The beginning of the year has already shown what’s in store for food trends this year.  We are on the same course as the last few years of being more aware of what’s healthy and what is not.  And, according to USA Today, food trends for 2013 will lean towards heritage foods and spicy sweet.

Local

Culinary predictions from marketing groups and food experts show that this year more people, including restaurant chefs, will be trying to get their food locally.  Try to buy your vegetables grown by local farmers.  And if you are fortunate to live in an area that produces meat, poultry or fish, try to buy locally as well – or buy from the smaller markets who bring in fresh every day. Knowing where your food comes from and how it is harvested is one key to becoming more aware of what you are putting into your body.

Asian Foods = Comfort Food

Asian influences are expected to be popular this year. Flavorful bowls of noodles, udon, sobu and rice will mainstream into our comfort food. Add to this another food trend of pickled vegetables that is going to explode across the nation. The new salty is sour!

Veggies

The new sexy vegetable this year will be Brussels sprouts. The bitter undertaste of the Brussels sprout, as well as cauliflower and kale, will be filling plates.  There are so many different ways to prepare these vegetables and they will be at the top of the list that restaurants will be serving.

Gluten-Free

Good news for those suffering with any food allergies.  More and more restaurants and food companies are taking steps to provide alternatives for people who have food allergies and who have opted over the last few years to stay at home.  Larger menus and larger aisles at grocery stores are proving that food companies have recognized that there is a need in this country for special diet foods.  Restaurants will even be offering different types of buns for their hamburgers – gluten-free rice, pretzel buns and multigrain will be a few of the new buns this year.

Cheaper Wine (My Fave)

No need to spend a fortune anymore to have that ocassional glass of wine.  The trend this year will be to buy nationally processed wine instead of the expensive wine from France. Booze will be added into all of our favorite desserts – cakes, puddings, cupcakes and cookies. And for snacks, popcorn, in all kinds of flavors, will be not just a movie theater staple this year. Popcorn will even be used in savory dishes for an added crunch.

So settle down for a year of strange vegetables, boozy desserts and popcorn at weddings.