Good holiday eating
I hope to see lots of you at Port Arthur’s YMCA working off your Christmas cookies.
Some of my culinary highlights include something I almost didn’t get to eat. My mom was just bending down to put her bread pudding in the oven when the lights went out on Christmas Day. We were fine through high winds and heavy rains. Within the hour it was sunny enough for a walk. The neighborhood smelled like trees because of all the pine branches and trees that went down. Ironically, it was sunny when high winds knocked out the power just as my mother was putting her bread pudding in the oven.
In another stroke of culinary luck, a couple of chefs I know knocked on my door because they are headed out of state. They were cleaning out their freezer and thought I could make good use of their gourmet goodies. I can, I can, I can!
Faux meat a 2013 trend
I’m actually already into faux meat, so guess I’m ahead of one 2013 food trend, released from JWT, billed as the “world's best-known marketing communications brand.” Chia seeds, seawater desalination and food sharing through co-ops make the list.
Here’ are more examples from their Things to Watch in Food & Beverage list:
ALLERGEN-FREE: With food allergies rising worldwide—a 2011 study found that as many as 1 in 12 American children may have a food allergy, twice as high as previous studies found—we’ll see “allergen-free” becoming as ubiquitous as gluten-free.
FAUX MEAT: Meat substitutes are gaining adherents among the masses as more people cut down on meat for budget, health or environmental reasons and as faux meat gets tastier and more convincing.
HUMANE FOOD: Consumers will become more concerned about the humane treatment of the animals they eat, a trend that’s already under way in Europe. Watch for animal advocates to bring new issues to light and mainstream consumers to pay close attention.
MENU-FREE DINING: As more restaurants try to be all things to all diners in this era of fussy eating—catering to a multitude of dietary restrictions and food allergies—some are going in the other direction, adopting a limited-options approach.
MID-CALORIE FOODS: The concept isn’t new (and some previous offerings have bombed), but food scientists are doing better at producing tasty products that compromise between all or nothing. With consumers wary of “light” and diet foods but looking for healthier choices, it’s a potentially lucrative niche.
REDUCED-GUILT CANDY: Consumers can have their cake and eat it too with candy that dials down on the sinful stuff and amps up the beneficial ingredients. Supercandy, from a company called Snap Infusion, is marketed as a functional food: Its gummy candies, jelly beans and caramels are enhanced with vitamins and electrolytes and sweetened with evaporated cane juice and tapioca syrup.
TEFF: Consumed for thousands of years in Ethiopia, this super grain has been slowly gaining favor outside the Horn of Africa, due in part to its exceptional nutritional quality. Teff is gluten-free, full of essential amino acids, high in protein, calcium and fiber, and low in fat. As consumers embrace ancient grains like quinoa and millet, we’ll see more interest in teff flour and recipes that incorporate the tiny grain.
Know anyone with the initials M.O.? A sleek black bottle of Mionetto Cuvee Rose 1887 would be the perfect gift, as the design incorporates an etched O dangling from the M in the cutest fashion. The contents are a refreshing gift of rose, citrus and red berry fruits for an aperitif, with white meats, fresh seafood and desserts. It’s light and delicious. I’m imagining these fine bubbles on your Mardi Gras menu. Hope you can dine with an M.O.