The latest foods and flavors set to invade the US is predicted to come from Northern and Scandinavian Europe, according to culinary trend watchers.
While Americans are well acquainted with the cuisines of France, Italy and Spain, gourmands will be increasingly turning their palates towards the lesser known gastronomic flavors of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Austria and Belgium, say the writers of the report "New Old World: Culinary Trend Mapping Report."
Produced out of the Center for Culinary Development in partnership with Packaged Facts, a market research group, the report illuminates how a food trend starts. As reported by trade publication FoodNavigator.com this week, oftentimes new trends are birthed at upscale, fine dining restaurants where chefs are constantly in pursuit of the next big thing with obscure ingredients and innovative cooking techniques.
Following that logic, the latest appetite for Nordic and Scandinavian cuisine could be credited in large part to celebrity chef du jour Rene Redzepi and his Copenhagen restaurant Noma, which has held tight to the title of best restaurant in the world according to Restaurant magazine and catapulted their native gastronomy to worldwide fame among the silver-spooned set.
Next, the trend makes its way into speciality consumer food magazines and TV programs, before being picked up by mainstream chain restaurants and family consumer magazines. The final resting stop in the food trend's trajectory is the local grocery store or fast food restaurant.
So while Belgian chocolate, Swedish meatballs - think retail giant Ikea - Danish cheeses, and German sausages are considered mainstream, at the far end of the spectrum other trends that are predicted to come down the pipeline include Scandinavian cloudberries, Dutch stroopwafels - thin, crispy chewy waffle-like cookies - German beer pubs and food foraging. (Redzepi is considered a pioneer of food foraging.)
Meanwhile, Belgian fry restaurants and German beer gardens are considered at the midway point to becoming mainstream, commonplace trends.
Americans are also increasingly seeking authenticity in their meals, the report said, which is leading to a more inquisitive and knowledgeable set of diners.