If food flavors were like paint colors, turmeric would be the color of the year. Actually the turmeric trend so huge, you can now paint your walls with turmeric-colored paint. It’s a brilliant contrast to Beta Fish and Marshmallow Whip. The bright golden yellow of the powder ground from a rhizome dates back to my old friend Marco Polo. He carried it along the Spice Trail and no doubt touted it as a cure-all as well as a cooking spice. Actually turmeric predates my generation. It’s been in use in India for over 4,000 years. Turmeric is found in cosmetics, used to clear wounds (mental and physical) and ailments such as arthritis, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, and stomach bloating. It’s also rumored to be the ultimate cure for hangovers. Turmeric is also a dye. Now that I think of it, president-elect Donald Trump’s hair is turmeric.
Look for the warm flavor of turmeric in tea, smoothies, and not-just-Indian food. If you care to say turmeric is sooo 2016, then you do not live in Dallas.
Here are a few other items you may see either popping up or continuing whether we like it or not.
Breakfast all day. Fried chicken. Kale is going nowhere. Neither are Brussels sprouts or cocktails in copper mugs. Vegan food is going upscale. Fancy chefs will continue to feel like that have to open a burger joint because we certainly do not have enough of them. If the hot dog can’t make it at Luscher’s Red Hots, it will disappear as a main marketing item. Yes, it’s wrong, but this is now semi-scientific fact in Dallas.
Get ready for poke. Don’t order it as poke, as in poke sallet (although that’s a great double po-kay poke idea–mine!). Poke, the deconstructed sushi item, rhymes with okay. How many years did you ask for pho as faux until you learned it was fuh? I’m giving you a chance to get ahead of the game.
Coconut will remain popular, as will ginger, lime, and orange.
Restaurants will continue to open at a rapid pace. At least for the first six months of 2017. However, I feel we will witness the death of some of the more unique, experimental menus in town as owners continue to dumb down their menus to stay in business. As Bette Davis once said, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” Raise your hand if you knew there were seatbelts in 1950.