This issue of FOOD & WINE is devoted to one of the great trends of the Nineties: healthful eating, which to me means simple food that indulges the eye and palate as well as the desire for a trim waistline. But F&W editors and I see some other trends on the culinary horizon. Here's a look ahead for 1998.
IN THE KITCHEN
1. White foods. Think eggplant, asparagus, beets, ginger and anchovies.
2. Soul food.
3. Sea salts. A sprinkling from oceans the world over.
4. Bison. The hot low-fat meat.
5. Big beans. Especially giant white limas. (See, white again!)
6. More artisanal American foods. Olive oils, breads and cheeses.
7. Tandoor ovens. Now for home cooks.
8. Slow-roasted everything.
9. Tentacles. As in octopus and squid.
10.Childhood sweets as grown-up desserts. S'mores, cotton candy and more.
11.Regional Mexican menus. The Yucatán and Oaxaca coming into their own.
12. South Indian cooking.
13.Korean food. In a year you won't have to ask what bi bam bap is. (It's a rice dish made with pork, egg, burdock and other vegetables.)
14. Austrian flavor. With Wolfgang Puck and David Bouley leading the way.
15. Jazz. Eating to the beat.
16. Classics revived. New life for the likes of Delmonico's in New York City and Chasen's in Beverly Hills.
17. Tea lists. Becoming as common as beer and wine lists.
18. Vegetarian tasting menus.
AT THE BAR
19. Single-village mezcal. From Mexico.
20. German beer. Moving out of specialty grocery stores.
21. Vodka from unexpected places. Who knew they made this spirit in France and Canada?
22. Riesling. World-class bottles from Germany and Alsace.
23. Terroir tastings in California. Micro-climates as a marketing tool.
24. Reverence for old vines.
25. Even more martinis.