Every year something new in food makes the headlines. From bacon weaves to grilled cheese, people love reading about and looking at pictures of delicious things they probably shouldn't eat. Some foods, however, tend to be more interesting than others.
We dug around and found a handful of popular food trends for this year. Expect to see more of these pop up on your newsfeed in the months to come.
A variety of donuts from OC Donut Bar
The deep-fried breakfast pastry has seen many changes through the years. From its more iconic forms to some of the newer innovations, donuts have become an ever-changing staple that brings a smile to the morning commuter.
Sure, we enjoy them as a breakfast snack. However, donuts have unexpectedly been a prominent item in next-level dessert trends. Afters Ice Cream, for example, have become known for their popular ice-cream stuffed donuts. Their signature item, the Milky Bun, features flavored ice cream served inside a warm donut. Toppings optional.
The OC Donut Bar, another Orange County-based bakery, is known for many innovative takes on the donut. One of the biggest, baddest donuts in their menu is the gigantic Pop Tart-like pastry they call the Big Poppa-Tart Donut. The Donut Bar also gets seasonally creative with products like their reindeer-shaped donuts for Christmas and Cadbury Creme donuts around Easter.
High-profile baker Dominique Ansel created a pastry that turned heads around the world: the Cronut. Taking the best qualities of both donut and croissant, the Cronut took on many imitations since its debut. Fast food chains would turn out their own variations of the product, albeit under a different name, and join in on the success.
Somewhere between our kale salads and paleo diets, we thought it would be delicious to use donuts as replacement for hamburger buns. We were right, of course. We wouldn't call it the norm, but using donuts to hold together burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches has now become far from unusual.
Fritos Mac & Cheese Dog from Dodgers Stadium
Ballparks will never go away. At least in the foreseeable future. People love watching sports and ball parks cater to that love while creating a sense of community and camaraderie.
Sports or no, people still have to eat. Baseball stadiums have been stepping up their food game year after year. This year, however, a majority of them went all out. Don't be surprised when you see an all-bacon buffet, deep-fried Doritos balls, or Blue Moon Creamsicles more and more. It'll be like a year-long county fair.
One item, in particular, made national headlines: The Churro Dog. Which we'll get to in a bit.
We're embarking on a world where popcorn and nachos will be the healthier option, folks.
Lamb Waffle from Ink Waffles.
Like donuts, waffles have become an incredibly popular replacement for starches. Whether it's burger buns, pita breads, or flour tortillas, everything looks better with a waffle.
Popular waffle house Bruxie is one of the first to bring waffles into the mainstream. With a wide variety of waffle sandwiches on the menu, the theme began to bring forth other waffle-inspired eateries. The popular Iron Press at the Anaheim Packing District features some hefty waffle choices while Ink Waffles, currently located in Santa Ana's 4th Street Market does a full menu.
Waffling, yes a verb, has also made many headlines. Utilizing a waffle maker, folks can take the most mundane of foods and turn it into a waffle. Be it donuts, cold pizza, or leftover cheeseburgers, if you can throw it in a waffle maker you're "Waffling" it.
There's something about those checkered patterns and crisped edges that just somehow appeal to people. Who needs a panini press, right?
Middle Eastern foods
Peep this chicken and beef gyro.
So the Halal Guys are coming to California, in case you didn't hear. While Middle Eastern foods have been around forever, there's something about the combination of meat, veggies and sauce that make folks go crazy.
The east coast, specifically New York, is the perfect example of this. Many falafel spots are filled, night after night, with enthusiastic patrons ready to get their shawarma on. With news of the Halal Guys move to the west coast going viral, it seems Middle Eastern cuisine is something to get hyped for in the months to come.
The food is presented as a healthier alternative to other cuisines, offering lighter choices that aren't caked in oils and grease.
Middle Eastern cuisine is still relatively unknown to a good chunk of the world. While Asian foods have pretty much been defined across the globe, there's still an unfamiliarity with food from the Middle East. While foods like falafels, hummus and shawarma have become more commonplace, a mystery surrounding dishes like fattoush, tabouleh and baba ghanoush still remain for most people.
While the hype train for Middle Eastern fare is slowly building, we expect to see a consistent trend in the near future.
The infamous Churro Dog.
The Churro itself, a deep-fried stick of dough coated in cinnamon and sugar, is a pretty impressive creation of man already. This is a fact. If you start adding it to stuff, however, it'll start taking a life of it's own.
Between churros stuffed with jelly, churro ice cream sandwiches and churro popcorn, you can pretty much turn anything into a churro these days. Some kid in California even made a Chocolate Churro Quesadilla that turned heads.
Recently, the infamous concoction called the Churro Dog went viral. The monstrous beast featured a simple churro stick wedged between a donut and topped with multiple ice cream scoops, topped with whipped cream, caramel and chocolate drizzle. The dog is available at Chase Field in Arizona and has since been the product of many recreations, including the one above.
A bowl of spicy tuna poke topped with mango, avocados, greens and sauce.
The poke buzz has been climbing the charts as of late. The dish of raw fished seasoned with spices and sauces has been a popular craving for anyone looking for something light and tasty to snack on. Either served with rice or chips, poke is probably one of the more versatile dishes in recent news.
Lighter than cooked fish and relatively cheaper than sushi, poke originates from Hawaiian roots. While it comes from the islands, Poke can sometimes be found on Japanese menus. The dish utilities many Japanese condiments including sauces, spices and toppings.
Recently, popular Orange County-based PokiNometry has been making headlines. The quick-service Chipotle-style poke restaurant allows customers to create custom dishes feature various types of poke.
We'd take a bowl of poke over a fast food fish sandwich any day.