Gone are the days of waiting in cronut lines and dousing everything with sriracha… and by “gone,” we mean that we ate both of those things (A LOT) last year. This year, we were hungry for something new, and 2014 didn’t disappoint. We saw some equally awesome foods take center stage on menus across the country, and we’re sharing 15 of our favorites.
1. Waffles: Not just the syrupy sweet kind, y’all, though those blood orange waffles up there look amazing. Savory waffles are also super-duper trendy right now because they are absolutely delicious. Fold ’em into tacos or stack them like sandwiches — either way, you can load just about anything into them. Think of them as tiny flavor bowls built right into your food.
2. Kimchi: 2014 is the year of fermentation, fo sho. Between sauerkraut, kombucha and pickles, the probiotics are growing freely this year. Don’t tell the others, but kimchi is our absolute favorite. This spicy Korean condiment has been steadily going mainstream and we’re totally okay with that. The more kimchi, the merrier.
4. Burrata: Creamy, luscious burrata is like the butter of cheese. Cheese butter. We could eat it on anything. Don’t you go anywhere in 2015, burrata.
5. Ramen: Buh-bye, chicken noodle soup. Hello, ramen — the upgraded kind that doesn’t come out of a college dorm microwave. Cook this trend in the traditional brothy way or try hacking a ramen waffle or a ramen pizza.
6. Ice Cream Gone Wild: Lavender white chocolate ricotta ice cream? That’s what you’re looking at right now. This year, craft creameries and kitchens across the country have been experimenting with crazy flavors like candied jalapeño, turmeric honey and cilantro-lychee cashew.
7. Umami: Umami is the buzziest of buzzwords this year, thanks in part to LA-based burger chain Umami Burger. Umami is categorized as the fifth taste (what most people would describe as savory) and is present in many foods like seafood and mushrooms, along with fermented foods like miso. It’s not sweet, sour, salty or bitter — it’s its own thing, and it amplifies the flavor of just about anything.
8. Eggs: Have you noticed that everything has (and is better with) an egg on it these days? The incredible edible egg is back with a fierceness this year, topping everything from pizza to burgers to soba noodles. #putaneggonit
9. Edible Shot Glasses: Marshmallow shot glasses — why didn’t we think of it earlier?
10: Paleo: Out of the cave and into the mainstream: The paleo lifestyle limits sugar, grains, dairy, legumes and processed foods, but ups the real food quotient big-time with lots of vegetables, animals and minerals. Paleo pals took 2014 by storm, and the diet still seems to be gaining steam in a major way.
11. Avocado Toast: Why overthink the current toast craze? We don’t always understand spending $4 on toast, but we also do. Avocado toast, in particular, is something we’ve all been eating for years, but its Instagram-worthiness brought the simple 2-ingredient snack into the limelight in 2014.
12. Cauliflower: Cauliflower is having a moment right now. Has it replaced kale as the “it” veggie? Considering how many ways this cruciferous head can be hacked into rice, pizza crust, hummus, soup, steaks and so much more, it’s a near-perfect vegetable for almost any dietary restriction, from paleo to vegan to low-carb and gluten-free.
13. Food Art: Sorry, Mom. We’ve just gotta play with our food. Food porn is not a new thing, but it’s been blowing up this year, thanks to Instagram accounts like these and #Dinnercam, a portable photo set for your dinner plate.
14. Gluten-Free: Naughty, naughty gluten. Those suffering from the real deal Celiac disease can celebrate the rise of the new gluten-free cult — access to wheat-free food has never been better.
15. 3D Printed Food: Machines like the Foodini are making 3D printed food a reality way quicker than we ever imagined. Even the Army is testing 3D printed food to make sure everybody gets the exact nutrition they need. We’re halfway to the Star Trek replicator, guys.
What’s the food trend forecast for 2015? You tell us in the comments.