Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Do you know your food trends?

For the Southern Women's Show last week, I came up with a 20-question quiz about what's in the food trends (and what isn't). Want to play along? Don't take it too seriously - trends are really anyone's guess.

And to make it more fun, here's the prize: A copy of the new book "From Our Grandmother's Kitchen," from the editors of Cook's Country magazine. It's the perfect trend anecdote, a collection of recipes "too good to forget." To enter the random drawing, send your name and mailing address to me at kpurvis@charlotteobserver.com. Deadline: Monday morning.

OK, here's the quiz, based on a variety of sources predicting the 2011 food trends.

1. True or false: Oprah Winfrey, Mario Batali and Rachael Ray celebrate Meatless Friday.

(False: They celebrate Meatless Monday. Meatless Friday has been a tradition in the Catholic church for hundreds of years.)

2. True or false: All the buzz is about Urban Bee Keeping as the latest trend.

(True. There are hives on the roof at the Ritz Carlton and the Dunhill uptown, and in yards in Myers Park.)

3. To save calories, people are getting dessert plates with with several forks for celebrate the trend of Dessert Sharing.

(False: Germophobia and foodborne illness outbreaks have made people cautious about sharing.)

4. The latest spin in cocktail culture is Smoking Your Drink.

(True: Smoked mint juleps and smoked bourbon have both made appearances this year.)

5. How about drinking your smoke?

(True: Hookah bars are catching on.)

6. What trend does this describe: Handing over $12 to $15 on a plate of food from the back of moving van.


7. Is chocolate-covered bacon a trend?

(Nope. In the food-trend world, chocolate bacon is considered over.)

8. Cupcakes are the hottest thing in bite-size desserts.

(False. In 2011, Amazon.com listed eight books on macarons, the little French pastries, and only four on cupcakes. )

9. The hottest thing in fried chicken is Korean fried chicken.

(True. It's part of a trend toward ethnic comfort food.)

10. Moonshine is the latest thing in artisan liquors.

(Crazy, but true.)

11. Really tall wedding cakes are in fashion.

(False: Wedding cakes are getting simpler or they’re getting replaced with interactive things like cheesecake bars, pie spreads or, yes, candy tables.)

12. Which is not a trend: Artisan hot dogs, artisan grits or artisan tofu.

(It's a trick question: They’re all trends.)

13. Canning is back.

(True. As part of the movement toward local food, it's been big for the last several summers. )

14. The latest hot candy flavor is jalapeno M&Ms.

(False. We hope. But doesn't it sound real?)

15. The trend in baking is sweet and savory versions of . . .

(Pie. Pie is very big this year.)

16. "Hyper-local" is the new phrase for very excited small children growing their own food.

(False. Hyper-local actually means food with no middleman between the food and the plate, such as chef-owned farms or restaurants with gardens.)

17. When pigs fly: The latest thing on appetizer menus is pig wings.

(True. They're a specialty cut, and you can get them at places like The Diamond in Charlotte.)

18. Vegetarians don’t eat meat, pesco-ovo vegetarians eat fish and eggs, and flexitarians eat what?

(Anything: Flexitarians mix up vegan, vegetarian and carnivore eating styles, depending on the time of day, the day of the week or how they feel.)

19. It’s the latest thing in getting really close to the table: Chefs are weaving their own tablecloths.

(False. Although I have seen this once, that's not enough to declare it a trend.)

20. As a backlash against cyber space and technology that is changing too quickly, people are subscribing to print newspapers.

(True. But only in my dreams.)