The Cooking Channel, a baby sibling to Food TV Network is making its mark showcasing food crafters from around the nation. The old fashioned way to bring freshness and flavor to the community has found a rebirth in the form of homemade foods with a modern touch.
The sagging U.S. economy has motivated the creativity of many foodies who never thought about taking a family heirloom recipe from kitchen to market. Home-based food processing businesses are popping up all over the U.S. and the products are amazingly simple but sophisticated in taste and texture.
The home-based food crafters of today are not in it to get rich quick but to build a brand and become the “Bush Beans” or “Sara Lee” of tomorrow. Food entrepreneurs at this year’s Fancy Food Show in New York showcased everything from gourmet salt, an appropriate product since Kraft has announced it will reduce sodium by 10% for North American brands by 2012 thereby giving the consumer a healthy option.
In tracking the food crafters for the last ten years the prediction for 2011 is simplicity, good things in small packages. Food entrepreneurs are more calculating, seeking product ideas that will again shake consumer taste buds and offer up miniature desserts, breads and delicately flavored baked goods, snacks and condiments stressing quality over convenience.
1. Low sodium seasoning mixes are still popular along with curry spice mixes and adobe mixes. Unfortunately none of the Asian Mixes have made major headway with the American consumer.
2. Chocolate truffles are here to stay, for a while that is, particularly if the economy continues to dip into a black (dark chocolate) whole. There really is nothing more satisfying than good chocolate.
3. We also can’t leave out those super flavorful snack foods like popcorn, baked potato chips and assorted nuts tossed in a variety of herbs and spices. The key here is less salt and more flavor.
4. Natural sweeteners are going to make a great comeback in the form of all natural candies and snack bars filled with nuts, seeds, dried fruits, nut butters and even chocolate.
5. Desserts are about to be reduced drastically in size. It is not longer fashionable to super-size anything. There will be no large chunks of cake or pie except in cheesy diners.
6. The year 2011 is also give way to the introduction of miniature loaves of bread. The type of loaf that will serve 2 to 4 easily; since the idea of “waste not want not” will be on the rise.
7. Bakers will start looking to the international market for unusual flavors and products. A number of European sweets will be introduced like cream horns and fruit tarts using exotic fruits. The skyrocketing cost of food toward the mid 2011 is going to leave consumers who can afford these sweet treasures seeking foods that are completely outside the box in both taste and texture.
Finally the last three gourmet foods for next year will be in the form of beverages; fruit juices, energy drinks and “all-natural” beverages that will take the place of breakfast and lunch. It is unfortunate, but next year Americans will finally be eating less, not by choice but out of necessity.