Five Culinary Wishes for 2010 and Beyond

Last week we identified the top ten food trends of the 2000's. Today we're looking ahead to toward new culinary adventures. If we were alloted five wishes to change the way America eats in the next year and beyond, these would be them.

Asian Ice Overthrows Fro-yo - We're big fans of any frozen confection, but the time for frozen yogurt has come and gone. We're ready to take in a new view on the frozen confection horizon; one blocked by a mountain of shaved ice covered in condensed milk. That's right, we're declaring Asian Ice (also known as Halo Halo, Bingsu, Kakigori, Baobing, Ice Kacang and Nam Kang Saii in The Philippines, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand respectively) the next big step in dessert satisfaction.

What these multitude of names have in common is shaved ice usually flavored with syrup. Yet from the there the options are endless. Often they are topped with red beans, taro, fruit, brown sugar, gluten balls or sarim. If we knew where to get some right now, you can bet we wouldn't be writing this blog post.

An Increase In Traveling Food Shows - This year we saw Food Network's Guy Fieri take to the road to present his particular brand of adrenaline-fueled food preparation to the masses at various locations around the country. We think this is a great idea. Why should rock stars have all the fun? We need more cooks in concert venues and convention centers across the country.

Our reason for advocating traveling food shows: increased culinary awareness.

Imagine a world where iron chefs compete like major sports teams do now. Children will root for their favorite chefs and master their techniques and secrets leading to a massive overhaul in our culinary awareness. Restaurants, diners, mothers, they will all have to step up their game to meet the demands of the hungry but discerning youth.

Switching From Fast Food to Deliciously Prepared Fast Food - The idea is a simple one: make burgers and fries with fresh ingredients the way human beings generally prefer to have their food prepared and fast food patrons will drop their mega macs to come running. Take Five Guys for example. This joint does burgers and fries and that's it. There are no food items here with names conceived in marketing think tanks. There are no happy meals because one does not need a toy to be happy when one has a delicious hamburger and fries.

We'd like to see other joints follow suit by rebelling against the current fast food establishment and expanding their would-be empires. If possible, please try to move your empires closer to us so we can enjoy some convenient yet delicious grub as well.

Rachel Ray Stops Cooking - No seriously, it's time. We appreciate the advice about using a large mixing bowl to collect throw-aways for easy clean up. We also appreciate your suggestion to incorporate roasted chipotles in adobo sauce into our repertoire. That aside, if we have to hear about how you chose your menu because it reminds you of growing up or your constant butchering of the English language with such verbal gems such as "yum-o" and "delish," we're going to choke ourselves on E.V.O.O. And by the way, thanks for starting every episode of 30 Minute Meals by reminding us "that means in the time it takes to watch this show I will have created a complete meal from start to finish." We get it. It's called 30 Minute Meals.

Mainstream Grocery Stores Start Carrying Ethnic Ingredients That Don't Suck - Let's get one thing clear: low-sodium soy sauce, pocky and a few cans of water chestnuts should not equal an Asian food section. Here's how this situation might be improved: at the very least, stock non-perishable ingredients that expand your selection without leading to unnecessary waste. Dried mushrooms keep for ever. So do things like konbu and bonito flakes (arguably the two most important ingredients in Japanese cooking). Beyond that, grocery stores might try tossing some rarer types of produce or cuts of meat common to ethnic cuisine and so much more interesting than the plastic-wrapped basics found daily in your mega-mart.

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