This story originally ran in the November 2016 issue of Rachael Ray Every Day.
Nashville Hot Chicken. This five-alarm fried chicken was invented by Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville, but the trend has spread way beyond the South. The Chew cohost Carla Hall opened a Nashville hot chicken spot in Brooklyn last spring, and even the Colonel got in on the action: In January, KFC started selling a fast-food version.
Spicy Fried Turkey with Hot Honey Gravy
Miso. When you think of miso, you probably picture the soup that comes with your sushi. But the fermented soybean paste, once a specialty item, is now at a grocery chain near you—Whole Foods has it, ditto Kroger. More proof that miso has gone mainstream? TGI Fridays added a miso-flavored option to its insanely popular wings lineup. That’s what we call happy hour!
Miso-Butter Turkey with Shiitake Gravy
Smoked Spices. The Spice House, a Midwest chain with serious chef cred (Rachael and Alton Brown are both longtime customers), has seen sales of smoked salt and smoked paprika jump 72 percent and 92 percent respectively over the last three years. Mega-brand McCormick is seeing smoke signals, too: The company’s 2015 “Flavor Forecast” called smoked spices a major up-and-comer.
Smoky Turkey with Apple-Cider Gravy
Pull-Apart Bread. The scored and stuffed loaf with endless flavor possibilities has blown up online, with 10 million saved recipe ideas on Pinterest. The trend spikes around the holidays, which explains why the most pinned pull-apart loaf is pumpkin. But we love it as a savory side; this one’s like cheesy onion soup in bread form.
Caramelized Onion & Gruyère Pull-Apart Bread
Middle Eastern. What’s the next “It” global cuisine? If you ask nearly 1,600 chefs, which the National Restaurant Association did for its “What’s Hot 2016 Culinary Forecast,” a top answer is Middle Eastern. In fact, one chef’s take, the Israeli-inspired cookbook Zahav, was named Book of the Year by the James Beard Foundation; its recipe for Persian rice inspired this tasty version of rice stuffing.
Crispy-Bottom Rice with Cranberries, Thyme & Almonds
Sourdough. The number of new food products containing sourdough grew 196 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to Innova Market Insights, a company that researches food trends. You can buy pizza, beer, even chocolate bars made with sourdough—so why not use the tangy, trendy bread in your stuffing?
Sourdough Stuffing with Apple, Sausage & Kale
Turmeric. Thanks to its proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the bright- golden spice, long loved by nutritionists, has caught on with the rest of us: The Specialty Food Association named it a top trend last year and, lo and behold, turmeric-almond milk and turmeric-orange juice have already made an appearance at your supermarket.
Turmeric Mashed Potatoes
Try our Turmeric Mashed Potatoes
Chia Seeds. Chia’s first brush with fame came via the ’70s novelty item Chia Pet, with its earworm jingle (ch-ch-ch-chia!). Today, the itty-bitty seeds are a bona fide superfood, so you’re more likely to see them in a smoothie bowl than sprouting from a terra-cotta sheep. Research firm Mintel recorded a 70-percent increase in chia- containing packaged food and drinks from 2014 to 2015. Ch-ch-ch-ching! !
Sweet Potato Casserole with Chia-Seed Streusel
Poutine. Potatoes smothered in gravy and topped with cheese curds— this ode to excess sounds all-American, but poutine is actually an import from Quebec. Not surprisingly, our nation’s diners have embraced the dish. According to Datassential MenuTrends, which studies more than 100,000 American restaurant menus, appearances of poutine soared 392 percent between 2012 and 2016. Thanks, neighbor!
Try our Fingerling Poutine
Spiralizing. The Spiralizer is officially everywhere: From 2015 to 2016, consumers spent as much on gadgets to turn zucchini into zoodles as they did on measuring spoons, says retail tracking service the NPD Group. The cookbook world also took note: On Amazon, you’ll find 142 Spiralizer-themed cookbooks published in the last year alone.
Spiralized Butternut Squash & Celery Root
Cauliflower Rice. Cauliflower florets chopped into grain-size bits are becoming so mainstream that you’ll soon find riffs made from broccoli and carrots in a supermarket freezer near you. But the original Paleo-friendly “rice” is still very much in demand—some locations of Trader Joe’s have rationed its riced cauliflower to one bag per customer!
Cauliflower Confetti Rice
Try our Cauliflower Confetti Rice
Italian. Most Americans don’t speak Italian, but they but do speak pasta: We throw around terms like carbonara, marinara and puttanesca like natives. The latest to enter our vocabulary: cacio e pepe (Italian for cheese and pepper). In just the first three months of this year, searches for the simple, satisfying dish grew 144 percent, according to Google. Buon appetito!
Cacio e Pepe Creamed Spinach
Try our Cacio e Pepe Creamed Spinach
Brussels Sprouts. Brussels sprouts have gotten a bad rap as a food everyone loves to hate (one study even says the dislike of them is genetic). But tastes they are a-changin’: There are nearly 15 million recipe ideas for Brussels sprouts on Pinterest, and last year Americans ate a whopping 186 million pounds of them—up 116 percent from five years earlier. You’ve come a long way, baby cabbages!
Brussels Sprouts Tarte Tatin
Try our Brussels Sprouts Tarte Tatin
The Negroni. Along with just about every other classic cocktail, this Italian drink, made with Campari, sweet vermouth and gin, is enjoying a revival. To capitalize on its cultish following, Campari created “Negroni Week” in 2013. The celebration began as a marketing ploy in 100 U.S. bars but has grown to become a worldwide event. More than 6,000 venues in 61 countries donate a dollar from all Negronis sold that week to charity. We’ll drink to that!
Negroni Cranberry Relish
Try our Negroni Cranberry Relish
Food Roses. First came apple-rose tarts: apple slices arranged like petals in a pastry shell (one YouTube tutorial got more than 7 million views). Then avocado and ice cream roses sprang up all over social media, proving that if you can slice it, you can rose-ify it! Next up, our canned-cranberry rose, ready for its shot at fame.
Try our Cranberry-Sauce Rose
Floral Flavors. The most notable breakthrough in the cross-pollination of flowers and food is the über-popular elderflower liqueur St. Germain. But it’s a pairing with staying power. Lavender yogurt and hibiscus sorbet, which might have seemed exotic a few years ago, are now garden-variety grocery items.
Try our Hibiscus-Cranberry Sauce
Ice Cream Cake. Makes you think of childhood birthday parties, doesn’t it? Breyers must think so, too, since for its birthday, the dairy giant released ice cream cake—flavored ice cream. (Happy 150th!) Nostalgia is an effective marketing strategy—a 2014 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that consumers are willing to spend more money after they’ve had their heartstrings tugged. Prediction: Breyers won’t be the only company to do the heartstring-tugging.
Pumpkin-Pecan Ice Cream Cake
Try our Pumpkin-Pecan Ice Cream Cake
Babka. This swirly, old-school Eastern European bread is having a moment. A decadent reboot made with Nutella and croissant dough from Breads Bakery in New York City nabbed Best in the City honors from New York magazine—and led to a spike in sales and a brisk mail-order business. Now bakeries around the country are hopping on the babka bandwagon.
Chocolate Babka Bread Pudding
Try our Chocolate Babka Bread Pudding
Braided Piecrust. Of course tutorials for decorative piecrusts are big on YouTube—the technique can be tricky to pull off. While searches for the familiar lattice top still turn up more how-to’s, it’s clear as you troll the site that braids are the future of braggable crusts—and coming on fast!
Braided-Crust Apple Pie
Try our Braided-Crust Apple Pie
Aquafaba. Aqua-whata? It’s Latin for bean water—that liquid in a can of beans that you usually dump down the drain. Packed with protein and starch, bean water has qualities similar to egg whites, so it’s great for making vegan cookies, cakes and meringues (the base for these pavlovas). Fueling the obsession are multiple Facebook groups with names like Vegan Meringue Hits and Misses!, whose 53,000-plus members test aquafaba’s endless possibilities. Cool beans!
Candied Kumquat Pavlovas
Try our Candied Kumquat Pavlovas