We’re walking the National Restaurant Association Show, going on in Chicago, and finding all kinds of interesting delights and delicious things to taste. We’ll be reviewing samples and digging in a little deeper, but thought we might give you a quick teaser of the hot items.
- If you thought Greek yogurt was big, think a little further. We’re seeing Greek in everything BUT yogurt! As we munch on Blueberry Yogurt Chips, we can’t help but wonder what’s ahead.
- Bubble tea, teas made for cocktails, concentrated tea–in a world where we’ve focused on coffee and tea in recent years, we’re seeing new advances in how we are using tea and tea flavors. We first called out Bubble Tea around 2009, and it’s fascinating to see it slowly move into new and creative areas. Expect more on that one, for sure!
- One of the newest diets advises drinking vinegar, so of course those who create food are going to find ways to incorporate vinegar in as a more palatable drink, right? It’s even evolving into the cocktail arena. We suspect you’ll be saying “cheers to that” soon enough.
- There are new flavors popping up, and things such as tiger’s blood are moving into adult realms (not just flavored ice); look for unexpected combos such as pineapple and watermelon.
- Gluten-free is still growing, with some innovation like cracker crusts, and gluten-free, dairy-free cheesecake.
- Styles of cooking are getting a lift, too. How about pressure-boiled seafood? Or Fired bacon?
- Three words: hemp, chia, and quinoa.
- And, our personal favorite: stuffed cookies. When you think about it, it’s kind of brilliant.
There’s lot more to see at the show. Some of the other things on tap have been the World Culinary Showcase, where demos focused on new ways to serve noodles. Chef Takashi Yagihashi introduced a savory Asian-inspired scallop soba gnocchi while Chefs Pat Neely, Fabio Viviani, and Terry French plated pasta dishes inspired by their own signature styles using simple, super fresh ingredients.
We also saw Arianna Huffington present her State of the American Dream 2015, in which she discussed the empowerment of women, foodservice professionals, and emphasized the importance of being digitally connected in this world.
The annual NRA show is where 65,000+ foodservice professionals from around the world come to observe the latest trends in the foodservice industry, from ingredients, advancements in restaurant technology, kitchen gadgets and more.