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Would you eat Matcha or Crickets? They may be on the menu in 2015

December 28, 2014

It’s time to set the table for 2015. What will be the next kale? Has the cupcake breathed its last?

We’re headed for high times. As states legalize marijuana, cannabis comestibles are coming. Pot brownies — so 1960s — are joined by marijuana mac ‘n’ cheese and pot pesto. There’s a new cooking show called Bong Appetit.

Another crushed leaf is this year’s super drink. Matcha is made from green tea and promises a calmer energy boost than Red Bull. The Japanese have been drinking it for centuries.

In more news from the plant world, kale, the mother of all trends, and Brussels sprouts, another trendsetter, have become parents. Their baby is called kalette — little clumps of kale on a Brussels sprout-like stalk. The first new vegetable since broccolini is now available in markets near you.

And what could be better on your vegetables than a little lard? Animal fats being reconsidered include pork fat (lard), beef fat (tallow) and chicken fat (schmaltz).

This is also the year we will become bitter: bitter greens, bitter beer, bitter salads, bitter chocolate for eating as well as baking. A new cookbook, Bitter, may inspire you.

And just when you thought we’d run out of Asian cuisines, Filipino food starts trending. Pancit may someday overtake upscale ramen.

Nduja, from the French andouille, is the new kid at the Italian table. This spicy, spreadable Calabrian sausage is showing up on pizza, bruschetti and pasta.

In New York, Brooklynites are finding their inner Eastern European with new farm-to-table Jewish delis — we’re talking gefilte fish as a craft food. Craft, by the way, is the new artisanal.

Speaking of nutritional powerhouses, we need to get beyond “ick” and embrace eating bugs. Cricket flour is already showing up in protein bars. Insects are gluten free, high in protein and emit fewer greenhouse gases than cattle.

Maybe they’ll like cricket cuisine in Peoria, because New York is no longer restaurant Mecca. Many chefs are packing their knives and heading for smaller cities. Today, everyone everywhere has a sophisticated palate, helping fine dining continue its decline. You don’t need a white tablecloth to eat crickets.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

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