Food Trends in the Big City
Experts describe hip and healthy food trends in some major U.S. cities.
In the world of food, there's one thing that's constant -- nothing stays the
same. What was chic a few years ago may be a distant memory today. Food trends
that started as a ripple in a big city quickly escalated into a tidal wave that
swept across the nation. Take the New York cupcake phenomenon that resulted
from a mention in a TV episode of Sex And The City several years ago.
Cupcakes were suddenly the rage, and bakeries everywhere were selling them as
fast as they could frost them.
When it comes to food trends, there's always something new and outrageous to
try. But how many of these "foods of the moment" are actually good for
us? New York City is home to The Food Network, after all, not to mention some
of America's top restaurants. To find out what's hip and healthy, let's
hit the streets of the Big Apple and a handful of other major U.S. cities.
What's Cooking in New York?
Everyone's Going Organic. The word "organic" is popping up
more and more in restaurants, food markets, and bakeries all across the city.
From organic grains to greens (and other produce), eating organic is hot right
Wheat Is Where It's At. Pizza and subs just got a lot more nutritious
in New York City. Some pizzerias are now offering pies made with whole-wheat
crust. You'll also find whole-wheat or multigrain bread options in bakeries and
delis, such as Amy's Bread at the Chelsea Market. Amy's now sells whole-wheat
Irish soda bread and other multigrain breads. The Grill at All About Food,
Rockefeller Center, offers several sandwiches on seven-grain baguette or
grilled whole- wheat bread.
Ban on Trans. New York City is also leading the nation with its ban
on trans fat cooking oils and spreads in all restaurants starting in July 2007.
According to the new citywide regulation, restaurants may not use partially
hydrogenated oils, shortenings, or margarines for frying, pan-frying, or
grilling if they contain 0.5 grams or more of trans fat per serving. Trans fats
are found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and shortening, and they
contribute to clogged arteries and heart disease in part by increasing
"bad" cholesterol and lowering "good" cholesterol. Technically,
restaurants can still use cooking oil that's high in saturated fat; however,
the city is encouraging restaurants to switch to heart-healthy oil while
trimming away the trans. Restaurants will have an extra year to remove all
trans fats from baked goods. That ban goes into effect beginning in July
Upscale Fro Yo. A low-fat frozen yogurt chain popular in
Southern California is now helping residents of New York's Chelsea neighborhood
to chill out. Pinkberry frozen yogurt has become a local obsession, says Shari
Forman, senior account supervisor for Edelman Public Relations in Times Square.
Pinkberry frozen yogurt is delicious and virtuous, made without
preservatives, additives, or excess sugar. A 5-ounce serving adds up to 125
calories, with 5 grams of protein and 0 grams fat, cholesterol, trans and
saturated fat, and 30 grams of carbohydrates. Each 5-ounce serving also offers
about 20% of the Daily Value for calcium and vitamin C.