Culinary Trends For 2010

With the economy in its beginning stages of upturn, 2010 was a bit of a challenge for the food industry—a challenge that certain restaurant operators and food marketers rose to meet. Beyond overall themes, such as back-to-the basics, artisan upgrades and healthful eating, the Culinary Trend Mapping Report—a bi-monthly journal from Packaged Facts and the Center for Culinary Development—has identified 10 top culinary trends in 2010:

  1. Gourmet-On-The-Go—Fine-dining chefs served upgraded street food either in restaurants or from refurbished carts and taco trucks.
  2. “Fine Fast” Sandwich Shops—Gourmet sandwich shops featured high-quality, artisan, and locally sourced ingredients, and house-made condiments and toppings.
  3. Boutique Booze—Local liquor outlets have benefitted from newly flexible blue laws, and the legalization of liquor tastings in stores and at factories.
  4. Condiments, Preserved Foods, Heirloom Produce—Produce from heirloom seeds, home canning, and homemade condiments and preserved products became popular, finding outlets at craft and farmers markets, online and at specialty retail stores.
  5. Parisian Macaroons—Macaroons (a Parisian pastry composed of two ground-almond meringue cookies, bound with butter cream, ganache or jam filling) were found in a number of high-end bakeries and gourmet-food retailers.
  6. Bahn Mi & Bao—Bao (a Taiwanese pork-based sandwich, served on a white flour bun) and banh mi (a Vietnamese sandwich featuring grilled meat or pâté served on French bread) appealed to consumers who love sandwiches but are searching for a more exciting flavor.
  7. Butchery—A renewed demand for hand-cut, high-quality meat was introduced in 2010.
  8. Agave Nectar—Agave nectar became the much-talked-about sweetener, easily added to products ranging from beverages to baked goods to sauces to confections, and is used in numerous products already on the market.
  9. Eggs All Day—Eggs were all the hype in 2010, being inexpensive, healthful and adaptable, and were the source of innovation for many chefs and restaurants.
  10. Better Burgers—From adding exotic toppings and the perfect bun to using grass-fed and locally sourced beef, many fine-dining restaurants added dressed-up versions of the burger on their menus, while chain restaurants responded to customer demand for better-quality meat for their burgers.

For more details on these top 10 trends, click here.