The biggest trend this time of year? Stories about trends. Particularly, stories that predict the trends of the coming year.
Here's an example, from the Eatocracy blog at CNN. Frankly, if a few of these actually do become trends, we'd rather be stuck eating 2013 foods:
• Fish heads, fish collars and trash fish. Fish heads, we are sorry to say, are exactly what they sound like (chefs in some regions of Asia use them to make fish stock, and delicious, tender fish cheeks have been trendy in this country for several years). Fish collars are what the neck and shoulders would be, if fish had necks and shoulders. And trash fish, such as porgy (which is quite good), sand dabs (also good) and triggerfish (never had it), may become popular just as a way to avoid overfishing some of the big-name fish.
• Heirloom beans, peanuts and field peas. Sure, they can be excellent. But aren't they just a way to charge a lot of money for a bunch of beans?
• Haute Jewish deli. The Eatocrats predict that the next humble/comfort food to get the upscale treatment will be Jewish delicatessens. They specifically mention "simply presented, artfully smoked fish, lavishly peppered pastrami, crafty poutine, amped-up chicken liver and deeply deckled corned beef," to which we say: Poutine? In a Jewish deli?
• Independently produced cookbooks. Part of the whole DIY publication thing -- and that includes blogs.
• Reconsidered rice. Will rice be next year's Brussels sprouts?
• Raw beef. They mean the thinly sliced, well-seasoned carpaccio, not the finely ground steak tartare, which is just so 1950s. They are equally good, though you get more beef for your buck with the tartare.
• Eating with your hands. Finger foods, such as fried chicken, small fish and burgers, are both fun to eat and save restaurants time and money by not having to wash utensils.
• Housemade hot sauces. With the makers of Huy Fong sriracha sauce in potential legal limbo, chefs may begin concocting their own hot sauces to their own flavor specifications and levels of heat.
• Parfaits. They were the go-to dessert during the Eisenhower administration. The CNN folks predict they will make a comeback. We predict they will not.
• Breakfast for dinner. Hasn't this been a trend for, like, 60 years?
Here is another prediction. We predict seeing lots of stories predicting food trends in the near future.