Photo: m kasahara, Flickr.
Sure, there are fundamentals that will never go out of style, like a well-cooked steak or a creamy bisque. But then there are fads -- Chilean sea bass, sous vide, molecular gastronomy. Like fashion's flashes in the pan, some are gaudy extravaganzas meant to attract attention and instant gratification. On the other hand, some become classics passed down through generations to come. No one can truly predict what the public will embrace, either in the short or long term.
What does the future hold for food trends? What exciting, silly, over-the-top surprises await us tomorrow, besides jet-pack pizza delivery? Drool over these epicurean prognostications and tremble at our ability to peer into the unknown. Here are food trends that we 110 percent guarantee will be served at any point between this new year and 500 years from now.
10. Jell-O Molds
A wave of 1970s nostalgia will see a return of jiggly Jell-o molds filled with floating edibles. Grapes, hot dogs, capers will all be suspended in an ornate dome of gelatin. Ironically, of course.
9. Broth Cubes
One day, in the future, you will pay a lot of money for frozen squares of bouillabaisse, consommé or French onion soup. You will hate it. You will eat. And oh, you will pay.
8. Waffle Cones
The most popular form of fast food will be a waffle cone filled with all manner of soft, savory foods. Mashed potatoes, chili con carne, macaroni salad -- all served in a portable, delicious cone.
7. Rodent Meat
We will look back and wrinkle our noses at the offal craze of this decade. Then we will return to nibbling itty-bitty racks of hamster or weasel bourguignon. Broiled mouse will be as popular then as bone marrow is now.
6. Tiny Utensils
Lose weight by eating tiny morsels speared at the ends of tiny forks. It's a diet and an aesthetic statement.
Fusion was too timid. Culinary mash-ups will be extreme, like snowboarding or skull piercings. Asian food won't be "fused" with French. It will be mashed together. Paté-stuffed Peking duck? Dude! Wasabi soufflé? RAD!
Imagine ordering dinner and your food being cooked tableside ... by a man with a flamethrower. That restaurant will be the "hottest" ticket in town! It will be a hot ticket, because spits of large animals will be flash cooked by a flamethrower right in front of you.
3. Inside-Out Sandwiches
Sandwiches are old and boring. But not "inside-out" sandwiches, where the bread is sandwiched between a slice of meat and a slice of cheese! It will be a phenomenon!
2. Fish Eyeballs
First of all, fish eyeballs are sustainable, especially if you just remove one eye from the fish. Secondly, it won't be called "fish eyeballs." It will be called "ocular roe." It will sell by the bowlful.
Gourmands will line up to eat plain white bread, toasted, without butter. It will be the counter-intuitive choice for gastronomes who want to return to the very basics of human consumption. The toast can be paired with a glass of water.