New Year's Eve

Grandparents Predict the Food Trends of 2016

January  1, 2016

"Has soup been the hot food yet?"

We found our scout-critics for the newest, hottest food trends not at the Brooklyn bar or a dive restaurant in Queens or even online, but at our Christmas tables. As with all important matters, we look to our grandparents for wisdom. Isn't Grandma chic en vogue, anyway?

Forget all the lists of 2016 food trend predictions written by food professionals. Our grandparents might be a little fuzzy on the definition of "food trend," but they've actually weathered quite a few. They knew a time when gluten was good. Jello salad, too.

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Some had their eye on the pulse; others were pulling our legs, we think. But who knows: See you in a year to see how they fared. What follows are their predictions—and remember, you heard them here first.

  1. Homemade cat food. (Because, like, been there with dog treats, right?)
  2. Booze in everything—"like minestrone." We say: That's what a Not Recipe is for.
  3. Pasta sandwiches: "A pasta with a cheese layer and then another pasta. It's a pasta sandwich. You bake the pasta with the cheese, then you fry it, and then you make the sandwich." (We know what's up, Eater.)
  4. Mushrooms as "super food, like chia."And no, not those mushrooms. We asked.
  5. "Exotic foods (ones that require a lot of shipping and water and resources) will become un-PC and discouraged. Like almonds."
  6. Personal garden to table (two grandparents agree!).
  7. Pineapple?
  8. Layered cakes. (Did they ever really go away though, grandma?)

Want to throw your 2016 food trend predictions into the ring? Go to the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Lucy
  • Lucien
  • Megan LaBrecque
    Megan LaBrecque
  • Ellen
  • Shelley Matheis
    Shelley Matheis
Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.


Lucy October 28, 2016
I think the kitchen wisdom of grandparents, especially grandmothers is a long overdue food trend and needs to come back in 2017. Even if you just invite them to lunch and listen. Better yet, take notes.
Lucien January 4, 2016
Aspics were part of my 1950s childhood, and I loved them. My mother's tomato aspic, which always contained chopped vegetables for crunch (cucumbers, celery, etc.), were like gelled gazpacho, and refreshing in hot weather.

Aspics have long since gone out of fashion, and I've been a vegetarian since the '70s. But I'd love to see an aspic recipe here—or maybe two: one traditional aspic using gelatin, and another for vegetarians!
Megan L. January 4, 2016
The personal garden thing is v Victory Gardens of the 40s - rations made for interesting recipes.
Ellen January 1, 2016
I made that jello salad, and it was outstanding.
Ali S. January 3, 2016
Oh good!
Shelley M. January 1, 2016
But no jello salads, please.
Paige S. January 1, 2016
I live in WA State where grandparents have discovered retail marijuana stores. They're purchasing and cooking with mj infused craft elixirs, cooking oils and tinctures - It's a brave new world :)
Ntombi N. January 1, 2016
I have to agree with booze in everything
Alexandra V. January 1, 2016
90's fast food nostalgia...healthified.