JEFF TIEDEMAN: What's hot in 2011Do you know the popular trends, eats for the coming year?
Did you plant a garden last spring, take care of it all summer and can or freeze some of the bounty?
Are you a man who became unemployed in this tight economy and as a result headed into the kitchen and started to take over the cooking responsibilities?
Or have you gotten out of your comfort zone and embraced new foods like they serve at ethnic restaurants or vegetables that are unfamiliar to your dining room table?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re ahead of the curve, according to the editors at The Food Channel.
Those three examples are among the channel’s top 10 food trends for 2011 based on research conducted in conjunction with CultureWaves, the International Food Futurists and Mintel International. (For the complete list, go to www.food channel.com/articles/article/top-ten-food-trends-2011/).
The Food Channel, which for 23 years has served up these trends, also lists the 10 foods that you should watch in 2011. (View these foods — which includes nutmeg, a supposed aphrodisiac for women — at www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/top-ten-foods-watch-2011/).
I’ve always considered myself to be on the cutting edge when it comes to things culinary, so it doesn’t surprise me that some of the trends as well as a number of the hot foods have been on my radar for several years.
Gardening and canning is something that I’ve done for years. (In fact, I just recently finished making a batch of grape jelly (12 pints) that came from some juice that was canned a couple of years ago.) I learned about preserving fruit and vegetables from my parents and grandparents. To me, there’s nothing better than opening a jar of pickles or a quart of tomato juice during the dead of winter to remind me of the tastes of summer.
The same goes for the cooking. I’ve never considered the kitchen to the sole domain of women. Neither did my dad. I feel just as at home standing over the stove as behind a typewriter or firearms.
And I love to try new foods. We’ve already been to Little Bangkok — the recently opened Thai establishment in East Grand Forks — a couple of times. Although that cuisine is not entirely foreign to me, it was at one time. (And I can’t wait to go to the new Middle East restaurant in downtown Grand Forks.)
As far as the hot foods for 2011 go, four of them — sausage, sweet potatoes, beans and fin fish — have been a part of our diets for a number of years. I would say that we have those at least once or twice every week or two. (All of them, including our sausage, made from my wild game, are a nutrition bonanza.)
But I would be remiss to say that all of the foods trends and foods mentioned by The Food Channel are familiar.
For example, gourmet ice pops and cupuacu fruit (from Brazil) are two foods I’ve never tried. And in this age of computers, I rarely use a cell phone (Therese always has ours) and don’t have the slightest clue about all the new smart phone apps that are available to help you find grocery-store coupons or restaurant deals, among other things.
But I’m sure my grandson, Rakeem, can clue me in on the latter.
After all, there aren’t many kids who don’t have a Blackberry attached to their arms.
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at (701) 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.