Dining and Restaurants / Eating / Food and Cooking

2011 FOOD TRENDS: Meatball mania; Seasonal latkes; Artificially scarse McRib; world’s priciest beer;

Nibbles is a compendium of food, dining and beverage information and trends from the U.S. and the world edited by John Lehndorff (www.JohnLehndorff.com)

Reported by: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2010/12/new_yorks_10_new_ubiquitous_menu_items.phpNew York’s ten trendiest new menu items are the new buzz dishes that chefs and restaurateurs seemingly can’t resist putting on their menus:
10) Tacos: Tacos are one of man’s greatest weaknesses. Knowing this, a lot of savvy chefs have included them on their menus as apps or entrees, even thought the restaurant might not actually serve any other Mexican food.
9) Pickle Plates: Even though a lot people are grossed out by them, pickle plates hit the sweet spot of “Greenmarket + Artisan Cred + Touchstone to Old, Weird America” that’s so appealing to chefs these days.
8) Shrimp and Grits: In New York, we just don’t know how to cook a proper plate of shrimp and grits. Still, even if we always screw it up, this dish is now a staple of many brunch and dinner.
7) Roasted Beet Salads: With blood orange, fennel, goat cheese — whatever. Beets are the Glee of greenmarket vegetables: they’re cool in a dorky way and so hot right now.
6) Meatballs: Meatballs, without pasta, usually in a little crock with some sauce, have landed on the menus as an as an app, or mid-menu item at many of the big new Italian projects of the year.
5) Chicken For Two: Hey, it worked at Balthazar.
4) Not Your Grandma’s Tartare: The classic version is a no-brainer for steakhouses and French bistros, but recently New York has seen a lot of experimental riffs on the classic beef or fish dish with exotic greens
3) Charcuterie Plates: What happens when you put a few pieces of grilled bread, some house-cured meats, stone ground mustard, cornichons or those damn pickled vegetables on a plate? You get the appetizer that’s now mandatory on any French or Italian menu.
2) Octopus: In 2010, chefs loved including grilled, braised or plancha-seared versions of the cephalopod on their menus in salads with citrus, as an appetizer with peppers or greens and on a bun.
1) Ribs: Slowly but surely ribs are getting showcased around the city. They are frequently served in a small pile, lacquered with a seasonal glaze as an app, or braised and placed over a starch as an entrée.
Hot dishes of 2011?: fondue, all-starch po-boys, seasonal latkes, chimichangas, “a New American spin” on Ethiopian wat and injera, tarte flambé, vegetable shabu-shabu.

Reported by http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/whats-new:
A new beer from Perth-based microbrewery Nail Ale has claimed the title of ‘world’s most expensive beer’, with a single bottle of the beer, brewed from a chunk of melted Antarctic ice, auctioned for $800 recently in support of anti-whaling group Sea Shepherds. The limited edition beer, of which only thirty bottles were brewed, was created at the Nail Brewing headquarters at Edith Cowan University in Perth.

Reported by Bloomberg Businessweek:
McDonald’s recent limited-time relaunch of the perennially popular McRib sandwich illustrates what happens when companies use artificial scarcity to promote their products. When people are offered something for a limited time, even if there’s no actual shortage of the product, old instincts kick in, says psychologist Marie C. Gray. “Our nervous systems get activated and we move into that hoarding, greedy thing even though we know it’s not true.”

strong>Complaints, tirades, comments, critiques? lehndorffj@aol.com

John Lehndorff is co-author with Kim Long of the American Salumi Calendar 2011, the first calendar devoted to cured meat artisans in the U.S. Lehndorff is a former caterer, nationally distributed newspaper food columnist and restaurant critic, author of a restaurant guide book, and one of America’s foremost pie experts.

The 2011 American Salumi Calendar: www.americansalumi.com
Fancy Food Magazine reports: “The American Salumi Calendar 2011 celebrates a new generation of cured meat artisans who are changing the way we think about cold cuts the same way brewers transformed American beer, cheesemakers transformed American cheese and bakers upgraded the old squishy white loaf.”

Learning to make salami: www.ediblecommunities.com/frontrange/fall-2010/the-school-of-salumi.htm

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