Twenty years ago, a business lunch of raw fish and rice was unthinkable. Now you can stock up on maki at the 7-Eleven. Similarly, calamari went from scary, tentacled oddity to ubiquitous bar food, and balsamic vinegar--once considered an odiferous foreign sap--is a standard flavor in designer chocolates. So what's next? We'll tell you. Grab your bib.
1. Mongolian Hot Pot
With Asia taking over the world, Mongolian hot pot--a bubbling spiced broth in which diners cook their own food--is set to explode here. Not only is it a novel, exhilarating way to eat, the franchising infrastructure is already in place. Little Sheep, a hot-pot chain with more than 300 restaurants, is among China's fastest developing enterprises, and they're on their way here. It's the modern Mongolian invasion.
Connoisseurs no longer go out for Indian; they eat Madrasi, Malabari, or Gujurati. A byproduct of this regionalization has been the discovery of Southern India's dosas: large, thin, crêpe-like disks that are folded over and filled with curried vegetables. The only risk with something this thrilling is its potential for bastardization. Texas ham-and-cheese dosas, anyone?
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