Kitchen Think: 2012 Food Trends


Well, heck. Everyone else is throwing down their ideas for food trends in 2012, so here’s Mama’s Top Five:

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1. Tech Take Over: Smartphone apps, tablet computers, cellphone scanners, in-store interactive media devices, self-checkout lanes, QR codes, RFID and mobile coupons… these devices are already redefining how we shop and what we shop for, as well as revolutionizing the experience of dining out.

2. “Farm to Fork” Fever: As more of us push for a healthier eating lifestyle, we want to know where our food originates. Look for locally-sourced produce, meats and seafood to grow in popularity and availability. How it is grown as well as where it is grown will be the main message of the next big food celebrity: The Farmer (like Henry Brockman of Henry’s Farm in Central Illinois). 

3. Eating In, But with a Twist: As food prices continue to escalate, more of us will be eating at home to save money. However, we won’t have to deprive ourselves of some of the pleasures of eating out. Ready-made or ready-to-cook grocery offerings, like sushi or mushroom-stuffed pork chops, will not only make it easier to get dinner on the table, but it’ll likely be a lot less mundane.

4. Less is Better: Scrutinizing the amount of salt and sugar in the foods we eat is going to continue—and food companies are going to take notice and shape their marketing campaigns accordingly. Look for more “reduced sodium” claims on food packaging and alternatives to high fructose corn syrup in sweetened food.


5. Groovin’ on Peruvian: Peruvian cuisine is an eclectic mix of Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Italian and of course, Andean flavors, so this South American country’s cuisine will segue easily into our dining culture. Look for quinoa (a protein-packed grain), ceviche (white fish marinated in lime juice and chilies) and anticuchos (highly-seasoned skewered meat made with beef hearts), to become the next hot dining-out option.

Finally, I’m always in search of the next big food fad. Could ethnic fried sweet dough, like beignets, churros, buñuelos, loukoumades or zeppole be the next big thing?




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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: