dish and Healthy Eats for the rest of the list.

1. Old-Fashioned is the New Fashion

History is on the menu for 2012. From high-end chefs to home cooks, fascination with old ways will gain momentum. The historical turn has been on display for several years in the revival of homesteader arts such as canning, pickling, salting, and kitchen gardening (and even backyard chicken–keeping and home brewing). If the economy remains slack, expect to see more books, tools, and products to feed this habit.

The shift has been most striking at the cutting edge of modern cooking, where some of the world’s most influential chefs—Jose Andres, Grant Achatz, Sean Brock, Rene Redzepi, et al.— spent the year resurrecting dishes and ingredients seldom seen since the invention of the electric range: blueberry ketchup, spiced pigeon, pokeweed, pickled oysters.

Suddenly, for many, the way forward is going back into the past to recover things discarded in the march of progress: lost dishes, wild foods, heirloom seeds and breeds, tools and techniques of preservation and preparation. What’s going on is no mere exercise in nostalgia. Rather, it is a recuperation of neglected culinary riches, forgotten foodways, proud agricultural heritage.

Get In On the Trend:
2. The Sub Goes Global
Forget the grinders of your youth, the subs of 2012 will be UN summits of intercontinental flavors and cross-cultural mash-ups. The Mexican-Korean fusion spearheaded by Kogi in L.A. will find its way onto sub rolls—think avocado & jalapeno + kimchi + galbi. Vietnamese banh mi will continue its march into the American mainstream, getting some clever tweaks along the way (e.g. Michael Voltaggio’s bahn mi with pork cheek and chicharrones at ink.sack). And increasingly, submarine rolls will host global barbecue traditions from India, China, and the Caribbean. Anybody for a char siu hoagie!?

Get In On the Trend:

Check out last year's predictions to see if we got them right (punch for New Year's Eve, anyone), and get more trends for this year on The Dish and Healthy Eats.

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