Over the past few weeks leading up to this brand new year in food, blogs have been dropping their “Food Trend Predictions for 2014″ lists left and right. We like to play this game from time to time, too, and we know it’s their job as documenters of the food and restaurant scene to rub the crystal ball from time to time. In 2012, we waited until the end of the year to assess whose predictions actually came true. But this year, we’re wasting no time in calling out a few prognosticators for spouting what we’re pretty sure is a load of bollocks.
Here’s a look at the some of the most ridiculous 2014 food trend predictions we’ve seen thus far.
1. “Chips and Salsa… for a Price” (via The Daily Meal)
Chips and salsa? Really?? Even if restaurants start—gasp—charging for the pre-meal snack, this is by no means a trend. Chips and salsa has been basically as commonplace as bread and butter since Mexican food became an American staple about 50 years back.
2. “Foraged Foods” (via Kitchen Daily)
The foraged foods trend—catalyzed by chefs like René Redzepi at Noma—already fizzled and died when people realized they live in Tribeca, not the Danish forest.
3. “Upscale Comfort Food” (via Forbes)
When food blogger Josh Ozersky writes a story about why he hates the “retooled comfort food” trend in early 2013, why tell people to “watch for it in 2014″? Sorry Forbes, but the fancification of basic-ass comfort foods has been going ever since the economy started bouncing back from 9/11.
4. “Salt is the New Pepper” (via Huffington Post)
Christine Couvelier, executive chef and global culinary trendologist, tells HuffPo Canada readers, “When we look at food shows and when we look at restaurant menus and even grocery shelves, the number of flavoured salts continue to grow. It’s overtaking the pepper category.” We know HuffPo is looking for a snappy way to frame Couvelier’s argument, but salt is not the new pepper. All cooks need salt, and they also need pepper. Using flavored salt does not replace the need for pepper. Please just say what you mean: “Flavored salts are, miraculously, still trendy.”
5. “Mini Desserts” (via Delish)
Mini desserts are the oldest trick in the book. Downsize a cupcake so that it’s “so adorable,” sell it for $2.50, and the herds will flock. Pint-sized desserts marketed to those who obsessively count calories and like cute things is nothing new.
6. “Real Food Is the New Fast Food” (via Food Network)
Yeah, this might happen in a perfect world where low-income families already addicted to caloric fast food can afford “real food” like organic produce and fresh juice. But 2014 is going to be nowhere near perfect—sorry, folks.
7. “Grazing (small-plate sharing or snacking instead of traditional meals)”
Head here for a real look at what the future of food looks like—a world where hamburger meat is grown in labs and food packaging is edible.