The Biggest Fads and Trends in Food and Drink Since 2010

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A kind of soft, spicy sausage from the Italian regions of Calabria, made with pork fat, Calabrian chiles, and assorted herbs and spices, ‘nduja first started showing up on American menus in 2009 — but has been trending in a big way since the mid-2010s. (It is also big in the U.K. and Australia, as well as in its native country.) Either imported or domestically made, ‘nduja shows up these days in various places — for instance in pastas, on pizza, or blended with ground beef in burgers. At the upscale Middle Eastern restaurant Bavel in L.A. (see above), it’s even made with duck instead of pork and served atop hummus.

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Poke (or poké — and pronounced “po-kay” in either case) is a traditional Hawaiian dish, made from cubes of raw ahi tuna, salmon, octopus, or other seafood marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil. Poke seems to have first appeared on the Mainland in 2015, when a small New York restaurant called Sons of Thunder put it on the menu and a New York Times restaurant critic hailed it. More poké shops opened in New York, and the idea spread quickly around the country. Poke is typically garnished with things like cucumber, avocado, and/or seaweed and served as a bowl (see above) over greens or rice — though it isn’t necessarily bowl food and can simply be presented on a plate.

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This dietary staple of the Andes — a highly nutritious grain-like seed (it is botanically considered a pseudocereal) — has been around for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until Oprah Winfrey publicized it as an element in her 21-day “cleanse” diet in 2008 that America really took notice.

In 2007, the U.S. imported 7.3 million pounds of quinoa; by 2013, that had grown to 60 million pounds. Last year, the total was almost 75 million.

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A sauce of chiles, garlic, and vinegar, once dubbed “hipster ketchup,” sriracha is Thai in origin but is now widely used as a condiment in the cuisines of Vietnam and other countries. The brand most often seen in the U.S., and the one that started the sriracha craze here, is Huy Fong, first sold in 1980. It didn’t start taking over American tables, though, until it was named Ingredient of the Year by Bon Appétit in 2010 and subsequently hailed by other publications. After major press coverage of a 2013 lawsuit over supposed chile fumes from the Huy Fong factory, the company launched a major P.R. effort that put it even more squarely in the public consciousness. In addition to the sauce itself, the company produces or has licensed such products as sriracha beef jerky, sunflower seeds, and popcorn — as well as actual sriracha-flavored ketchup.

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Sugar-free diets

Added (as opposed to naturally occurring) sugar is poison, according to Huffington Post contributor Dr. David Samadi, and other doctors, nutritionists, and scientists echo his contention. It’s no wonder that sugar-free diets have become a thing in recent years. Such regimens don’t just mean avoiding desserts and drinking your coffee black. Serious sugar-free dieters give up not only table sugar but honey, maple syrup, soft drinks, and some kinds of fruit (like bananas), among other things. Gwyneth Paltrow went sugar-free in 2010, so you know it must be a thing to do (though she has been known to backslide). Other famous folk who have given the diet a try include Kourtney Kardashian, Adele, Kate Hudson, and Alec Baldwin.