The year 2015 was a roller coaster of food trends. It seems like everything from fried octopus balls to Spam made an appearance on the table and on Instagram feeds across the country. These are the 10 foods people went crazy for in 2015.
1. Chicken Sandwich
2015 was the year of the chicken sandwich. It’s been popping up everywhere from Federal Donuts in Philadelphia to Fuku in New York City and Howlin’ Rays in Los Angeles; everyone is getting in on this delicious fried bird between two buns. Even burger-centric Shake Shack has debuted a chicken sandwich this year.
2. Sushirrito (Sushi + Burrito)
Thanks to the sushi burrito, chopsticks are no longer needed to eat sushi. In fact, a plate and table are no longer needed either because sushi burritos tidily wrap up rice, fish and vegetables all in a nori sheet. Though sushi purists might scoff at the idea of a sushi burrito, millennials will be the first to tell you it’s a pretty convenient way to get your sushi fix on the go.
Venezuelan food is more popular than ever and arepas have played a huge roll in that success. These flat cornbreads stuffed with cheese and other fillings are being slung onto griddles across the nation and have opened the door for other Venezuelan foods such as patacones and tequeños. From the Arepa Zone in Washington D.C. to Four Brothers in Austin and The Arepa Factory and Patacon Pisao in New York, these new establishments are spreading the cheesy love and a slew of other Venezuelan snacks.
4. Japanese Street Food
Dirty water dogs and overpriced pretzels have had their day, and now it’s safe to say there is a new kind of street food sweeping the country. Japanese street food such as takoyaki (fried octopus balls), okonomiyaki (a savory pancake) and yakitori (skewered grilled chicken) have been so popular in the past year that they’ve moved beyond the street. These bite-sized snacks have been popping up on menus in both highbrow hangouts and casual haunts alike.
5. Ice Cream Sandwiches
Ice cream can be sandwiched between just about anything, and this year, restaurants and ice cream shops across the country did just that. Be it muffins, macaroons, waffles, black-and-white cookies, donuts, white bread or brioche rolls, ice cream has been acquainted with it all.
When droves of java devotees ditch their religious morning cup of coffee for matcha, a powdered tea, there’s definitely going to be quite a bit of buzz. Literally, people are drinking matcha because it delivers the kind of buzz that so many have described as an “alert calm” and now it’s everywhere! From Brooklyn to Los Angeles matcha bars are popping up and serving iced drinks, hot drinks, lattes and even matcha pastries. Move over kale, there’s a new green food craze in town.
Who would have thought a precooked canned meat that gained popularity during World War II would ever be trendy. Hormel Spiced Ham, or Spam, has been popping up in breakfast sandwiches, mac and cheese, and even as a burger topping. But perhaps the singular item that has resuscitated Spam back to general public’s consciousness is Spam musubi, a Hawaiian snack food made with a mound of rice topped with a slice of grilled Spam and wrapped in nori.
8. Rotisserie Chicken
The humble rotisserie chicken has gone from a weeknight dinner go-to to a weekend dinner destination. Some birds are coated in fancy rubs like brown sugar and spices and others are simply left to spin bare and let the juices and crispy skin speak for itself.
9. Ramen Burger
This is not to say that ramen burgers aren’t delicious (because they are) but why mess with two foods that are perfectly good on their own? The ramen burger spurred such a wave of copycats that the inventor, Keizo Shimamoto, had to trademark his famous ramen-bun burger when it first made a splash on the scene. Since then other unconventional buns like white rice buns and spaghetti buns have hoped to catch the same success as the ramen burger.
10. Avocado On Toast
Avocado toast is nothing new, and like it or not, it’s not going anywhere any time soon. On Instagram it has racked up close to 100,000 tags under its name and even hipster restaurants are embracing this beloved mainstream food.