Now it’s May, I think I’m safe to tell you what you already know – what’s hot in food from where I sit – smack bang in the middle of inner-city Sydney. There are zero surprises and as many predictions. Read on to find out what’s hot right now.

1. diy/dit

From brewing your own beer and cider to from-scratch sourdough to a beehive on the roof, to pickling, canning and preserving, diy (do it yourself) and dit (do it together) food sprung up post-GFC as part of a wider trend including knitting, gardening and squeezing all your soap remnants into one big ball (ok, maybe not so much).

It’s now cool to act like a Granny and no one will laugh at you for growing your own kale. It’s kinda like how we used to take the piss out of people who ate squid, or garlic, or other ‘weird’ foods in the 70s and 80s, and now you can’t walk into a pub without someone shoving a plate of calamari and aioli in your face. We’re all guerilla gardeners and apprentice artisan bakers these days, but even so, this trend has spawned a whole market of people who would quite like to pickle their own cumquats, but simply haven’t the time. This is why ‘homestyle cooking’ is everywhere in cafes right now. Call me crazy, but if I want ‘homestyle food’, I’ll go to…my house?

2. Every kind of non-espresso coffee (except instant)

Cold drip, siphon/syphon, filter/pourover, french press, stovetop – we’re still loving our fresh ground beans, but espresso just doesn’t have the novelty these other methods do. Add to this the fact that an espresso machine is a pretty pricey (and huge) piece of gear, and low-tech gadgetry becomes a lot more attractive.

People are tasting coffees the way they once tasted wines, and the less milk and sugar the better. It’s fashionable to want to taste the coffee all by its lonesome (well, with water) and all else is considered additive – sugar, milk, cut that shit out right now. We’re all about purity, simplicity

3. locavore-ism

Right now it is suddenly *so important* where your food comes from. Locavore is the organic of 5 years ago, with people growing truss tomatoes on their teensy apartment balconies. We hate Colesworths ‘cause of the pressure they put on food prices, farmers and the waste that results when less-than-picturesque produce is rejected (and yet Aldi is apparently fine?) so we’re jumping on the Farmer’s Market bandwagon like there’s no tomorrow. Which is fair enough, as food security is one of the single biggest issues we face; there may *be* no tomorrow if we don’t sort this shit the fuck *out*. Oh, and heirloom tomatoes. We like those.

4. cocktails and other concoctions

From the old fashioned to the walrus slime parfait (yes, I made that up), cocktails are hot, and the bars that serve them even more so. Signature drinks, mixologists, ‘freestyle’ bars with no menus- it’s all happening. Ok, so a Caipirinha will set you back 16 rather than 6 dollars, but it’s worth it to pretend you’re in Brasil, or Cuba, or an episode of Mad Men, or a Marylin Monroe film or… a really expensive bar. Wake up and smell the spiced rum.

5. ‘Americana’ is still going strong

Anywhere that does a half decent take on South American, Central American, Mexican, southern US or just plain junk food is the place to be seen instagramming on your iphone right now. Hotdogs and Ice cream sandwiches are everywhere, tacos are the word du jour, Brasilian, Peruvian and Argentinean food is more and more common. You can get Chicken and waffles at the Jazz City Diner and burger joints are still going strong. Food bloggers are baking up American candy-flavoured-treats like there’s no tomorrow. Dive bar food and deep fried everything is well and truly on the menu – from The Dip’s Deep fried birthday cake to The Norfolk’s deep fried pickles to the Abercrombie’s deep fried pizza, pubs and bars are dishing up what everyone in the rest of the world thinks Americans eat.

Anyway…you tell me. What’s hot right now in your books? And where can we get it?

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17 Responses to 5 Food trends for 2012 – all no-brainers

  1. Miss Piggy says:

    Oh dear, I fit all those categories that you wrote about pretty much – this year I’ve pickled my own vegies, grown a balcony garden & tried cold-drip black coffee (& liked it).

  2. Toni Fish says:

    Thanks for a morning giggle Lauren! Here in Tas we take up some trends sooner than others. Non-espresso coffee is just arriving here, but locavore-ism and provenance are going strong (not all that surprising for a parochial little island).

    Americana is less prevalent: we’re still getting into tapas-style eating (using the best local produce, of course) and suddenly macaroons are everywhere. I don’t think we’ve hit cocktails yet either, but then I don’t go out for drinks really. Cider is everywhere though!

    And yes, I’m growing my own veggies and making my own preserves and blogging about sustainability like every other privileged middle-class wanker right now. First time in my live I’ve ever been trendy! ;-)
    Toni Fish recently posted…Weekend Photo Zen: Wellington Wildflower

  3. […] more from the original source: 5 Food trends for 2012 – all no-brainers | Corridor Kitchen ← Commercial Coffee Machines For Cheap | Coffee Machines […]

  4. Interesting picks: it’d be great to see some more DIY subcultures develop in Sydney. Last time I was in New York I discovered this whole mob of hipsters whose entire thing is competitive pickle making. Like nothing I’d ever seen!

    Locavorism, though, is problematic: Its embrace by the inner-city is on one level well-intentioned, but on another it really smacks of Veblen’s writing on scarcity and conspicuous consumption (not shopping at Colesworth becomes a status marker, etc … because one can afford not to). Also, if anything, robust international food distribution networks are a key to solving food insecurity, and prevent a natural disaster or crop failure in a place from being compounded by famine.

    Anyway, just one Prick’s opinion.

    • Lau says:

      I think privelege is indeed an important consideration when it comes to trends like ‘eating local’. And I *do* think it’s simplistic to say ‘no one should eat at Colesworths’ or ‘it’s unethical to eat meat’ or ‘we should only buy organic’ or ‘why don’t poor people just stop buying junk food/cigarettes/booze’, without recognising that not everyone is in a position where those are easy things to do. Heck, even in Australia, not everyone is in a position where thaey can buy enough food to feed themselves, so if Colesworths has $2 milk, I’m not going to begrudge them that purchase.

      And you’re right. There is waaaaay more going on with food security than just whether or not you grow your own basil or buy eggs from the local farm, assuming there even is a local farm anywhere near you…

  5. SarahKate says:

    Lauren, so well written! You’re spot on here. I’m thrilled that the walrus slime parfait is made up! Less happy about all the faux American food, but hopefully we’ll all move on soon. I think that someone at the Abercrombie that night (was it you??) said that African food might be next in Sydney. Looking forward to what’s next!
    SarahKate recently posted…Kyushu

    • Lau says:

      It wasn’t me, but I hope it is the next trend. If you get down to Melbourne anytime soon, my advice is to go nuts eating Ethiopian/Eritrean food in Footscray, we don’t really have it here I found some at the Moore Park Markets, but it was only ok).

      I long for the day an Ethiopian restaurant opens up in my neck of the woods, I mean, you can get Ethiopian food in *Canberra*, FFS.

      It seems to me like people are getting into Phillipino food lately.

  6. I was at a friend’s house last night and she had all these cumquats – she was going to pickle some, make jam with another lot and she wasn’t sure what to do with the rest. That’s the trouble with ‘growing your own’ – you can’t control when things ripen so you end up having to make ‘stuff’ and probably using more resources in the process!

  7. Gaby says:

    It’s funny how some of those trends can have a big positive impact (making people more aware of sustainability and getting them to prepare their own food, meaning they’re potentially eating healthier stuff), but some others seem to undo the effects (if we keep eating like the Americans, we’ll end up with their rates of obesity).
    Gaby recently posted…Review: Ocean

  8. Very well written Lauren and I agree! Been trying to make time to grow my own vegie garden but that day seems to be getting further and further away!
    Food is our religion recently posted…CoLunching at Miss Chu, Bondi

  9. Another beautifully written post. Yeah, I have jumped on a few of those trends at one time or another – providing I have just been paid!
    Anna @The Littlest Anchovy recently posted…Miascia

  10. SarahKate says:

    I read Gaby’s blog (Hi, Gaby!) so I know that she’s a lovely person who means well. But, I feel like I need to repeat that what’s on menus in Sydney lately is NOT what American’s eat. It just isn’t.

    America might be a very overweight country (although, it’s worth noting that AU beat the USA for the proportion of obese citizens just a few years ago. Thankfully, Aussies seem to have stepped back from that and are now eating better!) but we don’t all eat deep fried pizza. And some of us are a healthy weight.

    I think the trouble lies in the fact that America is SO big (more than 300 million people.) It’s impossible to sum up the eating habits of that many people.

    Sorry. Rant over. I just don’t like generalisations about Americans. If I ever write a post about how all Aussies eat nothing but meat pies and drink nothing but VB, please provide me with a dose of my own ranting medicine!
    SarahKate recently posted…Bread time!

  11. […] recently read a post on food blog Corridor Kitchen by Lauren about her prediction on the 5 food trends for 2012. I laughed out loud when I read this, […]

  12. Alana says:

    This is such an on point list! Trends, and food trends in particular, tend to irk me because I’m a ridiculous human however I’m a really big fan of the DIY craze. It’s so fantastic to see people making such an effort to make things, whether it’s homebrewing or sourdoughing as you say, from scratch.

    Personally I’m a little over the whole americana thing though, or ‘the fried fad’ as I like to call it. Haha. Ahhh I need a salad just thinking about it.
    Alana recently posted…1st birthday Thoughts

  13. […] off at least 2 of the 5 big Sydney trends this year, the menu also has a slight ‘americana’ influence. Case in point, fried chicken with […]

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