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Fish vs. Beef: A New Historic Trend

Fish vs. Beef: A New Historic Trend

The fish farming industry has finally surpassed worldwide beef production

Farmed fish production is on a dramatic upswing, which may mean disaster for the future of natural food production.

An environmental think tank called the Earth Policy Institute has revealed that where 2012 marked the first year that the world’s farmed fish production overtook both beef production, 2013 has revealed that farmed fish production has surpassed wild fish production. This significant milestone reflects an historic shift in food production trends.

Beef production has been slowing since the late 1980s due to the increasing price of grain and soybeans traditionally used to feed cattle. Aquaculture experts realized that raising fish was much more efficient than raising cattle, as fish consume two pounds of feed to a cattle’s seven. Thus, fishing trends boomed in the beef industry’s wake.

The evolution from wild fishing culture to farmed fishing production, however, brought a decline in efficiency as well. Farmed fish are fed with smaller fish, which increases the system’s inputs while maintaining the same, small output. Further, recent studies have revealed that farmed fish may have lost their health benefits in the process.

The Earth Policy Institute warns that reliance on farmed fishing may have the same problematic effects for the environment and health as relying on factory-farmed beef and poultry.

Regardless of the controversy, fish are still a great source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals, and are part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. The group accepts that farming seafood can be done in a way that respect environmental limits and maintains the nutritional quality of the fish, and is working to persuade major fish farming industry leaders to adjust their practices.

9 of the oldest food recipes from history still in use today

Image Source: The Great Courses

Food is so much more than just a source of nourishment and subsistence. Its richness colors culture, history, and even literature. Its coalescing prowess brings people together into communities by creating a sense of familiarity and brotherhood. Some might go so far as to say that food is one of the major forces forging a national identity. It gives individuals a feeling of belonging that is at the core of nationalism. It serves as a hobby, a passion, a profession and sometimes even as a refuge.

It is interesting to see how food preparation has evolved through history, from the Paleolithic man’s roast meat cooked over the open fire in shallow pits to the modern art of molecular gastronomy. Some ancient recipes, however, have miraculously stood the test of time and continue to be in wide use even to this day. Below are ten of the oldest food recipes (still surviving in their ‘modern’ entities) known to historians:

Note: The list focuses on the oldest enduring recipes that are more intricate than just bread, rice, meat roasted over the fire or dried in the sun, noodles or for that matter soups. Most of us know that bread was one of the first foods prepared by man, some 30,000 years ago. Although there are many recipes of flatbread, leavened bread and others that are more complicated than just toasting a flattened gruel mixture over the fire, they largely belong to the category of staples much like rice, kebab, and noodles. Here, we are more concerned with specific recipes or at least family of recipes that use spices and herbs to enhance flavor and have slowly evolved over time thanks to advancements in cooking technologies.

1) Stew, circa 6000 BC –

Much like curry, the stew is a beautiful mess of vegetables, meat, poultry and a myriad of other ingredients, cooked slowly over gentle heat. The resultant food concoction is a riot of color, flavors, and aromas that are much more sophisticated than the plain old soup. Although water is the most common stew-cooking liquid used, some recipes call for wine and even beer. While curry focuses more on building a depth of flavor by adding different spices, stew recipes are generally simple and rely on only basic seasoning. The practice of simmering meat in liquids over the fire until tender dates back 7,000 to 8,000 years – which makes it one of the world’s oldest food recipes. Archaeological findings indicate that many Amazonian tribes used the hard exterior shells of large mollusks as utensils for making stew in. To prepare a similar Scythian dish (approx. 8 th to 4 th centuries BC), wrote ancient Greek philosopher Herodotus, one has to:

… put the flesh into an animal’s paunch, mix water with it, and boil it like that over the bone fire. The bones burn very well, and the paunch easily contains all the meat once it has been stripped off. In this way an ox, or any other sacrificial beast, is ingeniously made to boil itself.

The Old Testament is rich with references to this type of food preparation. In Genesis, for instance, Esau and his brother Jacob paid off the dowry that Isaac incurred when he married Rebecca by offering a pot of meat stew. There are also several mentions of lentil and grain-based stews. Apicius: De Re Coquinaria, the extant 4 th century BC Roman cookbook, contains a number of detailed recipes about fish as well as lamb stews. The earliest mention of ragout, a French stew, lies in the 14th-century book by chef Taillevent called Le Viandier.

In the 16th century, the Aztecs partook in a gruesome practice of preparing stews with actual human meat and chillis, also known as tlacatlaolli – though if the concoction was actually consumed is up for debate. An important written record of this practice can be seen in a 1629 treatise by Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón. Pottage, sometimes referred to as a thick stew made with a variety of things like vegetables, meats, grains, and fish, has been continuously consumed all over Europe from the Neolithic Age. It was widely known as the poor man’s food, thanks to the easy availability of its ingredients.

2) Tamales, circa 5000 BC –

Soft parcels made from masa (a type of dough) and filled with fruits, meats, vegetables among other things, tamales are a popular Mesoamerican dish that has a long, enduring history. First prepared somewhere between circa 8,000 and 5,000 BC – thus boasting their legacy as one of the oldest food items, tamales were later widely consumed by Olmecs, Toltecs, Aztecs and later Mayas. Steamed gently inside corn husks or banana leaves, they were commonly used as portable edibles by travelers and soldiers back when preserving food for long duration was difficult.

Historically, the dough-based food was served at festivals and feasts, and usually contained a variety of fillings, including minced rabbit, turkey, frog, fish, flamingo, eggs, fruits, beans and so on. Many pottery fragments dating back to circa 200 – 1000 AD have been discovered in the region bearing the Classic Maya hieroglyph for tamales. Today, tamales are eaten all across Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, the United States and the even Philippines.

3) Pancakes, circa 3300 BC –

Around the world, pancakes are a quintessential breakfast food, often consumed with fruits, chocolate, syrup and a variety of other toppings. It refers to any flat, thin cake made from a starchy batter and cooked in a frying pan or griddle. Depending on the place of origin, pancakes can be very thin and crêpe-like (as in France, South Africa, Belgium among others), made from banana or plantain (like kabalagala in Uganda) and even fermented rice (such as dosa in South India). Tracing the history of pancakes, however, leads us back to Otzi the Iceman, who was alive sometime during circa 3,300 BC. His naturally-mummified corpse, the oldest in all of Europe, was discovered in 1991 in the Italian Alps.

Analysis of the body, according to historians, has uncovered a wealth of information about the Neolithic diet. At the 7 th meeting of the World Congress on Mummy Studies, researchers revealed that Otzi’s last meal likely consisted of alpine ibex and red deer meat, along with einkorn wheat pancakes. They argued that the traces of charcoal found in the 5,300-year-old man’s stomach, in turn, suggest that the food was cooked over open fire. In essence, the seemingly ubiquitous pancakes are one of the oldest food items known to us.

Pancakes were widely consumed by ancient Greeks, who called them tagenias or teganites derived from the word tagenon (meaning ‘frying pan’). They were cooked on clay griddle over the open fire. In works of 5th-century BC poets Magnes and Cratinus, we find the earliest mention of these pancakes, which were made using wheat flour and olive oil and served with curdled milk or honey. Much like the modern version, tagenites were commonly eaten for breakfast.

The 3rd-century philosopher Athenaeus talked in his book Deipnosophistae of a similar food (known as statitites), featuring spelled flour and adorned with sesame, cheese or just honey. Ancient Romans enjoyed similar creations, which they called alia dulcia (meaning “other sweets” in Latin). Interestingly, the 4th-century Roman cookbook Apicius actually contains a detailed recipe for a pancake-like griddle cake, prepared from a mixture of egg, flour, and milk and drizzled with honey. The first use of the English word “pancake” quite possibly took place sometime during the 15th century.

4) Curry, circa 2600 – 2200 BC –

Image Source: Shahid Hussain Raja

Nothing is more quintessentially Indian than curry. Originating in the Indian subcontinent, this aromatic food is a medley of colors, spices, and herbs. Spices commonly used in curry include cumin, turmeric, pepper, coriander, garam masala and so on. Interestingly, curry powder is primarily a product of the West, first prepared in the 18 th century for officials of the British colonial government in India. They can be vegetarian (using lentils, rice or vegetables) or fish, poultry or meat-based. Ever since the recipe was brought to the United Kingdom some 200 years ago, curry has become one of the most recognized icons of British culture. According to the National Curry Week, such is the popularity of this dish that it is consumed regularly by over 23 million people across the globe.

Etymologists believe that “curry” originally came from kari, a word in Tamil that means sauce or gravy. The history of this preparation goes back more than 4,000 years to the Indus Valley civilization, where people often used stone mortar and pestle to finely grind spices such as fennel, mustard, cumin and others. In fact, excavations at Harappa and Mohenjodaro have unearthed pottery fragments with traces of turmeric and ginger, belonging to the period between 2600 – 2200 BC, thus making curry (or at least the predecessor to curry) one of the oldest food items in the world. As pointed out by historians, the curry was often eaten with rice, which was already being cultivated in the area.

Sumerian tablets that have survived also talk of a similar food recipe for meat in some kind of spicy gravy and served with bread, as early as 1700 BC. The Apicius cookbook of the 4 th century AD contains many meat recipes that were cooked in a similar fashion, with the use of ingredients like coriander, vinegar, mint, cumin and so on. Authored in the 1390s, The Forme of Cury is significant for possessing the earliest reference to the word “cury”, though it was taken from the French term “cuire” for cooking. With the arrival of the Portuguese in Goa in the 15th century as well as the Mughals in India in the early 16th century, the curry recipe underwent multiple revisions.

In a way, the dish’s evolution represents the many cultural influences that have colored the history of the Indian subcontinent. In case you are wondering, the oldest surviving curry recipe in English can be found in the 1747 book by Hannah Glasse called The Art of Cookery.

5) Cheesecake, circa 2000 BC –

Dessert lovers like us often find themselves dreaming about the rich and decadent cheesecake. This creamy and delicious food recipe usually features a thick, luscious layer of sweetened cheese and a buttery biscuit base or crust. While the all too famous American version requires cream cheese, which was invented only in 1872 by dairyman William Lawrence, cheesecakes were originally the brainchild of ancient Greeks, who used a simple mixture of honey, flour, and soft cheese to make a light, subtly-flavored cake often served at weddings and other festivities.

Archaeological excavations in the last century have uncovered broken pieces of cheese molds dating as far back as 2000 BC, thus making cheesecake one of the oldest food recipes. Some historians believe that the very first “cheesecakes” might have been prepared in the Samos, a Greek island that has been continuously inhabited for more than 5,000 years. In fact, the dessert was offered to the athletes participating in the first Olympic games of 776 BC. The earliest written mention of this recipe can be found in a 230 AD book by the ancient Greek author Athenaeus.

Following the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC the cheesecake recipe was adopted by the Romans and, turned into something even more delectable by the addition of eggs as well as crushed cheese. The baked food item, called savillum, was often flavored with lemon or orange zest, something that continues to be done even to this day. Historical records show that the oldest extant cheesecake recipe can be found in the pages of Marcus Cato’s De Agri Cultura. Later on, it made its way to Europe and, is rumored to have been one of Henry VIII’s favorite desserts.

6) Pilaf, circa 1000 – 500 BC –

Although the bread was one of the oldest food items man prepared nearly 30,000 years ago, the more complicated varieties like stuffed bread or pastry started appearing much later. By comparison, rice has a long history of being used in rich, flavorsome and more intricate preparations. Pilaf, for instance, is an ancient food recipe made by cooking rice, vegetables, and meat in a broth seasoned with a number of different spices and herbs. Common ingredients include chicken, pork, lamb, fish, seafood, carrots and so on. Called by different names, depending on the country of origin, pilaf is widely consumed across the Middle East, Central and South Asia, the Indian subcontinent, East Africa, the Balkans and so on.

Etymologically, “pilaf” comes from the Persian polow, while the term pulao (Indian version) has its roots in the Sanskrit word pulaka (meaning “ball of rice”). While the rice was first domesticated in China over 13,000 years ago and later in India, people of ancient Persia started cultivating it as a crop between 1,000 and 500 BC. This paved the way for the first pilaf recipe, which soon spread over other parts of the Middle East as well as Central Asia. In 328 BC, when Alexander the Great conquered the Sogdian city of Samarkand (now in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan), he actually feasted on pilaf. Soon, the recipe was taken over to Macedonia and then to different parts of Europe.

Around the same time, a similar rice preparation called pulao sprung in India. In fact, some of the earliest mentions of this dish can be traced back to the epic text of Mahabharata (as early as 400 BC) as well as certain ancient Sanskrit scriptures like Yajnavalkya Smriti (3rd to 5th century AD). The arrival of Muslims in India (as early as 7th century AD) further enriched one of the world’s oldest food recipe, with the addition of saffron and other aromatic spices. This is basically what is called biryani, a type of Mughlai preparation in which the rice, meat, and vegetables form distinct layers. The Spanish paella is believed to have descended from the original pilaf recipe, as well.

7) Kheer, circa 400 BC –

For the uninitiated, kheer is a wonderfully rich and creamy milk-based dessert belonging to the Indian cuisine. Often served at festivals, wedding ceremonies and even temples, it is believed to be the predecessor of European rice pudding. In the Indian subcontinent, it is known by many names, including payasam, payesh, phirni, and fereni among others. In fact, payasam actually comes from payasa meaning milk. Similarly, the word “kheer” is a modified form of the Sanskrit word ksheer for milk or kshirika (meaning a dish prepared with milk). Coming to its recipe, kheer is prepared by cooking rice, vermicelli or broken wheat in sweetened milk enriched with ghee and aromatic spices like cardamom and sometimes even saffron. For special occasions, it is sometimes garnished with cashews, almonds, and pistachios.

Some historians believe that kheer is one the world’s oldest food items, and was possibly one of the concoctions of ancient Ayurveda. The earliest mentions of this food recipe date as far back as 400 BC in the epic texts of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Firni (or fereni) is a close variant of kheer that was created by the people of ancient Persia. Unlike kheer, firni is made from roughly ground rice, which is then boiled in milk until completely mushy. Served cold, this dish is usually infused with cardamom, saffron, and rosewater. In fact, the Persians were the first to add rosewater into rice pudding something that was later adopted by Indians. In the 1999 book Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson writes:

The Persian version of the food, sheer birinj, according to Kekmat…was originally the food of angels, first made in heaven when the Prophet Muhammad ascended to the 7th floor of Heaven to meet God and he was served this dish.

During the reign of the Cholas in Southern India (between 300 BC and 1279 AD), kheer was commonly offered as food to the gods at any kind of religious ceremony. Historical records show that payas, a version of kheer first made in the Indian state of Orissa has been a popular sweet dish in the city of Puri for the last 2,000 years or so. According to some experts, the Bengali payesh is an equally old recipe. In fact, it is believed that spiritual leader Chaitanya actually took with him a pot of gurer payesh (jaggery-sweetened payesh) on his trip to Puri in the 16th century.

Shola (or sholleh) is a similar rice pudding that first appeared in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Iran, and was later taken to Persia by Mongolians in approximately the 13 th century AD. Although rice as a grain was known to Greeks as well as Romans and was often imported from Egypt, western Asia, and other places, the birth of modern-day rice pudding occurred only after rice was introduced as a cultivable crop in Europe sometime between the 8 th and the 10 th centuries. Baked rice pudding, flavored with nutmeg, was first made in the 16 th century and quickly began a popular sweet treat. The 1596 book The Good Huswifes Jewell by Thomas Dawson features one of the oldest food recipes of baked rice pudding and it goes as follows:

To make a Tart of Ryse… boil your rice, and put in the yolks of two or three Egges into the Rice, and when it is boiled put it into a dish and season it with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, butter, and the juice of two or three Oranges, and set it on the fire again.

8) Garum, circa 4th century BC –

Fish sauce is synonymous with East and Southeast Asian cuisines, especially places like Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Korea and even Japan. As its name suggests, fish sauce is prepared by fermenting fresh or dried fish with large amounts of sea salt. Anchovies are one of the most common types of fish used to makes Asian fish sauces. There is a multitude of regional varieties, each featuring different sets of ingredients as well as distinctly-unique tastes. In addition to being used as a condiment, fish sauce is often mixed with herbs and spices and turned into dipping sauces. In fact, written records confirm that sauces made from fermented fish have been in use in certain parts of China for the last 2,000 years or so.

One thing that has long puzzled historians is that the origins of fish sauce took root not in Asia, but actually in Europe. Between the 3 rd and 4 th century BC, ancient Greeks started to make a fish sauce preparation known as garum, which was later adopted by Romans and even Byzantines. Named after an ancient type of fish garos by Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, this condiment was made by combining fish innards and blood with salt and letting it ferment until it releases a pungent smelling liquid. Like modern-day soy sauce or ketchup, this curiously concocted food item was added to dishes at the end of cooking.

With the arrival of Romans, a slightly different version of the garum, called liquamen, came into use. According to some historians, it differs from garum in that it was made by fermenting an entire fish and not just the insides. In that respect, it can be considered a predecessor of present-day Southeast Asian fish sauce. By 4th century AD, liquamen became extremely popular across the ancient Roman Empire, often taking the place of salt in recipes. The Apicius cookbook, for instance, contains several food recipes that require liquamen or garum for enhancing the flavor. Claudio Giardino, an archaeologist from Italy, stated:

According [to] the Roman writers, a good bottle of garum could cost something like $500 of today. But you can also have garum for slaves that is extremely cheap. So it is exactly like wine.

Archaeologists have discovered remnants of huge garum factories along coastal regions in Spain, Portugal and even the northern parts of Africa. In fact, jars containing garum remains in few of these factories actually helped researchers determine the date of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the consequent destruction of Pompeii. A modern version of garum, made from anchovies and currently in use in Italy, is Colatura di alic.

9) Isicia Omentata, circa 4th century AD –

Burgers are emblematic of the modern fast food phenomenon. Sandwiched between two soft slices of the bun and embellished with cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise and even pickles, this sumptuous meat patty is loved unanimously across the globe, ever since it was introduced in the United States in the 1900s. It was widely popularized by street vendors and was one of the first American fast food items. Although the origins of this iconic recipe remain murky to this day, some historians believe that it can be traced back to isicia omentata, an ancient Roman beef preparation that dates back to the circa early 4th century AD – thus potentially being one of the oldest food items in the world.

The 1,500-year-old food recipe, which has survived in the extant ancient Roman cookbook Apicius: De Re Coquinaria, involved mixing the minced meat, condiments, pine nuts, white wine, and the famous Garum fish sauce, and cooking the resultant patties over an open fire. Speaking about the dish, UK-based food historian Dr. Annie Gray said:

We all know that the Romans left a huge mark on Britain, fundamentally altering the British diet forever. Street food became available en masse, and many of our favorite foods were introduced, including Isicia Omentata, what can be seen as the Roman forefather to today’s burger. This ‘burger’ was decidedly more upmarket than many of today’s offerings and is richer and more complex than the plain beef version most common today.

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As an Appetizer: Tuna and Chickpea Patties

Cappi Thompson / Moment Open / Getty Images

Australian cuisine is filled with fun appetizers like beef satay, which grills skewered steak covered in a coconut curry.

Another fun and quick option is a plate of tuna and chickpea patties. These delightful little nibbles use chickpeas rather than potatoes and eggs to create a flavorful patty. The patties are filled with tuna, vegetables, cilantro, parsley, and a little chile pepper. They're fantastic when dipped into the homemade mint-yogurt sauce.

Fish vs. Beef: A New Historic Trend - Recipes

Lynne Olver created the Food Timeline in 1999 (see the "about this site" below). In 2020, Virginia Tech University Libraries and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS) collaborated on a plan to offer Virginia Tech as a new home for the physical book collection and the web resource. We are beginning to plan for some future development on the site, but in the meantime, we have a few pieces of information to share:

  • Lynne Olver's book collection is joining the more than 5,000 volumes that Virginia Tech Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) has relating to food and drink history. We now have more than 7,500 books and 125 manuscripts on aspects of cooking, food, drink, and agricultural history!
  • We have a new email address for Food Timeline ([email protected]). If you'd like to learn more about this collection or our other materials, are interested in collaborating, or need some reference help, you can reach us there. (We are still checking the existing email, but we will be phasing it out going forward.)
  • Lynne Olver offered reference service for years. SCUA already does virtual and in-person reference as part of our mission and services, and we are happy to try and help you with questions now! We are currently (as of Spring 2021 semester) still open with limited operations and staffing, so we appreciate your patience as we ramp up this service (garlic pun intended?). If you are local and want to visit us, we are open by-appointment.
  • The Olver book collection is currently being cataloged, so it is not immediately available for use. We'll share more information as that effort progresses. If you are local or want to visit Virginia Tech specifically to work with these materials, please contact us first so we can discuss the options. Otherwise, we are open by-appointment to work with our other food and drink history materials.
  • SCUA is now managing @foodtimeline on Twitter, where we'll post updates about the collection, food history news, info from the Food Studies Program at Virginia Tech, and more!

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The Food Timeline was created and maintained solely by Lynne Olver (1958-2015, her obituary), reference librarian with a passion for food history. About it she originally said " Information is checked against standard reference tools for accuracy. All sources are cited for research purposes. As with most historical topics, there are some conflicting stories in the field of food history. We do our best to select and present the information with the most documented support. Heritage Radio interviews Food Timeline editor (2013).

The recipes featured on our site are selected from a variety of sources including old cook books, newspapers, magazines, National Historic Parks, government agencies, universities, cultural organizations, culinary historians, and company/restaurant web sites. We have not cooked them in our own kitchens and cannot vouch for their results in yours. If you have any questions regarding the ingredients, instructions or safety of these recipes please forward them directly to the webmaster of the site hosting that recipe. Recipes from primary documents are linked for historical purposes only. If you plan to cook one of these, they need to be examined very carefully for unsafe practices (such as the eating of raw eggs)."

About copyright
Food Timeline provides full citations for all materials quoted on the site. Copyright belongs to those authors, publishers, and heirs. The U.S. Copyright Office offers information regarding determining owners and obtaining permission. Most countries, and the European Union, have separate copyright (of Intellectual Property) organizations. Text not cited to outside sources is copyright Lynne Olver, editor, The Food Timeline.

FoodTimeline library owned 2300+ books, hundreds of 20th century USA food company brochures, & dozens of vintage magazines (Good Housekeeping, American Cookery, Ladies Home Journal &c.)

Quick Lunches

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These Are the Food Trends We'll Be Talking About in 2020, According to Food Network

The stars (and the data) point to pellet grills, new ways to eat veggies, global pastries and more.

Photo by: Courtesy of Traeger

By Leah Brickley for Food Network Kitchen

Can you even believe that we're two decades into the 2000s? The past 20 years have been fun for food — kale smoothies, crazy milkshakes, avocado-everything. But you won't be buzzing about any of that in the next 20 years. Here's what will hit your grocery stores, kitchen tables and favorite restaurants in 2020, according to our survey data, industry research, and our eagle eyes and ears (and mouths!) out in the food field.

Pellet Grills

The woodfire revolution just got electric, literally.

Pellet grills have even, easy-to-control heat — thanks to compressed sawdust pellets heated by an electric rod. Fans ("pellet heads") say pellet grilling is the easiest, cleanest and tastiest way to grill and smoke at the same time. In the dominant charcoal and gas-grill market, wood pellet grill sales have grown 9% year-over-year for the past 4 years, according to the Health, Patio and Barbecue Association. Companies like Traeger and Grilla have loyal superfans that share recipes, tips and suggestions for product improvement through Facebook groups — some 100K members strong. Wood pellets come in every flavor, from alder and cherry to maple and mesquite.

Traeger Eastwood 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker in Silver Vein

Grilla Grills Silverbac Alpha Model Smoker and BBQ Wood Pellet Grill


An old barn still stands in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. The area has been farmland since teh Colonial days

The Hudson Valley

Country life = the good life.

Just north of New York City, the Hudson Valley is made of up towns and communities of growers, cookers, makers and artisans. It was one of Airbnb's top travel destinations of 2019 and a place where people can connect with food and drink at a local farm, distillery, brewery, market or supper club. Its exports, like Crown maple syrup, Hudson Baby bourbon and Coach Farm goat cheese, have national recognition. The HV is a lesson: the country can have city cache.

Taiwanese Food

The melting pot of the east meets the west.

With more than 11 million tourists a year, many of them from North America (with an appetite for exploring authentic regional cooking) Taiwan's eclectic cuisine is having a moment. Chefs like Vivian Ku of Pine & Crane (LA), Trigg Brown and Josh Ku of Win Son (Brooklyn) and veteran restaurateur Eddie Huang of NYC's Baohaus are creating dishes that spotlight Taiwan's culinary diversity like beef noodle soup, pork belly buns, oyster omelets and fried chicken. Save room for dessert: Win Son's huasheng runbing — kind of like a vanilla ice cream sandwich with peanut brittle and fresh cilantro — will make you rethink sweets.


Old-school pastries go DIY.

Weekend baking warriors want a challenge, and the cake pop so isn’t doing it. Welcome (back) the Jewish and Eastern European sweet, yeasted babka. It’s been taking Parisian bakeries like Mamiche by storm and Google search results for babka in the US are up by 18% year-over-year. Duff Goldman's chocolate babka has reviews comparing it to a 'top-notch, first class bakery," and Molly Yeh's za'atar twist on babka (made in a jumbo muffin tin!) is a fun new take on the dish. Homemade global pastries won’t stop here: look out for Czech kolaches, Scandinavian cardamom rolls, Japanese red bean buns and Mexican conchas next.

Watch Molly Make Babka Muffins on Food Network Kitchen

She uses a jumbo muffin tin and gives them a savory flavor with za'atar. Download and sign up for Food Network Kitchen to watch!

Tajin Seasoning

Sour and spice are very nice.

Pronounced ta-HEEN, this chile-lime salt seasoning has been part of the Mexican pantry for decades — but now more and more people are starting to notice it. Its versatility is endless: Disney's been shaking it on their Dole pineapple whip for years, millennials are sprinkling it on everything from mango to popcorn and omelets. Google search results are up 127% year-over-year, so Tajin's time is here. It’s a big and bold condiment that's great on just about anything. Try this sandia loca (which means "crazy watermelon") — our video has more than 35 million views on Facebook.


Honey dipper drips honey on a slice of bread

Photo by: the_burtons/Getty

Honey Butter

A Midwest staple goes coastal.

Midwesterners have been slathering honey butter on rolls forever, and 83% have tried it according to food research firm Datassential. And it's catching on: big city restaurants like Chicago's Honey Butter Fried Chicken slather the spread all over their birds and LA's Poppy + Rose drizzles their chicken-and-waffle dish with a smoked version. Look for Wise honey butter chips and Land O'Lakes version of the sweet spread. Food Network stars have their own twists on HB: Ina makes hers with cinnamon, Jeff Mauro likes his spicy and Sunny Anderson adds zing with Dijon.

Food Network KitchenMushroom Wellington with Creamy Carrot SauceHealthy EatsFood Network,Food Network Kitchen Mushroom Wellington with Creamy Carrot Sauce Healthy Eats Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved


The versatile superfood.

Consumers have high expectations for veggies (ahem, cauliflower): they need to be versatile, nutrient dense, a carb replacement and a meat alternative. Enter the mushroom — packed with vitamins and adaptogens (compounds that can protect the body from various stresses) and meaty enough to be mains like this mushroom wellington. NYC's Dirt Candy serves a killer mushroom pate and Del Frisco's has turned maitakes into a melt. Look for mushroom extracts popping up in coffee, chocolate and snacks — like jerky and veggie pork rinds.

Cook Along With Valerie Bertinelli's Stuffed Mushroom Class

Download and sign up on the Food Network Kitchen app to make this dinner party classic with Valerie!


A can of anchovies in olive oil on a well-used cutting board background.


The chef's secret is out.

Packed with umami goodness, the 'bacon of the sea' is the unsung hero of many dishes. Alton Brown slips them into his new chicken parm's red sauce and New York Times columnist and cookbook author Alison Roman's anchovy butter chicken is a viral sensation. Today's homecooks are thrilled to pack their pantries with authentic, funky ingredients like anchovy paste which adds a quick savory burst to dishes.

Meal Prep Sunday

Sundays aren’t just for brunch. Generation Z is putting on their favorite podcast or playlist and taking meal prep seriously, according to the Hartman Group. Inspired by meal-prep savvy Instagram accounts like @mealpreponfleek and @workweeklunch, people are letting us know when they're prepping — #mealprepping has been tagged more than 600K times and peaks on Sundays. It’s essential for the busy and budget-conscious and has launched a new generation of smart, compact and good looking resusable containers like Yumbox's bento lunchboxes.


Cold smoked meat plate with prosciutto, salami, bacon, cheese and olives on wooden background. From top view

Grab-and-Go Charcurterie

Meat and cheese are a meal.

Grocery stores across the country are answering the consumer call for quick grab-and-go meals (that still feel special) by building out their deli departments. You can now find packaged grazing platters that only need the cover removed. Giant Eagle has implemented a BYOB program (bring your own board!) where they'll fill up your board or platter with charcuterie goodies for a flat price. Look for other fun items in the deli like specialty olives, pickles, dried fruit and honey to go with your meat and cheese.


Uber Eats is an American online food ordering and delivery service. Delivery in progress on Vienna street. Austria. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Photo by: Education Images/Getty

Ghost Kitchens

Food delivery dominates.

AKA cloud or virtual kitchens, ghost kitchens feature many different restaurants that only offer delivery or take-out — there's no dine-in option. This allows for restaurants to operate for a fraction of the cost. The online food delivery market will climb toward a projected $24 billion by 2023, according to data portal Statista and large ghost kitchen groups like Kitchen United are ready to start serving. Look out for Rachael Ray's and Uber Eats' ghost kitchen collaboration to feature recipes from her upcoming cookbook.


WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 6, 2018: Old Westminster Piquette 2018 photographed at Washington, DC on November 6, 2018. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post via Getty Images).

Photo by: The Washington Post/Getty


Celebration without inebriation.

Say hello to the low-alcohol and slightly bubbly Piquette, like this one from Old Westminster. It’s essentially a second pressing and fermentation of grapes used traditionally in wine-making and almost tastes like hard kombucha. Millennials and Gen Zers are drinking less because of health consciousness and social media culture, according to Mintel. And Beverage Information Insights Group reported that bubbly sales were up 56% within the past ten years. So, this is prime time for Piquette, the crafted and higher brow option to the hard seltzers of the world.

HIPPEAS Organic Chickpea Puffs

Puffed and Popped Snacks

Snacking gets lighter (and louder).

Thanks to food technology, it’s now possible to turn almost anything into an airy puff or pop — peanuts, chickpeas, quinoa and mushrooms have all gone crunchy. The puffed snack industry grew to $31 billion this year, according to IRI. Consumers are drawn to puffed snacks because serving sizes are low calorie and they’re made with little or no oil. It’s also a great place for manufacturers to pack in protein, functional ingredients and funky flavors. Look for: Hippeas, Keenwah quinoa puffs, Snacklins, Lesser Evil egg white curls, Sun Puffs and Bohana popped water lily seeds.

Photo by: Courtesy of Tyson

Meat and Veggie Blends

Families are ready for more veggies and less meat — and welcome the savings.

Want to eat more veggies but still love meat? You're not alone. About 74% of Americans agree, according to Perdue Foods. Their new blended Chicken Plus line came straight from consumer demand. Eating blended meat is the more affordable, sustainable and family-friendly alternative to lab-grown meat, which is also on the horizon. Look for other blended products like Aidells meat and veggie sausages, Applegate Organics beef and mushroom Blend Burger and Tyson's Raised and Rooted blends. You can also jump on the blended bandwagon and make these burgers made with bulgur wheat and turkey.

Instant Pot Max 60, 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker

Multicookers 2.0

Kitchen gadgets get another upgrade.

Updated multicookers with new and better features make single-function small appliances unnecessary. Thanks to the cult following of the multi-cooking Instant Pot, sales for the category are up almost 80% to date and continue to grow, according to the home industry analyst NPD. Keep an eye out for the Instant Pot Max which now has a sous vide mode and the Ninja Foodi OP302, which features air frying and dehydrating. Cuisinart's 2-in-1 air fryer-toaster oven has flat racks that eliminate the awkward barrel shape of first-generation air fryers. There's also Mealthy crisp lid, which is sold separately and claims it can turn pressure cookers into air fryers.

Mealthy CrispLid

Ninja Foodi OP302

Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven


Photo by: PhotoAlto/Milena Boniek/Getty

Less Added Sugar

Higher standards for processed foods.

Consumers are going to start looking at nutrition labels closer. By 2021 all food labels will include "added sugars." That will help separate which sugars are naturally occurring (like lactose in yogurt) from those that are added (corn syrup in candy). More than 75% of Americans polled in a recent IFIC Foundation Food and Health Survey reported that they are trying to limit or avoid sugar in their diet. And many food manufacturers have turned to low-calorie sweeteners — like Splenda and stevia — to meet this demand. Companies like Ocean Spray and Simply beverages are using artificial or naturally occurring low-calorie (like stevia) sweeteners to lower total grams of sugars. Nestle has decided to go a more innovative route and is trying to restructure the sugar crystal itself to be less caloric. Watch out for their 30% less sugar line Milkybar Wowsomes that should be coming to the US soon. Bottom line: Consumers want more and relevant nutrition information.

There are many ways to serve ceviche. Here are some of our favorites: Place the ceviche in a large bowl and let people spoon it onto individual plates to eat with chips or saltines spoon the ceviche into small bowls and serve tostadas, chips or saltines alongside or pile the ceviche onto chips or tostadas and pass around for guests to consume on these edible little plates. Garnish the ceviche with cilantro leaves before serving.

Chile tends to be known for inexpensive reds, but the real secret is the country&rsquos terrific Sauvignon Blancs. The cold winds off the Pacific give Sauvignon Blancs like this one a finely-tuned citrus zestiness, perfect for ceviche (something else they do extremely well in Chile).

Sample Amounts

Three ounces of chicken, salmon or ground beef provides between 575 and 765 milligrams of histidine, 1,500 to 2,100 milligrams of lysine and 90 to 290 milligrams of tryptophan. Chicken is the richest source of the three amino acids, then salmon, then ground beef. Three ounces of turkey, trout or top sirloin steak provides 575 to 829 milligrams of histidine, 1,790 to 2,195 milligrams of lysine and 170 to 265 milligrams of tryptophan. Top sirloin is the richest source of histidine and lysine and the lowest in tryptophan. Turkey is most abundant in tryptophan among the three protein sources.

Switching to Grass-Fed Beef

Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg A Murray Grey cow calls to a herd of beef cattle on a farm near Kyneton in rural Victoria, Australia.

What’s the nutritional difference between beef from animals raised on grass compared with animals fattened in feedlots?

New research from California State University in Chico breaks it down, reviewing three decades of research comparing the nutritional profiles of grass-fed and grain-fed beef.

Over all, grass-fed beef comes out ahead, according to the report in the latest Nutrition Journal. Beef from grass-fed animals has lower levels of unhealthy fats and higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are better for cardiovascular health. Grass-fed beef also has lower levels of dietary cholesterol and offers more vitamins A and E as well as antioxidants. The study found that meat from animals raised entirely on grass also had about twice the levels of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, isomers, which may have cancer fighting properties and lower the risk of diabetes and other health problems.

While the analysis is favorable to grass-fed beef, it’s not clear whether the nutritional differences in the two types of meat have any meaningful impact on human health. For instance, the levels of healthful omega-3s are still far lower than those found in fatty fish like salmon. And as the study authors note, consumers of grain-fed beef can increase their levels of healthful CLAs by eating slightly fattier cuts.

Grass-fed beef has a distinctly different and “grassy” flavor compared with feed-lot beef and also costs more. A recent comparison in The Village Voice cooked up one-pound grass-fed and grain-fed steaks. The grass-fed meat tasted better, according to the article, but at $26 a pound, also cost about three times more.

Today all cattle are typically raised on grass in the early months of their lives. But in the 1950s, cattle raisers hoping to cut costs and improve efficiency of beef production began to ship the animals to feed lots, where they could be fattened more quickly on inexpensive and high-calorie grains. Grain feeding also increased intramuscular fat in the animals. The result was a marbling effect that made meat more flavorful and tender but also raised fat and cholesterol levels.

Advocates of pasture-raised beef say the reasons to switch go beyond nutrition. The animal is raised in a more humane fashion that is also better for the environment. And 100-percent grass-fed animals typically aren’t given hormones or antibiotics. The Web site has more information about the environmental effects of commercial farming and ranching practices and the benefits of pasture-raising.

The New York Times writer Marian Burros explored the taste difference in “There’s More to Like About Grass-Fed Beef.”

Low FODMAP Dinner Recipes Sorted… What Next?

We have a over 70 low FODMAP snack and dessert options here.

If you’re new to eliminating FODMAPs, I strongly recommend you read this guide.

If you are ready to move onto the reintroduction phase, read this guide.

About Geraldine Van Oord (Accredited Practising Dietitian)

Geraldine Van Oord is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist from Australia. She graduated from the University of Wollongong, Australia in 2010 with a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics and first class Honours.

Joe Leech, Dietitian (MSc Nutrition)

Most of us feel overwhelmed when it comes to healthy eating, especially if we have a medical issue.