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Eating Tea And Other Food Predictions For 2014

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Eating Tea And Other Food Predictions For 2014

Food

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

If you spent your New Year's Eve snacking on cronuts and chia seeds, let us introduce you to some new food trends you may see this year. WEEKEND EDITION food commentator Bonny Wolf has been reading the tealeaves.

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BONNY WOLF, BYLINE: Well, tealeaves will be big in entrees, desserts and, of course, cocktails. Starbucks has opened its first tea shop. We won't be just drinking tea. Artisan distilling keeps on growing. This could be the year of gin made with local botanicals as well as the traditional juniper berry. New, but still ancient, grains will join the now-common spelt and quinoa. Teff and freekeh may be as familiar to us by the end of the year. Nuts aren't new either.

A Harvard study shows that nut eaters live longer and lose weight. Ta-da. This year's favorite snack food. Another study finds we threw out 40 percent of our food last year. Now, grocery auctions offer unsold food and even the ex-president of Trader Joe's will open a market selling perfectly good food that's just past its sell-by date. Vegetarianism is no longer just for vegetarians. While most Americans still eat meat, 47 percent of the country eats at least one vegetarian meal a week. Cauliflower, by the way, is the new Brussels sprout. Eating local is going into overdrive. Restaurants and markets have planted gardens and built farms on the ground and on the roof. And if you can't grow it, you can buy it from professional foragers who will bring chickweed and chanterelles to chefs and consumers. Small-scale meat producers will be available as we continue to fret about industrial farming. Expect more goat, rabbit and pigeon, or squab if that makes you feel better. The meats may be flavored with za'atar or sumac, which should easier to find as we dig deeper into the foods of the Mideast. From the Middle East, we go to the Middle West for simple, hearty cooking. The Food Network names the Midwestern food movement as the number one trend for 2014. You betcha. Dessert? Ice cream sandwiches - probably made with tealeaves.

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MARTIN: Bonny Wolf is managing editor of americanfoodroots.com and editor of NPR's Kitchen Window.

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MARTIN: This is NPR News.

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