Old World, New Cuisine

February 16, 2012

CHICAGO—Recently, culinary experts are seeing a renewed interest in foods from Europe, especially Nordic cuisine, which is typically not considered trendy by the global foodie community. In the February 2012 issue of Food Technology magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Associate Editor Karen Nachay writes how a new buzz is being generated about cuisine from Nordic countries like Germany and Belgium.

In 2010 and 2011 Noma, a Copenhagen, Denmark-based restaurant specializing entirely in local and seasonal Scandanavian food, was named as "Best Restaurant of the World." Food and Wine, The New York Times, and Saveur are just a few of the publications that have recently been calling attention to this type of cuisine. The National Restaurant Association ranked pickling and fermenting, two popular preparation methods used in some European cuisines, first and second in their preparation methods category on its survey.

Many foods that have been around for generations, such as hot dogs and sausages, have recently gone "gourmet" as chefs and home cooks come up with new recipes and methods of preparation to make old world food more trendy. Artisan-style products that are considered simply crafted, rustic in nature, and eaten seasonally are becoming more popular with consumers. One company in Germany has developed authentic European-style bread mixes that are sold in bakeries around the world. The Liege waffle, a popular street food offering in Belgium, is showing up in food trucks and independent shops in large cities around the U.S.

Although these cuisines may never reach the mass appeal that Asian and Latin American cuisines have, there are many different opportunities for chefs and manufacturers in areas like hand-held foods, appetizers, and frozen convenience foods.

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About IFT
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit scientific society. Our individual members are professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT's mission is to advance the science of food, and our long-range vision is to ensure a safe and abundant food supply, contributing to healthier people everywhere.

For more than 70 years, the IFT has been unlocking the potential of the food science community by creating a dynamic global forum where members from more than 100 countries can share, learn, and grow. We champion the use of sound science across the food value chain through the exchange of knowledge, by providing education, and by furthering the advancement of the profession. IFT has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit ift.org.