Food Predictions for 2015

Here's our forecast of food trends that will shape what you order, eat, watch and read in the new year. 

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More Love-Child Snacks

2014 saw the unholy couplings of brands that spawned Dewitos (Doritos-flavored Mountain Dew), cappuccino-flavored Lay's, pumpkin pie-flavored Pringles and more –– and that was just for chips. 

In 2015 expect more collisions of sweet and salty, bitter and befuddling: candy bar-flavored sodas and other flavors that you can't find in nature. 

Easy Meal Customization

Forget fussy fixed menus.

In 2015 expect more curated mix-and-match fast-casual joints, smaller menus at mid-range restaurants and family-style feasts at high-end places.

More Drinking, Less Chewing

2015's must-have utensil is a cup. Whether they're filled with green juice, fruit smoothies or full-on sippable meal replacements, people want their protein, vitamins and minerals on the go and on the double.

Look out for even more squeezable kids' fruit pouches, high-end blenders making juicing mass, bone broth becoming the new kale smoothie, butter coffee and DIY Soylent

Don't Be Anti Bacteria

Our culture is really into cultures –– fermented and probiotic foods like kombucha, kefir, kimchi and miso –– that support healthy gut bacteria.

In 2015 watch for a bounty of fermented pickles and pickle juice; sauerkraut; savory yogurt; cultured butter and buttermilk; kefir grains and kombucha; fermented sausages (salami, Thai sour sausages); and kvass.

Get the Recipe: Yogurt Yogurt

Hummus Among Us

American palates crave global flavors, with Eastern Mediterranean cuisine (and its Greek yogurt, hummus and Mediterranean diets) dominating the craze that is only going to get bigger.

Get ready for pomegranate molasses, bulgur, freekeh, labneh, halva, sumac, za'atar, dukka, ras el hanout, harissa and zhug.

Make It Grain

People are into grains like it's 3000 B.C. Since then, we've moved from pharaohs to farro and freekah, kamut, millet and teff.

Look for artisan Old World breads like rye, buckwheat, spelt and barley; specialty rice; porridge in restaurants; sprouted grains; home milling; fresh tortilla masa; and heirloom corn tortillas.

Uncomfort Food

Culinary risk-taking — once left to dares and slumber party pranks — is now in vogue. In 2015 food people will seek out the burnt, the stinky, the slimy, the incendiary, the raw and other bet-you-can't-handle-it food experiences.

Look out for:

Burnt — burnt honey as flavor, burnt toast powder spice, burnt lemons and charred scallions

Stinky — artisan cheese, kimchi

Slimy — oysters, okra, seaweed, octopus

Incendiary — ghost-pepper everything

Raw — tartare, crudo; skin and bones

The Next French Revolution

Sometimes the best place to harvest good ideas is at your roots. The classic and unpretentious French bistro has the dining experience pretty much down, with comfort, grace and service aesthetic as a rule.

In 2015 expect a renewed appreciation for well-crafted croissants, canelés and kouign amann, atmospheric bistros, brasseries and rotisseries; home cooks making tartines, galettes, tarte tatin; Eataly-style food halls, bu French; and an abundance of terrines, rillettes and snails.

Cold is Hottt

Recently, top-notch pastry chefs have been using ice cream as a blank canvas for creative genius (just watch a recent episode of Unique Sweets to get a taste).

2015 will bring more scoop shops moving into retail and mail-order, premium gelato taking up more space in the frozen aisles, and a lot more bizarre flavor — like vegetables (sweet corn, beet), booze and smoke — and more ingredient-driven sophistication (cardamom-lemon jam, raspberry-orgeat). Plus, there will be ice cream cookbooks galore.

Watch the Video: Ultimate Movie Ice Cream

Relive 2014

2014 flew by like a bobsled in Sochi, but still brought us all manner of food-related brouhahas. Check out some of the most-memorable in our roundup.

See More Photos: Best of Food in Pop Culture 2014