Food trend to watch out for: beak-to-feet

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The concept of eating nose to tail has seen cow tongues, pig spleens and ox hearts grace the plates of high-end restaurants around the world. But now, food spotters foresee a new trend emerging in Western regions: beak to feet.

"We have been eating so much chicken breast over the past few years," said Katherine Alford, vice-president of Food Network's test kitchens in the US. "What's happening to the rest of that bird?"

Alford was speaking to an audience at the Research Chefs Association Culinology Conference in Atlanta last week, which was highlighted in a story by FoodNavigator.com.

It's commonly known that Westerners often reach for chicken breast first when shopping in grocery stores. And for years that imbalance was offset by Russia, which, in 2009, imported 1.6 billion pounds of leg quarters from the US, says Slate.com. But recently the country has moved to import less chicken from the US in a bid to become less reliant on outside resources. That, the article points out, begs the question: why do Westerners prefer white meat?

There are a few theories that try to explain this preference: breast meat looks innocuous, while chicken legs are a visual reminder that they're eating an animal. Wings and legs are likewise animal parts that are closest to the ground and could subconsciously transfer the notion that they're dirty and unyhygienic.

While plastic-wrapped chicken breasts, legs, wings and thighs grace supermarket shelves in Western countries, the liver, heart and gizzards are processed for other foods. Restaurants and food TV shows are expected to drive the push towards eating more dark meat and scavenging the whole bird.

Meanwhile, chicken feet are eaten in Caribbean and Chinese cuisine, while chicken testicles are consumed in East Asia and parts of South East Asia.

Other food trends Alford foresees include the continued interest in pie as a comfort food, the story said.

Last year, restaurant and hotel consultancy group Andrew Freeman & Co. out of San Francisco predicted that both sweet and savory pies will be the top restaurant trend in 2011. He noted that Hill Country Chicken in New York sponsors a "Pie Happy Hour" to showcase its variety, reported Nation's Restaurant News .

February was also National Pie Month in the US.

The UK has seen a proliferation of pie shops in the last few years. One of the more popular lines, Pieminister out of Bristol, handmakes their pies which are served in pubs across the UK and has also been consumed by the Queen herself.

Alford also singled out tacos as the next "new sandwich" and Asian-inspired pasta as other trends to watch out for.

 

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