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Anthony Bourdain Believes Filipino Sisig Will Be The Next Big Food Trend

It’s time for Filipino food to get its limelight as America’s favorite cuisine. At least, according to Anthony Bourdain, it is.

The Parts Unknown host sat down with CNN Philippines for a discussion on Filipino fare in the United States and where it’s headed. He claims that American palates are just starting to “become seriously interested” in Filipino food, but they’re to begin “embracing and learning” about one of the most underrated but delicious cuisines out there.

Of course, as with any cultural food getting its chance to shine in the United States, some dishes are going to be more mainstay and recognizable to U.S. consumers than others. These “gateway dishes” are what gets people hooked onto a cuisine. For Filipino food, Bourdain believes that dish to be sisig, a mouthwatering combination of chopped pig’s head and liver (though other popular iterations can include pork cheek and pork belly) that is sauteed in vinegar and peppers and served sizzling in a skillet, usually with an egg.

“I think sisig is perfectly positioned to win the hearts and minds of the world as a whole… I think it’s the most likely to convince people abroad who have had no exposure to Filipino food to maybe look further and investigate further beyond sisig. I think that’s the one that’s gonna hook them.”

Bourdain’s reasons for sisig being that “gateway dish” include the variety of textures and crisp flavors inside of it, the accessibility and relative cheapness of the dish, as well as the fact that it goes great with a few beers.

Bourdain isn’t the only one with that opinion on sisig and Filipino food. Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold has also noted that “the Filipino Food moment” is now upon us, and its unique yet familiar flavors and cheap prices have finally thrust it into the gaze of American food culture.

Our managing editor and resident Filipino Foodbeast, Reach Guinto, expanded on Bourdain’s and Gold’s thoughts, noting that sisig is “accessible and versatile” and can be served in a “variety of styles” that are more appealing to American palates, such as with the cheap but beloved pork belly. Reach also feels that the creativity of Filipino chefs in the United States and social media gives the cuisine a huge advantage.

“Filipino food has always been around, but the awareness brought about through social media and tastemakers like Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern have brought Filipino food into a prominent platform. I believe a lot of it has to do with these first generation Filipino Americans riding the wave of food being so diverse and creative these days. They’re taking the influences and tastes that they grew up with and putting their own creative spin on them. What’s more, they are the new restaurateurs that are starting to pop up in place of immigrant Filipino mom-and-pop joints that we all grew up eating at. Also, food’s relationship with social media now allows these young, hungry, tech savvy Filipino chefs to leverage that technology for more exposure.”

I’d even be bold enough to add it to my list of 2017 food trends because the Filipino food scene has exploded, largely in part to what Reach, Jonathan Gold, and Bourdain have brought up. The cuisine is poised to spread across the USA like wildfire, and the cheap but flavorsome sisig is going to be a big reason why that happens in the immediate future.

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Opinion Products Sweets

Meet Fookie – The Fudge-Covered Cookie Bar The Industry Is HYPED On

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When it comes to America’s dessert creations, we’re the best at creating portmanteau or mash-up desserts. You know, items like the cronut, cakepops, and the macaron ice cream sandwich. These items are always unique, interesting, fun, and absolutely delicious.

With that in mind, meet America’s latest dessert mashup that’s ready to take the country by storm – FOOKIES.

Half fudge, half cookie bar. It sounds so simple, and yet so amazing at the exact same time. Honestly, it truly is one of the tastiest creations you’ll put in your mouth, especially if you get from the company that’s poised to make it go wild.

Fookies were debuted in the New Business Showcase of the San Francisco Winter Fancy Foods Show in January, and they were a HUGE hit. Anyone who came across to try one was loving these epic cookie bars, which came in flavors like Snickerdoodle and Chocolate Chip. These weren’t just some haphazard mashup someone slapped together, however, these were high-quality, extremely well done fudge cookie bars, with some of the creamiest fudge and softest, most delicious cookie I’ve ever tried.

The minds behind Fookie are a mom-and-pop team based out of California’s Sacramento County. One half of the team, Lisa Dobson, made cookie and fudge for the office, which both were huge hits, especially after she started mashing the two together. She and her husband Greg then opened up Fookies as a business and it’s been a great run from there, with Fookies being available in stores from Sacramento to Las Vegas. Stretching like that in the first couple of years is a great success for a family business, and getting featured — and loved — at one of the world’s biggest specialty food trade shows is a sign that business is about to take off for the Fookie creators.

Due to the unique duality of Fookies’ simplicity and ingenious pairing of fudge and cookies, these snacks could take off as the next big trend almost immediately. The Dobsons will always be the originators of the Fookie craft (and the owners of the name, since they trademarked it). However, given the success they had at the show and will continue to have in the future, there’s no way that they’ll be the only company making these by the end of the year. These are simplistic enough to replicate and place in dessert counters, coffee shops, and bakeries all over the country — and are so delicious that the world will easily fall in love with them.

However, like Dominique Ansel’s Cronut, the Dobsons’ Fookie will earn a place in the annals of American dessert history — and initiate a massive wave of imitators.

Grab yourself a box early on to get ahead of the Fookie wave that’s coming, and enjoy as Fookies take over the dessert world in 2017. It’s gonna be a tasty ride.

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A Look At Nashville Hot Chicken & Other Spicy Food Trends This Year

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Global warming aside, 2016 was a pretty hot year. To clarify, it’s been a pretty spicy year. We’ve witnessed a huge surge in the spicy foods trend recently and couldn’t be happier to see people appreciating the heat.

There’s nothing like a peppery plate to get your sweat glands going and your senses on high-alert. Let’s take a look at what’s been happening these last 12 months.

Hot Cheetos Everywhere

Everyone and their mothers have been using Hot Cheetos as a secret ingredient in their recipes this year. Actually, the fiery corn snack has been in the spotlight for a couple of years now, but they’re still going strong. Arguably the hottest and easiest to find of commercial chips, these pepper dusted snacks are the guilty pleasure treats to many patrons.

You can pretty much toss these crimson corn puffs on anything and it’ll be considered trendy. Case in point:

Spicy Challenges

A pretty sizable amount of YouTube videos and Facebook Live Streams have featured some form of spicy food challenge this year.

We even got fellow Foodbeast Elie to try FOUR Carolina Reaper Chips from Paqui. The fiery pepper-encrusted snack food is so spicy that it only comes in a serving of one. It also doesn’t help that the packaging is in the shape of a coffin.

Spicy food challeneges weren’t limited to chips though. In fact, many spots had their own champion in the world of heat.

Fellow Foodbeast Reach Guinto and Wally Vu recently went to Koreatown to try Ddukbokki, a dish of rice cakes made with the fabled Ttangcho pepper, known as the spiciest pepper in all of Korea.

Heck, even the hand-roll spot down the street from our office has a mega-spicy tuna roll for the bravest of patrons. According to Reach, however, it was nowhere near as hot as the Ddukbokki.

Nashville Hot Chicken

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Nashville hot chicken started off as a Tennessee staple. The iconic dish was rumored to have been created in the 1930s as a means of revenge on a womanizer who was expecting a breakfast of fried chicken. What the man didn’t expect was that it was cooked with extra hot pepper, which he was shockingly delighted by.

The dish itself features cuts of chicken marinated in a liquid-based (water or buttermilk) blend of seasoning that’s fried, floured, and bearded. Once it’s out of the fryer, a sauce featuring cayenne pepper is added to the piping hot chicken and served with pickle chips and slices of white bread.

Now, hot chicken has commercially spread across the states and folks are LOVING it (myself included). Even fast food spots like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Carl’s Jr began serving Nashville Hot Chicken and Nashville Hot Chicken sandwiches, pickle chips and all.

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For those who aren’t down for fast food imitations – though KFC’s version is pretty damn tasty – hit up Howlin’ Ray’s (for those in the Los Angeles area), which usually boasts an hour-long line if you’re lucky.

If you’re fortunate enough to live in Nashville, you probably have a better idea where to get your hands on some quality hot chicken.

Why So Spicy?

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There could be a number of reasons why spicy foods have been on the up and up this year. People’s palates have possibly grown accustomed to the heat and are eager to test their boundaries with every new “hot” dish they try.

What’s more, spicy foods are a way for eaters to come together and socialize over the idea of trying something scary and exciting. The adrenaline rush of not knowing how your body will handle the heat can be exhilarating for some people, while others will just succumb to peer pressure just to be a part of the culture.

The pride of being able to handle spicy dishes better than your friends can also play a major role in why “spicy challenges” are trending more and more. Sometimes, it’s just nice to know you can take the heat better than your colleagues.

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Hit-Or-Miss Now Trending

Sushi Mosaics Are The New Mesmerizing Food Trend

Move over sushi donuts, the newest sushi trend to take Japan is a serious work of art. Literally. Mosaic sushi is the beautiful new trend that Japanese foodies are going crazy for — and we can see why.

The idea behind the trend may be simple, but the results are gorgeous. Just like you would with tiles in a traditional mosaic, sushi mosaics are created by arranging various pieces of sushi into multi-colored blocks. Simple yet brilliant.

If you don’t believe us, take a look yourself at some of the hypnotizing pieces of edible sushi art that are taking over Instagram feeds everywhere. You’ll quickly be convinced that sushi mosaics are the trend to trump all trends.

Mosaic Sushi 1

Photo:  @bigmom10

We love the woven cucumber on the sushi pieces in this mosaic, created by Japanese food blogger @bigmom10 (also, amazing Insta handle, just saying).

Mosaic Sushi 3

Photo: @chinamisakmoto

The decorations on these sushi pieces are so meticulously done by blogger @chinamisakmoto and it gives this work of art some gorgeous variation. It’s almost too beautiful to eat… almost.

Small Mosaic Sushi

Sushi mosaics can be made in all different shapes and sizes, as made clear by these adorable little mosaics made by blogger @tsukicook.

Mosaic Sushi 2

This one… this one is just an optical illusion. A beautiful sushi mosaic by blogger @perhotsky had us seriously staring at pieces of sushi for five straight minutes. We do not wish we had those five minutes back. They were wonderful.

We’re hoping that this trend makes its way west quickly; we could drool over these delicious mosaics all day long. Want to copy the trend yourself? Check out this easy tutorial to try your hand at this raw art form.