What did the year soon to be past contribute food wise? What were the new tastes and treats that stunned us for the last twelve months?What did we like and what did we go "Ewwwww" over?
Food wise we had a Mid East summit. Za'atar and harissa seemed to be the stars of 2015. Everyone went crazy over the first, a mix of different spices such as sumac (not the poisonous kind)thyme, marjoram and oregano. Toasted sesame seeds is added for crunch as is seas salt. It is then mixed in with olive oil and served with another 2015 fad, the had rolled bagel. This is not the big New York puffy kind that kind of looks like a butt (sorry , but it does) A real Israeli bagel looks like a big circular pretzel.It is torn into bits and then the ends are dipped in the za'atar and oil.The bled can also be used in cooking veggies along with being sprinkled on salads and scrambled eggs. North Africa gave us harissa. a spicy paste that goes well with veggies or lamb. This is soaked red chili peppers mixed with olive oil, garlic and salt. A trio of spices, cumin, coriander and ground caraway seeds round it out and temper the heat.
Artesanal foodstuffs went amok. Hipsters throughout Brooklyn started their own food companies, from pickles to bacon. Entrepreneurs who have Smith Brothers beards are churning out handmade goodies in old Brooklyn factories that were probably churning out the same products 160 years ago. Flea markets were the battleground for these food makers as they vied to get hip foodies attentions and taste buds.Despite at how annoying it is, the movement is actually a good thing. Artesenal baby foods led to some of top manufacturers like Gerber and Beechnut to create preservative free ones along with ones featuring more avocados and squash. The homemade movement has also influenced bread companies as well. Our stores sell much more whole wheat and whole grain now than they ever have done. Even companies like Stop & Shop have their own artesenal foods like crackers and cereals,
What will 2016 bring? We'll find out tomorrow .Foodie Pantry has some interesting predictions.