South Florida Food and Drink Trends in 2015 | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

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The Top South Florida Food and Drink Trends of 2015

Ah, it's that time of year again, a time when a plethora of "best" and "worst" lists looks back at the the culinary world. Everyone seems to have an opinion, and we're no different. Especially when it comes to looking at the best and worst food trends of the year.

While some trends stick, others don't. Those that manage to hold our attention morph into classics, all the things we love that never really go out of style. Others take up space in our memories, a reminder of something we once went crazy for, and now we can't even stomach the thought of. 

As 2015 comes to a close, New Times decided to take a look back at all the things we ate and drank in the past 12 months, a sort of highlight reel of South Florida's food trends, if you will.

Here it is: the top 2015 food trends we loved (and loved to hate) in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

1. Cold Brew Iced Coffee 
When Starbucks announced earlier this year that it would be adding cold brew to its menu, we knew it was only a matter of time before everyone would be ordering the drink like it was something new and different. For those of you still not 100 percent sure exactly what cold brew is, here's some clarification: Cold brew is coffee steeped using cool water over a long period of time, anywhere from six to 24 hours. Traditional iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee at double strength, served over ice. These days, there are quite a few places specializing in it, bottling it, and even kegging it, including Oceana Coffee in Tequesta, Warsaw Coffee Co. in Fort Lauderdale, and Rabbit Coffee in West Palm Beach. In fact, it became such a thing in 2015 New Times dedicated an entire list to the best places in Broward and Palm Beach County to find cold brew.

2. Octopus 
Pretty much any restaurant in South Florida serving seafood has its own iteration of octopus. By now, we've tried it so many times, we can't decide if we love it or hate it — and it seems like diners can't decide either. Despite all these chefs that love it, octopus was cited as one of the least favorite food trends of the year, according to Zagat. That tells us that customers are over it, despite the fact that you'll find it across Broward and Palm Beach at places like Boatyard and 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, all the way north to Avocado Grill in West Palm Beach and El Camino in Delray Beach.

3. Charcuterie 
This year, cured meats made a major comeback. According to Cafe Boulud executive chef Rick Mace (whose in-house charcuterie program includes a stellar foie gras terrine and house-cured lomo) this lost art of preserving meat still deserves the attention it's getting now. In 2015, a number of restaurants across Broward and Palm Beach agreed, embracing the trend, and — as a result — New Times featured the best local charcuterie makers in South Florida, establishments that specialize in offering specialty American-made, imported, and in-house charcuterie. Moving into 2016, expect to see more creativity on the cutting board, says Mace, with things like turkey jerky, lamb bacon, and salt-cured scallops.

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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna

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