Nicole Pilcher finds out exactly what foodie fashions are set to sweep the nation this year…

Each New Year brings a whole host of new foodie fads and fashions and this one looks set to be no different, with popcorn and veg apparently poised to take a starring role in restaurants – handy considering their low cost. These are some of the predicted trends of 2013, but which are here to stay and which will disappear faster than you can say fish fingers?

Carbon Conscience

Our hectic lifestyles are unlikely to slow down during 2013, and so food on-the-go will remain a staple requirement. However, while previous years have seen us consuming quick, easy food without a second thought, this year will emphasise the quality of the product as well as the speed. Industry experts are predicting a rise in fast-food chains championing sustainability and promoting carbon footprint awareness – an undeniably good thing, even if we have twisted their arm into it.

Going the Whole Hog

Imagine sitting down in your favourite restaurant and ordering not just the shoulder of lamb or the pork chops, but the entire animal. Already part of culinary culture in Korea, eating a whole animal or bird for dinner may soon be an everyday thing. International food consultants Baum & Whiteman predict a wave of high-end UK eateries running after-hours sit-ins, where customers can pick up a pig to share for somewhere in the region of £450. I can’t see it taking off, unless pigs start to.

Devour the Sour

After a good day or after a bad day, it’s all about a little of what you fancy – usually a little of something sweet and fatty, let’s face it. But according to the Sterling-Rice Group, our palates are soon to be re-tuned towards the tart, acidic and bitter. Fermented cherry juice and sour beer will hit menus this coming year, so brace yourselves for a tangy addition to many an à la carte.

Bare Fruit

2013 could see a big increase in fruit used in savoury appetisers, soups and meat dishes, as chefs continue to play around with different techniques. Apparently they’ll be fermenting, pickling, drying, salting and grilling our fruity fare, in order to manipulate flavour in new ways.

Chef Interaction

According to the LA Times, some eateries are expected to set up dining counters where customers can watch and chat to chefs while they cook up a storm. Some restaurants may even ditch waiting staff, with diners served their meals by the chef who created the dish.

McMachinery

By contrast; the very impersonal-sounding food dispenser. Already a feature of many a European McDonald’s, these machines will eradicate the need for a server as customers simply type in their order and wait for it to be dispensed.

Chef Health Gurus

For centuries, butter, cream and bacon have been chef’s best friends and the worst enemy of the waistline. Apparently, chefs will be making an active effort behind the scenes next year, to create more health-conscious dishes using whole-wheat products and high-fibre grains.

Street Eats

The nation’s increasing concern over the ethical cost of chain-restaurant food has made way for a stream of pop-up street food restaurants promising local, fresh produce. Popularised at festivals, these serve up our favourite cuisine guilt-free, and by all accounts, are set to become a more permanent fixture on many of our streets.

Nicole Pilcher

Nicole Pilcher

Nicole is an ex-Fed Up & Drunker who has now been released into the wild.

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