Thursday, January 15, 2015

Favorite Food Trends 2015

Tinned Seafood
The Celery on my winter windowsill
As you may have guessed I do a lot of reading about food, recipes, growing food, storing food, etc.  In the past few weeks I have been digesting all of the various food magazines, web sites and other media to get a feel for what people in the food world see as the trends we can expect to see in 2015.

I offer some of them here for your consideration.  I would also love to hear from you as to what YOU think will be trends.  Almost all trends are of a general nature, but I have also added one or two that are local to my environment.  I am sure that there are some that are local to you all as well.

Bone Broth - One of the many things that keeps me hooked on the world of food and cooking is that i am always learning something new.  Bone Broth was a new on me.  Of course I new about stock - we spent a whole year (I think it was 2010) learning how to make the best stocks.  And I know about Bouillon - although I rarely use it.  But this broth was a new twist.  I can happily say that this is a "trend" we should all get behind.  It is delicious, good for you and wonderfully comforting in cold weather.  And it could not be easier to make.  You put small meaty bones in water just to cover.   Don't boil it.  Simmer it for anywhere from 8 - 24 hours.  For the last hour or so you can add some aromatics and a carrot and/or onion.  When the broth is done to your liking, remove the veg and any aromatics that you have used; strain the broth and it is ready to go.  I like it hot with a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt.  NOTE:  Use bones from sustainably raised meat; not factory farmed (supermarket) meat.  So far I have only made beef bone broth using bones from grass fed, pasture raised beef.  Trust me, it is a delicious and healthy pick me up or a lovely, informal "first course".  Try it!

Beef Bone Broth

High Quality Canned ('Tinned") Products  - If you have ever been to Spain you know that very expensive, very delicious, high quality preserved foods in small cans are a part of the tapas tradition.  There are also shops that sell nothing but fish, seafood, peppers, and other products in "tins".  I am not talking about a can of sardines here - not that there's anything wrong with that!  Oh no, you can find tins of octopus, white anchovies, smoked fish, fish in olive oil, stuffed piquillo peppers in vinegar, and shellfish, among other things.  In the U.S., we now have access to some of these wonderful producers.  One that we have been enjoying is Cole's tinned seafood, available at the Reading Terminal Market at "Jonathan's Best" and at Green Aisle Markets (see photo).  Putting out tins of rich, delicious fish, seafood, vegetables and other items with good hunks of bread and ice cold cocktails is dinner on a Friday evening in my house.  Look for some of these products online at

Homemade Butter - What can I say?  I have been making our own butter for about three years now and I can't imagine going back to commercial butters.  That said, I do occasionally treat my self to Irish butter or the Parmesan butter.  And I am very lucky to have access to butter made by some of our wonderful local farms.  That said, I enjoy the process and so, unless I can't get excellent, unfooled around with heavy cream, I make my own.   There are lots of techniques.  Some folks use the "shake in the jar" approach.  I applaud that, but I didn't invest in that heavy duty Kitchen Aid for nothing!  I use non-homogenized heavy cream (it's gorgeous.  I can smell the grass the cows ate in it).  Six cups into the bowl of the mixer, use the whisk attachment and give it a slow stir and then switch to a high beat.  I strain it into a big bowl (that Buttermilk is gold!), and stir and press it with a heavy wooden butter paddle until I have pressed out all of the milk.  I bottle up the Buttermilk. I wrap the butter in wax paper in six or seven "chunks" and freeze it.  Of course, I always hold one or two out of the freezer because it is so good and so fresh. NOTE:  Unless it is really hot in our kitchen - and it is often in the summer as we are "AC Free", I do not refrigerate butter or eggs.

Black Crack - I am proud to say the producers of this aged and fermented black garlic are operating in my region.  Thus, we have had a couple of years to use it.  It is amazing.  I like to grind it up, although using it is the traditional cloves is glorious too.  It is amazing over scrambled eggs, steaks, bread and butter - frankly, I haven't found it to not be wonderful on anything.  I love these folks.  Get yourself some Black Crack at The Fair Food Farmstand in The Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia or online at

Celery - And, lastly, an ingredient that I truly love.  Celery has been undervalued and underused forever (in my humble opinion).  Well that is changing quickly!  I love to use celery. Celery is very versatile.  It is delicious braised, can be made into a granita and is wonderful tossed with Cerignola olives and a good vinaigrette.  I plant Par-Cel in our herb garden every year.  If you are not familiar with Par-Cel, look it up.  It's like parsley with thicker, celery like stalks and an intense flavor of celery.  As you can see, I love the celery leaves as well so I cut off the bottom of a stalk of celery, put it in water and keep it on the kitchen windowsill all winter.  One of these freebie plants rooted, so it's growing quite nicely in dirt.  I clip the leaves for recipes and I also dry some of the leaves and mix them with a good sea salt.  Great for Bloody Mary's, soups, almost anything.

So, having shared what I think are some of the most meaningful "Trends for 2015",  how about sharing what you think are important food trends on the horizon?

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