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2013s food trend predictions

What will be on the culinary catwalk this year?

FlexitarianismVegetarian food has grown in popularity over the past couple of years, but 2013 is the year of the 'flexitarian', a nutrition-conscious muncher who follows a mainly plant-based diet with the occasional inclusion of meat products.

Ancient grains Bye bye rice, couscous and pasta. Hello barley, millet, faro, quinoa, amaranth and spelt.

Radical restaurants We saw food trucks and pop-up restaurants taking over Australian cities last year and the popularity of these will continue to grow in 2013. Prepare your tastebuds for underground eateries too. Sounds secretive and scrumptious, right?

Ash2012 was the year where everything was salted – salted caramel, salted coconut, dark chocolate with sea salt. This year, ash will be the dominant underlying food flavour. Chefs in the US are already turning veggies into charred dust and sprinkling them over their tucker.

Trans-continental combos Mexican munchies will continue to thrive, while Korean, Peruvian and northern Chinese fusion fare will get a tasty look-in.

Artisan supermarkets Bondi David Jones now has a posh food hall boasting an oyster bar, gelato stop and antipasto counter. Even supermarkets such as Coles are gaining recognition for their gourmet prepared meals such as sushi, pizza and curries.

Heirloom chicken According to US food experts, we'll soon start calling chooks by their specific varieties and identifying how each one constrasts in flavour.

Back to basics Weber Shandwick's food trend report claims that vegetables will be the focal point of any Aussie meal throughout 2013, but suggests that "we may even see a rise of edible insects like grasshoppers and locusts". Eeek!

Chardonnay This grape has been out of favour for some time, but will make a yummy comeback to wine glasses in 2013. Sweet wines and boutique beers may also thrive. Read how chardonnay is back with a vin-geance here.

Family feasts Thanks to chefs such as Jamie Oliver, this year will be all about sitting down together and tucking into shared banquets – think slow-cooked lamb, duck lettuce cups or a wild mushroom risotto thrown into the middle of the table for everyone to dive into.

Online shopping Technology is taking over everything else, so why not grocery shopping? The main supermarkets and local gourmet delis and health stores will be going fully dig-eat-al in 2013.

Mini-meals for kids This year, it's out with the chicken nuggets and burgers in a bid to fight child obesity. We'll start serving up smaller portions of what we eat for our kids, developing their palates and encouraging healthier eating.