Essay Index

Five culinary trend predictions for 2013 that you will not find elsewhere

[one_half][I] used to work for a guy who preferred all communications from his reports to be in cartoon form. It was a bit maddening to enter a meeting with him, having meticulously prepared a PowerPoint presentation loudly bulleting the team’s biggest wins of the month, only to have it turned away with little more feedback than:

  1. Bigger fonts.
  2. Get rid of all this stuff and just make a cartoon/picture.

In retrospect, he was simply preparing me for the real world. One in which, it’s been said, people don’t read anymore. This idea continues to be reinforced in contemporary media, where long-form content has slowly given way to slideshows, cartoons, and “best of” lists.

Well. Who am I to defy a bonafide media trend? Why, for example, should I labor over a 3500 word dissertation on low-temperature short ribs when I could easily replace it with an infographic that says “David Chang: Thumbs up! Possibly fictitious Thomas Keller recipe: Thumbs down!”  ?

Unfortunately, I don’t yet have the technological know-how to give you what you really want: a slideshow full of stock images requiring a pageload for each item. Nor have I found the perfect advertisement to insert as one (or several) of the slides—one that autoplays a video with sound. Or better yet, two videos whose audio tracks are slightly out of sync, with dismiss buttons that run away from your cursor. But I can give you a list. It has five items, is a round-up, and includes the word “trend.”



1. The Middle Cambrian diet
The first chordates were found in the Middle Cambrian period, their diets largely dispensing with relatively modern, carboniferous notions as “vegetables” and “seeds.” In 2013, savvy diners will seek the comforting foods of their notochord-bearing ancestors, from roughly the era in which the pharyngeal slit and post-anal tail made their auspicious debuts. Cutting-edge restaurants will allow customers to sit mostly buried in fine sand, their heads exposed to easily capture locally sourced diatoms and plankton with layers of sticky mucus.

2. Antarctic hipster cuisine
The rise of “Asian hipster cuisine” in the late aughts has undoubtedly shown the value of marketing an entire continent’s cuisines as a single category of food made by and for people we, as a society, hate. Though one might be tempted to dub Africa the next “hipster continent,” those in the know look no farther than Antarctica, its pemmican hoosh, stewed penguin breast, and curried seal meat being the main attractions that promise to bring all the scrawny boys, mustachioed girls, and their penny farthings to the proverbial yard.

3. Giant cakes
Cake pops are a little 2011, no? We see 2013 as the year of the Maxi Cake. Be the first to impress your coworkers with a red velvet cake requiring several gallons of FD&C Red #40, and large enough to contain a burlesque dancer. Expect Starbucks to follow suit by pairing their 31 oz Trenta with a proportionately sized slice of Raspberry Truffle Maxi Cake, the flagship product of their forthcoming Starbucks Gigantes.

4. Urban sheepherding
If there’s one thing city dwellers learned in 2012, it’s that barnyard animals are hot hot hot! In the coming year, relatively modest pursuits such as chicken- and beekeeping will be seen as the stuff of dabblers, while more serious hobbyists will divert their attention to large animal husbandry. Sheep are the ideal solution for urban areas, as they provide, among other things: (1) nearly emission-free lawn mowing, (2) wool for their farmers’ extreme knitting projects, and (3) milk for our suddenly insatiable appetite for greek yogurt.

5. Medium format food photography
2013 could use more pixels. A LOT more. Need to share a quick shot of those organic nachos to Facebook? Leave the cell phone at home and whip out your Leaf Aptus-II/Mamiya 645DF+ combo. Nothing screams “food enthusiast” more than shooting tethered with an 80 MP camera at your cramped two-top. As an added bonus, the output file at 70 dpi will give your food blog the largest, most detailed header image known to man. You’re welcome.

Have we forgotten anything? Sound off in the comments!




12 replies on “Five culinary trend predictions for 2013 that you will not find elsewhere”

Oh, I am late to this party. I do think the Middle Cambrian Diet, with patrons lying in layers of slime exposing hungry orifices, is a shoo-in for Folsom Fair, thought.

I love fusian food, but by my house is a take out place that is opening up called “Seoul Food.” It is a combo of Mexican & Korean food. Kimche Quesidillas,Butternut Squash fermented fish & kimchi empandadas.

Should I be scared, or hungry?

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