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I love where I live. With Sonoma’s breathtaking beauty among her rolling hills, picturesque vineyards, and the close-knit community I am blessed to call home, it's easy to say I love what I do. As a real estate professional and food writer, Sonoma Dish endeavors to share with you my enthusiasm for living the wine country lifestyle.



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  • Writer's picture Therese Nugent

The Top Ten Food Trends That Defined the Past Decade

Decades are defined by their trends, especially in the world of food. Whether it’s due to a product’s excellent advertising and marketing or its massive popularity on social media, there are some food trends with serious staying power. From avocado toast to cauliflower everything, here’s a look at the most memorable food moments of the 2010s.

10. Avocado Toast

Blame it on the Millennials. Somewhere along the food line, they were convinced that spreading avocado on toasted bread garnished with some herb du jour was worth sixteen bucks. But saddled with student loans and unable to save, they soon realized this weekly brunch extravagance was seriously hindering their hopes of home ownership. My generation? We’ve been mashing avocados forever—we call it guacamole. So no, this new iteration did not cause the housing crisis. However, it did spike the cost of this once affordable fruit now worth its weight in gold. #okboomer

9. Bacon Bonanza

There’s no end in sight for the bacon craze. After a decade of skinless chicken breasts and the pork industry’s ingenious marketing of “the other white meat,” everyone and their grandmother revolted in pursuit of the rediscovery of flavor. We found it in bacon. This sizzling badass with all of its salty-sweet, smoky flavor gives us permission to live on the culinary edge. There was an explosion of bacon everything and we gobbled it up. So a little moderation may be in order. Or not. #fortheloveofbacon

8. Brussels Sprouts

Talk about a total reputational turnaround. Back in the day, no one ever claimed the lowly Brussels sprout was anything close to delicious let alone edible. Boiled beyond recognition, thank goodness the family dog under the dinner table would eat anything or I might never have made it to bed. But a new day has dawned. Thanks to a new era of diverse cooking methods, including roasting, sautéing, and shaving, this unique vegetable rivals bacon in its popularity. But why compete? What’s better than sautéed Brussels sprouts and bacon? Nothing. #brusselssprouts

7. Kale is King

An obscure hearty green that on occasion made it into a winter soup, somehow kale became the poster child for healthy eating. And healthy it is. On the advice of woke actress and self-proclaimed food influencer Gwyneth Paltrow (insert eye roll) instructed us to go crazy and transform kale leaves into chips. Kale soared to culinary heights. Still king, kale can be prepared a myriad of ways. Whether in a soup, tossed in a salad, freshly juiced, or turned into a crispy chip alternative (thank you Gwyneth), there is no denying this leafy green is versatile. #kaleisking

6. Cauliflower Everything

If kale is king than cauliflower is queen. No vegetable had a better decade than cauliflower. What started out as an alternative for folks avoiding gluten, cauliflower exploded into popularity with its chameleon-like qualities morphing into anything we could culinarily imagine. Take Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. So hugely popular, it is consistently out of stock limiting the quantity you can purchase at one time. I predict their cauliflower pizza crust is next. #traderjoescauliflowergnocchi

5. Sriracha

Move over ketchup. Our obsession with Sriracha (see-ROTCH-ah), a hot sauce whose recipe is as closely guarded as Coca-Cola, has made this unique condiment as ubiquitous as America’s favorite French fry dip. And there’s a reason for that. Unlike your typical runny hot sauce, Sriracha has the same viscosity of ketchup making it an ideal and way tastier swap. People swear by its magical yet subtle way that it enhances almost any dish. So popular, restaurants readily serve it up right alongside the salt and pepper. #sriracha


Move over rice. There’s a new grain in town. Formally unpronounceable, this mother of all seeds has taken over the grain world due mainly to its unmatched versatility. What’s not to love about this gluten-free, complete protein wonder grain that is easily swapped out in salads, soups and Buddha bowls. Just get the pronunciation correct: it’s KEEN-wah, my food-forward friends. #quinoa

3. Green Juice

There’s a new Breakfast of Champions. Synonymous with healthy living and all of its purported health benefits, green juice is THE choice of breakfast beverage for health-conscious consumers. There’s even a day devoted to the intoxicating elixir. April 24th has been designated National Green Juice Day. (I saw this on Facebook so it must be true.) I drank the Kool-Aid and I’m not turning back. Celery juice anyone? #nationalgreenjuiceday

2. Pumpkin Spice Everywhere

What started out as a latte additive has transformed into an entire industry of pumpkin spice everything. Thank you Starbucks for enlightening us with something that we can’t live without. And it’s not even a real thing. Okay, so you can concoct the “flavor” of pumpkin spice from other ingredients but it’s really what pumpkin spice and all things related signify for us. Like it’s time to throw on your leggings and Uggs and get to yoga class. I, for one, am grateful Pumpkin Spice Latte season (we used to call it Fall) is just that—seasonal. #sbuxpumpkinspicelatte

1. Instagram

A picture is worth a thousand words and the pursuit of as many “likes.” In our pursuit of virtual validation, Instagram single-handedly defined the food trends of the past decade. With the exception of 19-year old billionaire Kylie Jenner’s baby posts, insta-worthy food snaps are by far the most influential posts on social media. Instagram has without a doubt changed the way we eat. Eating with our eyes has taken on a whole new meaning. #instaworthy

So what’s in store for the 2020s? I’m betting on sober-curious beverage choices, meat-free meat, all-things CBD-infused, edible packaging, and seaweed to name a few. We’ll leave it up to social media to see if we’re on trend.

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