Appetizers
January 10, 2011
Food trends for the new year, from coconut water to bacon

By Allen Pierleoni
apierleoni@sacbee.com

We tried a taste of www.fitbee.com, a website devoted to diet and fitness, and found a list of foods projected to be popular in the coming year.

The site is a collaboration between Rodale, publisher of health and wellness magazines, and www.msn, the news-features-sports site.

Try these on for size. Read more at the webside.

Gluten-free: "Expect to see more corn- and rice-based bread, cereal and pasta options, as well as other foods with 'gluten-free' on their labels."

Ethnic street food: Street food-inspired dishes such as kebabs, taquitos and tempura top the National Restaurant Association's 'What's Hot in 2011' chefs' survey for upcoming appetizer trends."

Thai iced tea: "The orange-colored beverage made with sweetened condensed milk is expected on more menus."

Tapas: "Look for a surge in tapas, small-plate meals and half-portions, predicts the National Restaurant Association's annual survey."

Artisan cheeses and bacon: "Look for (high-end) house-made bacon and handcrafted cheeses to start appearing in stores."

Seeds: "From flaxseed to chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, these morsels of monounsaturated fats are going to take a more prominent place on restaurant menus and supermarket shelves."

Grab-and-go snacks: "A growing number of fast-food chains, coffee shops and convenience stores are making over their grab-and-go selections."

Heirloom foods: "Heirloom crops refer to foods that were found in our early history of eating, and they're making a big comeback. Look for heirloom varieties of grains such as red rice, black rice, kamut and spelt in supermarkets."

Coconut water: "It's the health drink of the moment -- the liquid inside immature coconuts."

Hyper-local foods: "Thanks in part to Michelle Obama's White House vegetable garden, growing your own food is suddenly 'in' and going hyper-local is all the rage. This year, people will want to know where their meals are coming from, down to the very farm."

Macarons: "Not to be confused with macaroons (a small coconut-based cookie), macarons (a meringue sandwich cookie) have already been tapped as the heir apparent to the designer cupcake craze."

Call The Bee's Allen Pierleoni at (916() 321-1128.

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