Food­ies: Chang­ing

In the sky and on the ground, there are new of­fer­ings to ex­plore

Business Traveler (USA) - - 4 HOURS - By El­iz­a­beth Atkin­son

Food. It’s taken on new life. While it is one of our ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties as de­fined in Maslow’s Hi­er­ar­chy of Needs, the gas­tro­nomic in­dus­try has cul­ti­vated new roles both in the air and on the ground. Be­fore head­ing to a new des­ti­na­tion, savvy trav­el­ers check out menus on­line to find palate friendly op­tions that are unique to the des­ti­na­tion. Head­ing to Maine in the sum­mer – where’s the best place to get lob­ster? Do you want a seaside en­vi­ron­ment or an up­scale din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence? The choice is yours; the lob­sters orig­i­nate from the same wa­ters but the ex­pe­ri­ence it­self is the dif­fer­en­tia­tor.

Are the Mil­lenials driv­ing this craze or is it empty-nested Baby Boomers with ex­tra spend­ing money? It ap­pears to be a blend across gen­er­a­tions – and is be­ing de­fined by“food­ies”who are tak­ing back con­trol of their health and taste buds. Why dine out when you can cre­ate a whole­some meal at home? Travel and new ex­pe­ri­ences are the an­swer.Travel forces us to ex­pand our tastes. Whether one trav­els in the States or abroad – our taste buds can ex­plore new ter­ri­tory.

While vis­it­ing Ithaca, NY, re­cently for a sport­ing event, we found a lo­cal bar­be­cue restau­rant that knows its stuff. On their web­site they de­scribe them­selves as a restau­rant that fits this new trend. It is“owned and op­er­ated by two lo­cal culi­nary en­trepreneurs who want the area to be able to ex­pe­ri­ence a dif­fer­ent fla­vor and taste.They take both pride and care in the prepa­ra­tion of their dishes so you are the re­cip­i­ent of their best of­fer­ing!”

And they de­liv­ered on their words. Fancy it was not. How­ever, it gave new mean­ing to the words“fin­ger lickin’good.” An­other must-have in the food world these days – liq­uid ni­tro­gen. Why? It freezes food with in sec­onds and it is en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly as it leaves no

trace once evap­o­rated. If you doubt it, just check out the grow­ing num­ber of liq­uid ni­tro­gen ice cream par­lors and cof­fee shops that are pop­ping up around the coun­try – and at catered events.

Have you ever taken a bite of food and sprayed smoke from your nos­trils af­ter your first bite? At a re­cent event in Columbia, the chefs ex­hib­ited this din­ing trend and told vis­i­tors that it’s a great way to break the prover­bial ice at those awk­ward net­work­ing events. Plus it makes for great videos to send back to friends at home.

Farm-to-ta­ble restau­rants are in vogue these days – and we are health­ier for it. Gone are the days of eat­ing out and feel­ing like a slug af­ter­ward. Fresh in­gre­di­ents turned into din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences abound.

How do you ex­pe­ri­ence it all? The 1970s trend of in-home pro­gres­sive din­ners has taken to din­ing out. Ur­ban dwellers, start with ap­pe­tiz­ers at your first stop, then head down the street for your next course. If you need a break be­fore you en­joy that fi­nal course, why not walk a few more blocks to find the per­fect dessert – liq­uid ni­tro­gen ice cream, shaved snow (an­other twist on ice cream) or a sweet slice of clas­sic cheese­cake. Make it a quest to dis­cover the best in your city.

Chal­lenge your­self to try the same dessert in the dif­fer­ent ci­ties you fre­quent.This win­ter faced with a lot of travel, a friend who hates frosty tem­per­a­tures de­cided to find the best hot choco­late across her cold weather des­ti­na­tions. It made the cold much more palat­able – and she met some in­ter­est­ing peo­ple who helped her find new hot choco­late joints. As we en­ter the sum­mer months, shall we make it our mis­sion to ex­plore ice cream desserts across our trav­els?

Air­lines have def­i­nitely joined the game.The cur­rent trend is to part­ner with a celebrity chef and roll out sea­sonal menus – much like the farm-to-ta­ble restau­rants. Air­lines with a ge­o­graphic hub of­ten fo­cus on foods or drinks from their re­gion. Ac­cord­ing to Maarit Ker­a­nen, head of in-flight ser­vice Finnair,“The im­por­tance of high­qual­ity meals in con­junc­tion with the over­all pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence on our flights can­not be over­stated. Food might not be the first rea­son to se­lect an air­line but we hope in a few years Finnair will be re­mem­bered for great food.”

Wher­ever you find your­self – near your own home, or on a trip – take ad­van­tage of the food cul­ture avail­able to you. It doesn’t take much work and you may meet some in­ter­est­ing peo­ple along the way who share your pas­sion and taste for food in its new­est form. BT

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