Food Forward '08

Forget about looking back … let’s guess what’s in store for 08!

If a rat can charm us, why not a bug? The next great food film to be revered by adults and tolerated by kids will be a jaunty romp with Corky Cockroach as he sings his way through a scrappy life spent in the bottom of a Caesar salad bowl.

Gourmet burgers and sassy meatballs were the rage last year, our Isaac Becker got a nod in the NYT for his meatballs, but what’s next? The Cheddar Foie Dog, coming to a hot cart on every corner.

The locavore movement has helped to push CSA into the mainstream. Look for farm-to-table boundaries to be further pushed with the advancement of text message "birth announcements" so you can race to field and arrive for the exact moment your rutabaga is ripe for the plucking.

The small-plates trend is dead. This time we MEAN it. Who cares that O-Bentoya got a plug for their robata which I find myself thinking about sometimes…it’s dead, I tell you. What’s hot? Anything in a loaf (shrimploaf, robataloaf, okraloaf, hot hot hot).

Buzzwords of the food world were clearly local, seasonal, organic, and sustainable. The trend they describe shows no sign of abatement, yet the words themselves have become a little overused, a little blah, no? Look for these new snazzy watchwords: earthish, dirt-nurtured, zip-code-containable, seasonesque (i.e. What are those tomatoes doing on your January menu? Shame on your lack of seasonesque.)

He’s already worked on banning trans-fats and is trying to start a menu-labeling scuffle, but what’s The Man really doing for 08? He’s going to save your life, whether you like it or not, by instituting mandatory steel-cut oat enemas. Bend over, and Supersize it please.

Damn, I’m excited. You?