Ironically, our recent move from the city to the country has made me surprisingly aware of how food trends predicted for 2013 are already impacting on our lives! (Ironic because, of course, most Americans aren’t moving to the country – but more on that in a minute.) This month’s Recipe ReDux theme was to take just one of the many 2013 food trends and apply it to a one-dish meal. This version of African Peanut Stew incorporates at least four trends – but in the end it’s all about how it tastes. And when I served it to dinner guests (yes, it’s that good!) it got rave reviews!
My friend and colleague Janet Helm has a great recap of several of the 2013 food trend predictions here. And when I go down Phil Lembert’s list here, I see how the following are already becoming part of our new routine here in the country:
Sustainability — Stop Wasting Food – We now live about 10 miles from the nearest supermarket. So it’s not like I’m going to throw four kids in the car and drive 20 miles round trip to pick up some spice or a can of beans or a veggie I don’t have on hand. I improvise with what’s in my pantry. Or I cook up the dried beans that are always in the pantry; quick soaking beans takes only an hour and then another 30 minutes to cook.
Men in the Supermarket and Kitchen – My husband drives around a lot for his job, so I’m always sending him to the grocery store since he’s already out and about. Sometimes he comes home with a $7 toothbrush that wasn’t on the list. (Yes the $7 toothbrush is still operated by your own hand – but is is very shiny and silver and made to appeal to men!) But usually my guy sticks to a list better than I do.
Smart Home, Smartphone – Who doesn’t text their husband the grocery list?
The Story Behind Our Food – We can walk to our neighbor’s house a quarter of a mile away to pick up a dozen eggs for $1. Last time we were there, my 5 year old, found a few eggs in the hen house and carried them home in her pocket. (Luckily they didn’t break.) OK, I know this scenario isn’t the norm – at all – but I do know farms are becoming much more welcoming to consumers. Organizations like Local Harvest – where you can find locally produced food near you are popping up everywhere.
The Economy — New Proteins – I wasn’t really surprised when the family we invited over for dinner mentioned they were vegetarian. Our family eats a few meatless meals a week, but truth be told, I did want to ‘impress’ our new friends and was at a bit of a loss as to a vegetarian entree that would be ‘special’ enough to entertain guests, yet tasty enough for kids and a meat-loving husband. But this African Peanut stew is packed with ‘new proteins’ found in recipes all over the web. This recipe is a compilation of about 20 internet recipes with ingredients like protein-rich quinioa, lentils, and nut butters.
Which brings us full circle…are any of these “new” trends actually new? If you ask me, most of these ‘trends’ encompass a style of eating my great grandmother would’ve recognized (minus the smartphone!) Hey, even men shoppers aren’t totally new – remember in Little House on the Prairie how Pa and the rest of the menfolk used to to all the shopping when they went to town once a season? (However, they likely didn’t bring home the ingredients for African Peanut Stew!)
Have you found any “new” food trends that are really rather ‘old?’