December 31, 2013

2014: Some Predictions... Top Food Trends in Lebanon

Most people are going to be watching TV tonight to check out what fortune tellers foresee for Lebanon in the future. But no one will be mentioning anything about food, will they? I'm no fortune teller but I know a thing or two about trends that are going to see the light in 2014. The food business is growing bigger than imaginable in Lebanon. With every year comes the boom of new trends, new ideas and more expansions for others... Let's recap what were the highlights of 2013 and please point out, what in your opinion, I have missed.

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We can recall in 2013:
  • Armenian Restaurants have opened around the city while creating a more Lebanese/Armenian/Leventine cuisine to widen the spectrum of work made their appearance
  • Fine pastry creations like the Cronut are now all over the place while other homemade pastries seeing the light. Few years back, the famous pastry sh0ps were counted on hand (Pate A Choux, Noura, Cannelle, La Mie Doree) while today in every corner their is a new one
  • Homemade cuisine is looked at even more and new Facebook pages are mushrooming proposing healthy food made by women at home
  • Arguile: Our local poison is growing bigger and wider, even the Sushi and Italian restaurants are proposing it
  • Italian restaurants have branched out even more. Many have opened, few have survived and others are still trying
  • French Bistros: More than ten places have opened in 2013
  • Pub/Resto, where you can have a drink, eat quick bites and continue drinking afterwards in a lounge/dancing ambiance
  • Red Velvet: Is anyone unfamiliar with Red Velvet? Red Velvet has taken over all forms of cakes, cupcakes even this season's Buches. What's next?
  • Yogurt shops have landed in all malls

2014-Predictions

As for 2014, call them my predictions or my feelings, the year will have its special introductions while the 2013 successful trends will continue on prospering.
  • Asian Restaurants: The first Asian restaurant saw the light this year with the opening of Le Hanoy in Achrafieh, a Vietnamese place. Others will follow filling a wide gap we have in this cuisine. More Asian restaurants will see the light, like Thai, Mongolian and others. Enough Chinese and Japanese. Right?
  • Brazilian Cuisine: They say Lebanon has 18 million expats in Brazil and still their cuisine hasn't landed in here. Will it soon? This year's World Cup will help spread the word and open up to international cultures. Watch out
  • Food Waste Awareness: Thousands of restaurants are opening and with that thousands of tons of waste are being thrown away while millions of refugees and poor people are starving. This year, restaurants owners are waking up to this issue helped by local NGOs to provide all the left overs to the refuge camps and the needed people
  • Fresh Juices: Craving better-for-you balance through “juicing”, the health-conscious are “going green” to refresh and recharge. Qi Juices started it and others are following
  • Sophisticated Sweets: Spices, botanicals and fresh takes on fruits are hitting the dessert scene while older recipes are being revisited with healthier ingredients
  • Yogurt Goes Savory: The yogurt ice creams will be opening more around the country
  • Special Snacks: Swirlyz in ABC Achrafieh started something new and others will copy it sooner than you can imagine by copying American craves in a Lebanese way
  • Bolder Burgers: America’s iconic sandwich is changing with the times, with new buns, unique burger patty options like chicken, lamb and brisket and a range of toppings—all redefining what a burger is
  • Wine Bars: It first started with streets of pubs, now it's time for wine bars. Wines are taking over on Vodka with the expansion of our local red gold wide choices. From 4 wineries few years back to 48 today, this wine would have to be drank somewhere. Wine Bars is the 2014 trend
  • Kids Places: Kidzmondo will be having a couple of competitors this new year. When kids are happy, their parents are happy. With this critical situation we are passing through, people will be spending more money on their kids than on themselves
  • Shawarma: Our local food. It started in 2013 with Shawarmanji and will continue with others this year or the one after. I think more of our local old time foods are going to be reintroduced the modern way
  • Arabic Sandwiches in Pita bread: Don't we all love to roll a sandwich at home and bite into it like we used to do at school. Rocket gave an upscale to this idea while others are looking at it to expand into more places
Happy New Year... See you next year

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