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WHAT’S HOT FOR 2009 in Food and Entertaining

Every year, new foods enter the market, our favorite restaurants start trends in what, how and the way we eat, and this year the economy will dictate changes in our eating and entertaining habits. In fashion, the haute couture you see on the runway eventually gets distilled into a version that you see on the street. Same goes for home entertaining, the inspiration for what we serve our guests comes from the top chefs of the best restaurants in the world.

So let’s take a sneak peek at what these chefs predict will be hot food trends for 2009. Lots of what you see may inspire you for your next soiree. It has inspired us and we are already working on some great party themes and plans for the coming year.

The National Restaurant Association surveyed more than 1,600 chefs in an attempt to uncover the hottest food and beverage trends for the coming year. Beyond the expected items, like showing a preference for locally grown produce and organic produce, the study delivers some pretty interesting results.

The Top 20 Food Trends for 2009
1. Locally grown produce,
2. Bite-size/mini desserts,
3. Organic produce,
4. Nutritionally balanced children’s dishes,
5. New/fabricated cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, bone-in Tuscan Veal chop),
6. Fruit/vegetable children’s side items,
7. Super fuits (acai, goji berry, mangosteen),
8. Small plates/tapas/mezze/dim sum,
9. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor,
10. Sustainable seafood,
11. Nutrition/health (low-fat, low-sodium, antioxidants, high-fiber),
12. Gluten-free/food allergy conscious,
13. Non-traditional fish (branzino, Artic Char, barramundi),
14. Artisanal cheeses,
15. Exotic fruit (durian, passion fruit, dragon fruit, guava),
16. Culinary Cocktails (savory, customized for specific dishes),
17. Micro-vegetables/micro-greens,
18. Organic wine,
19. Dessert flights/combos/platters,
20. Free-range poultry/pork.

Comment: As mothers of children with nut allergies, we are thrilled to see that restaurants will be more conscious this year of food allergies as it comes in number 12 on the Top 20 List.

Some Partybluprints’ Predictions and Themes for 2009:

-We foresee an exciting revolution this year as entertaining comes back home and plates begin to travel. A worsening economy will force people to change the venue of their entertainment from restaurants, pubs and bars to their homes. Here’s a sneak peek at some of our themes that embrace our “back to basics” focus for 2009: “Donuts as the new cupcakes” , “Traveling Plates” like Safari Suppers (travel from home to home for each course) and “Carry-In” Dinner Parties (our updated name for a “potluck” dinner party).

- We will feature mangosteens, polenta based appetizers and sides dishes, replace traditional breads with flat breads in some of our recipes and serve more sorbet and drinkable desserts year round.

- While flavored martinis, Caipirinhas and absinthe were all the rage in 2008, this year look for
Culinary Cocktails, like savory ones to compliment your meal, energy drink cocktails, craft beers,
specialty beers with seasonal fruit and the use of non-traditional liquors like the Brazilian
Cachaca.

- 2009 is also a year where the language surrounding food will change. Although in the foodie world
these terms are now commonplace, you may not have heard them much in 2008.

Locovore
From the Urban Dictionary, the practice of eating food that is grown locally.
Origin: Almaden, San Jose, Santa Cruz, SFO
Being a locovore decreases the amount of greenhouse gases, as the food consumed is sourced locally, instead of being trucked in to my city.

Umami
Umami (??, Umami?) is one of the five basic tastes sensed by specialized receptor cells present on the human tongue.[1] The same taste is also known as xi?nwèi (traditional Chinese: ??; simplified Chinese: ?? literally “Fresh Flavor”) in Chinese cooking.

Umami is a Japanese word meaning savory, a “deliciousness” factor deriving specifically from detection of the natural amino acid, glutamic acid, or glutamates common in meats, cheese, broth, stock, and other protein-heavy foods. The action of umami receptors explains why foods treated with monosodium glutamate (MSG) often taste “heartier”. to learn more goto umamiinfo.com

Slow Movement Food
Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. to learn more go to slowfood.org

We hope this information inspires you to embrace and enjoy entertaining in the New Year and updates you on what’s hot now and what’s to come in 2009. Please add your thoughts and opinions – we LOVE to hear what you think!

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