Looking for the next big thing for 2014? Sure you are- everybody is. Where better to find it than the BIG apple.
New York City is the melting pot of the world. Where interesting people from thrilling backgrounds blend together to create one of the most amazing cities in America; like Buffalo… only bigger. As a New Yorker, but a Buffalonian born and raised, here are some exciting trends I predict will make their way to Western New York this year.
Prediction #1 – Aloe Vera Juice
Forget coconut water – sooo 2013. Aloe vera juice is where it’s at – yes, you drink it. Traditionally used to treat sun burns due to “super” healing powers, little did the consumer know this magical plant can enhance the whole human body. Aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, 20 minerals and 22 amino acids. This power plant improves digestion, cardiovascular activity, boosts the immune system, perfects skin, reduces inflammation, promotes weight lose and detoxification. Aloe vera juice has swept over all five burrows of NYC. Options here in WNY? You can find it at Wegmans or check with the corner drug store. We also checked with the local smoothie/juice joints and came up with Press Raw Food & Juice on Grant Street. Currently they sell aloe vera juice straight that you can mix into things. They also have a lemon, aloe & wheatgrass shot (use for a quick boost). What does aloe vera juice taste like you ask? Depending one what it’s mixed with it can be a bit gnarly to be quite honest, but some people like it. If you’re looking for flavor I would stay away from the Coconut water/ Aloe mix, but that’s just me. Jump on the bang wagon – the next stop is super hero status. (Cost varies $2-$3 per bottle)
Prediction #2 – Chia Seeds
Next up – Chia seeds. Yes, kind of like the Chia Pet (do not eat your Chia Pet). This super-seed delivers the maximum amount of nutrients with the least amount of calories. The nutritional benefits of Chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants, protein and many more. A growing number of people use the seed in weight lose methods due to Chia’s ability to absorb 12 times its own weight. The seed expands to curb your appetite. Therefore, adding just an ounce or so of Chia seeds to your diet can reduce caloric intake and help lower the energy density (calories) of foods. This is also a good way to double the amount of fiber you receive. They have a mild, nutty flavor – perfect for adding to smoothies. Chia seeds can be purchased at GNC stores around WNY. If you’re hesitant to DIY with this one, I suggest stopping by Press Raw Food & Juice – they came out on top again. They currently offer some pudding options with Chia seeds in them (think cherry chia seed pudding) and plan on having Chia seeds for customers to add to smoothies once they get the smoothie bar up and running.
Prediction #3 – Ramen
For the past year local New York restaurants have been competing to cook up the most original bowl of ramen possible. Yes…RAMEN, you know that 89-cent cup of noodles that you lived off of in college? Well hold on to your taste buds because this dish is about to go gourmet on your ass. Chefs are taking novelty to the next level as they add eggs, bacon, mushrooms, ginger, and anything else you can possibly imagine to their ramen recipes. Chef Ivan Orkin has caught the attention of New Yorkers by thinking far outside the (1. Add 2 cups of water, 2. Microwave for 3 minutes, 3. Pour in flavor mix, and 4. Stir) Ramen box. His creations include an Eggplant Mazeman; noodles resting in oily chili broth with shredded scallions sprinkled with shichimi spice powder to top it off. Infusions like this are taking culinary work by storm. Nobody does storms better than Buffalo.
Prediction #4 – Industrial Chic Markets
The above chef Ivan Orkin has recently called Gotham West Market home for Ivan Ramen. Industrial chic markets are booming in the city that never sleeps. Gotham West and Chelsea Market have given their communities a kick in the commercial butt with a sweet smelling, food inspired, hustling, bustling, gathering spots. As Buffalo continues to gain traction on its way to the top, more markets inspired by culture (sorta like West Side Bazaar) could be just what the doctor ordered. A place like this offers a unique place to hang out, a tourist stop on the map, and local artisanal food purveyors a chance to show the world their creative genius. Not to mention…another great place to chow.
Maybe you’ve heard about all of these things, traveled and tested the trends. Sure, they’ve been around, this isn’t breaking news. But it would be nice to have the opportunity to get sick of this stuff here in WNY. Am I right?
What predictions/hopes do you have for western New York in 2014 – food & otherwise?
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