Sure, we've got tacos, food trucks and ramen. But what are we, the food-obsessed, going to dine on next? Here are 10 foods and drinks that are satisfying cravings around the world – fingers crossed that we'll get a chance to taste them in Canada soon
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SKYR: WHAT IS IT? Icelandic strained sheep’s milk. This cultured dairy product – so thick it’s sometimes sliced – has long been used traditionally as a base for velvety sauces, spreads, sorbets and dessert fillings. WHY IT’S HOT: Amid the Greek yogurt fad and the rise of New Nordic Cuisine (think Noma, the award-winning Danish restaurant), skyr is being positioned as the next big dairy dish. And why not? It’s denser, packs more protein and has 0-per-cent milk-fat. WHERE TO TRY IT: For its winter menu, Sjavargrillid (Seafood Grill) restaurant in Reykjavik serves a warm apple cake topped with white-chocolate skyr, paired with homemade marshmallows and applesauce.
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MASTIC ICE CREAM: WHAT IS IT? Syrians, Turks and Greeks have long blended the gummy mastic resin from Mediterranean trees into their frozen desserts. It adds a piney, incense-like taste and a hint of chew, says chef Sophia Brittan, who makes a soft-serve version from goat’s milk at Victory Garden cafe in New York. WHY IT’S HOT: Mastic is becoming a pantry staple among avant-garde chefs and bakers, who add it to bread, cookie and cake batters. Greek grocery stores stock mastic granules, which can be ground up and used to infuse coffee or make meat-enriching sauces. WHERE TO TRY IT: New York’s Victory Garden serves up mastic-flavoured ice creams, frozen yogurt and coffee.
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BASQUE PINTXOS: WHAT IS IT? Delectable pub grub (pronounced “pinchos”) from the Basque region straddling the French and Spanish borders.WHY IT’S HOT: Sophisticated takes on Basque bar bites – skewered treats like guindilla peppers, fried quail eggs on toast and griddled octopus – are a natural progression for eaters already hungry for small-plate dining at Japanese izakayas and Spanish tapas joints.WHERE TO TRY IT: Bar Goiz Argi in San Sebastian is acclaimed for refined pintxos like sea urchin topped with salmon caviar. No website; +34 943425204
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BUNNY CHOW: WHAT IS IT? A South African street-food specialty consisting of rich curries ladled piping hot into a hollowed-out Pullman’s bread loaf (and, assuredly, no bunny). The dish is revered in Durban, where chefs compete each year to create the nation’s best bunnies. WHY IT’S HOT: It’s cheap and cheerful cuisine, and fresh twists on this Indian-inspired meal are now being served up in London and New York, where the filling possibilities – from garlic chicken livers to venison – seem endless. The popularity of banh mi shops have also proven that diners love a humble street sandwich. WHERE TO TRY IT: The winter menu at New York’s Kaia Wine Bar features a mutton and tomato curry sandwich served with side condiments of mango atchar, bananas in milk, mint yogurt and mango chutney.
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SWEET TEA: WHAT IS IT? A true Southern-style elixir that starts as a hot brew, with several tea bags steeping in boiling water to make about a pitcher’s worth. Add sugar or syrup while the pot is still steaming, then allow to cool to room temperature and chill. WHY IT’S HOT: A soul food craze has renewed tastes for barbecue, fried pickles, fried okra and fried chicken. To wash it down, few beverages are more quintessentially Southern than sweet tea on the rocks. Even McDonald’s has introduced an orange peko sweet tea option. Want something harder? A number of sweet tea-infused vodka brands are gaining ground, including Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka from South Carolina, which is now available in 40 U.S. states. WHERE TO TRY IT: Hungry Mother in Cambridge, Mass., brews a sweet black tea that blends South Indian (Nilgiri) and ceylon full-leaf varieties with an Indian Assam for a fruity, bright flavour that gives off an amber glow.
Adam Gesuero/Image Conscious Studio
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NEW AUSTRIAN CUISINE: WHAT IS IT? The braised meats, pickled vegetables and hearty bread dumplings of classic Austrian cooking are undergoing a culinary renaissance, shedding a leaden image for more refined interpretations. WHY IT’S HOT: Bon Appetit magazine declared “New Austrian” the hot new cuisine in 2010, but the craze didn’t really take off until now. Spaetzle dumplings are the comfort food du jour, and more eateries are serving meals with rustic Germanic accents. Chic Austrian restaurants are opening all over New York, and popular Viennese dishes like tafelspitz (boiled beef) are well suited to the slow-food movement. WHERE TO TRY IT: Edi and the Wolf in New York serves a signature schnitzel with German-style potato salad, cucumber salad and lingonberry jam.
Edi and the Wolf
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BOLIVIAN CUISINE: WHAT IS IT? Cooking methods brought down from the Andes and rooted in about 200 varieties of potatoes, as well as grains and beef. Local snacks include the skewered treat zonzo (grilled mashed yucca root with cheese) and saltenas (meat pies). WHY IT’S HOT: Though haute Latin American fare is on the rise, Bolivian food remains for now one of the world’s undiscovered cuisines. Danish celebrity chef Claus Meyer, owner of Noma, Restaurant magazine’s No. 1 restaurant in the world, has sought to make Bolivian into the next big thing. In October, Bolivia’s Gastronomic Integration Movement devised a manifesto for local chefs, with a return to classic ingredients like llama meat and chunos (dehydrated smashed potatoes). WHERE TO TRY IT: Meyer (pictured here) is all-in on his Bolivian boast: In January he will open Gustu to much hype in the city of La Paz.
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CELERY SODA COCKTAILS: WHAT IS IT? A revival soda in Jewish delis in Brooklyn, celery soda is also finding fans among bartenders crafting artisanal cocktails. WHY IT’S HOT: It’s a hit of nostalgia for Brooklynites, and it’s no longer a niche product as drink mixers concoct house-made celery sodas to add a sharp splash of whimsy to cocktails. WHERE TO TRY IT: Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen in Berkeley, Calif., does its own celery soda as well as a celery tonic with vodka.
Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen
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PUERTO RICAN CUISINE: WHAT IS IT? A new breed of young San Juan chefs trained abroad are returning to open swank eateries that marry French technique with local ingredients like red snapper and gandules (pigeon peas). WHY IT’S HOT: The new style is ingredient-driven, explains chef Kevin Roth, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America before opening his San Juan restaurant La Estacion (laestacionpr.com). Think traditional whole-roasted lechon pig crisped over charcoals, but paired with locally picked gandules instead of the canned beans mom probably used. Mofongo, a Puerto Rican staple of fried and mashed plantains, is also getting new life with such crave-worthy stuffings as crab meat and duck confit. WHERE TO TRY IT: At Pikayo in San Juan, celebrity chef-owner Wilo Benet prepares a crispy Puerto Rican rice dish with tuna tartar, chipotle chile mayo and chives.
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WHITE STRAWBERRIES: WHAT IS IT? The eye-popping fruit with milky-white flesh and bright red seeds are also known as pineberries. A cross between a Chilean strawberry and a Virginia berry, white strawberries have a sweet, subtle nectar similar to the sweetness of pineapples. WHY IT’S HOT: White strawberries debuted in British grocery stores in 2010, and began appearing shortly after on menus in sorbets and as garnishes around the country. New York-based restaurant consultancy group Baum and Whiteman included white strawberries among its list of 2013 culinary buzzwords. WHERE TO TRY IT: James Beard Award-nominated chef Derek Barnes serves a kona kampachi and pineberry tartare at his restaurant Derek’s Culinary Casual in Sarasota, Fla.
Derek's Culinary Casual