2015 Culinary Food Trends in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia

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2015 Culinary Food Trends in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
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Culinary Trail, Events, Shenandoah Valley, West Virginia - Eastern Gateway

Thanksgiving is one holiday that centers just around family and food. I thought it would be fun to look at the new culinary trends in 2015.  Remember how popular kale was, well kale is out and caufilower is in.

One new travel trend is planning a trip around your culinary interests. This accounts for the growth and popularity of agri-tourism here in the Shenandoah Valley. From the wineries that are now around every curve in the road to U-pick farms to visiting a dairy farm for locally made cheeses, culinary tourism has hit the valley as well as the rest of the world.

What are other 2015 food trends that are poping up here. Have you ever wondered how something like quinoa becomes a household staple when half of us can’t even pronounce it? In googling this subject, I suddenly found myself deep in the evolution of consumer behavior. What societal forces are shaping our culinary palates? To begin to answer that question, I reached out to two best coffee stops experts here in the northern Shenandoah Valley.

Jennifer and Brian of Black Dog Coffee center their energies on promoting their community by making their the Black Dog Coffee Shop on Route 9 between Martinsburg and Charles Town the hub spot for Jefferson County, West Virginia. The Coffee Shop is transitioning into being a retail shop for locally grown and produced foods and crafts grown and made in the tri-state area.

“We would prefer putting our energy on sustaining our own community than trying to control and conquer the world. It is not that we are not concerned about the rest of the world, but we feel we can have a stronger impact if we concentrate on our local community,” said Jennifer Maghan.

One of the ways to support the community is to offer a 3 Day Holiday Shopping Spree at their coffee shop in Shenandoah Junction, WV. The event will host live music, food, awesome gifts, and activities for the kids! Learn more….

Over a cup of their wonderful Sumatra Mandheling, I asked Jennifer and Brian what did they see as the new culinary trends coming in 2015. “People are much more wanting to know where their food is coming from. This includes where their coffee is coming from. We keep the bags that hold our beans and people are learning the farm names. It is interesting,” said Jennifer, “that I can have eggs from two different farms but it is the one the locals know best that out sells the other two times or more. People are interested in high standards when it comes to the food they eat. It is the trust factor that exists in a community and is why farmers markets and u-pick farms are seeing such a rise in popularity.”

One of the popularity trends I have read about is “fermented foods.”  According to a recent report on CBS News by Parvarti Shallow on November 6th , the buzz about kimchi, miso and sauerkraut – and their so-called probiotic powers – will get louder next year. It will be interesting to see how this grows here in the valley.

Pam Throckmorton, of Throx Market Station and Throx Country Store has made it her life passion to pick the healthiest food options for her clients. Our goal is to be known as “the oasis of choice in food and beverage on the Shenandoah Valley Interstate 81 Corridor.” If you have not been to Throx Market, then you are missing out on the number one restaurant out of two hundred twenty four here as reviewed by Trip Advisor followers.

You can pick from their health protein smoothies to their salads and sandwiches. One of the 2015 food trends is a relative of quinoa “Knaiwa”. I can find snacks and other food options made from the quinoa family. Quinoa’s popularity is due to their high protein and gluten-free qualities. Walking thru the front door of Throx, I see a rack of quinoa snacks that are both good and good for you.

Another 2015 food trend is the expansion of the Coconut in our food line. Throx is carrying lots of coconut water products as well as dried coconut snacks. Coconut Sugar is one of the latest new trends.  Plan to see it in many products.  Better than sugar but it is still sugar so limited quantities is important.

Matcha is another emerging 2015 food trend, Throx Market gives it as an option in their health smoothies. Matcha is an all-natural powerhouse beverage brought to us from Japan that meets popular demands for energy, vitality, and nutrition. Made from crushed green tea leaves, Matcha is packed with antioxidants, L-theanine, and beta carotenes. With less caffeine than green tea, Matcha provides a calmer, more even energy boost.

“Our desire here at Throx Market is to meet our consumers needs seeking empowerment through health and finding ingredients with nutrients that meet their needs,” says Throckmorton. Just recently Pam and her son, Jeremy (owners of Throx Market Station) spent hours stocking one of their newest food products – Craft Sodas. “Again, people want to know the quality of the food they are drinking which is why we are seeing the rise of craft sodas. Infusion of fruits and vegetables into beverages is a huge trend that will only get bigger.” said Throckmorton.

I remember years ago the future of food was that we would all just take a pill with our interest in cooking waning. Obviously that trend was wrong.  Check out two of our best food restaurants in the Shenandoah Valley.