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Move Over Kale, Cauliflower Is In Town

Did that surprise you? Culinary trends are very fickle or should I say we are, consumers. We are in an age of becoming the deciding vote on what is hot and what's not. When it comes to something we all need to survive. Food and all it stands for is the biggest trend ever. Don't believe me? Turn on the TV or browse the magazine stands.

There are more reality food TV shows than I can count on both hands airing daily AT THE SAME TIME!  A new food mag appears almost monthly and that number is growing. Over 30,000 food blogs exist and who hasn't taken a picture of their food and texted it to someone?

So 2013 is over and the hype surrounding kale and quinoa has subsided. In their place is cauliflower, grilled like a steak and amaranth the next super food. Danish food (What?) is replacing Peruvian food and gochujang, a Korean spice paste threatens Sirracha and its byproducts such as lip balm ( Ouch!) and sirracha candycanes.

So last year we predicted gluten-free hysteria, enhanced flavored waters, craft beer, salted caramel, super foods and of course kale everything. Although we thought bacon and cupcakes would crash and burn they endured. So bacon now becomes a food group of it's own and, well you get the picture on cupcakes, here to stay.

What's in store for 2014? Have you heard about the cronut yet? It surfaced May 2013 and literally exploded. Imagine a croissant deep-fried shaped like a doughnut. Good. Now split it in half and add a fried egg, Canadian bacon and cheese. Go to Dunkin Donuts and order one with an iced latte or is it a frappe? Get on the scale .......No don't get on the scale! Fortunately to counterbalance those type of trends you'll see healthier, quick service or fast casual operations with emphasis on vegan and vegetarian cuisine. Whew!

There will also be more single item establishments specializing in one type of food such as mac & cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches. Éclairs will make their arrival in neon colors and flavors to match.

Then there are the mash ups, a new word for fusion. Oh that's how they do it, just change your word and presto it's new! So if you haven't had a kimchi topped taco you can indulge with a mint chocolate chip Pringle. Who thinks of these things? Different flavored salts will emerge as well as black garlic (I just bought some at Trader Joe's), rutabaga and za'atar.

Tech will continue to keep it interesting with online ordering and delivery, virtual grocery shopping and YELP-like applications. Scary, but everyone is a food critic now. Expect to see iPad waiters that take your order and accept debit cards, THAT'S kind of creepy.

TV reality shows about food have created a new national sport. I have to laugh because I used to get in trouble for running in the aisles with the shopping cart, but I guess it's okay now. See mom and dad, I told you!

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