Welcome back, kids. I’m proud to continue my annual series of wildly successful and incredibly accurate predictions here at Haute Plates Industrial Markers and Betel Nuts, LLC. Once more I will give you, dear readers, the benefit of my prescience. I trust you will use this fore-knowledge only for good!
I predict that the next trendy “Ethnic” Cuisine will be: Andorran. This tiny stunner of a nation wedged into the mountains that divide France and Spain is a real up-and-comer. Think: “what if a Basque hillbilly learned a little Portuguese, but also spoke French,” and you’re halfway to understanding the wonders of Andorra. It’s a humdinger of a micro-state.
But it’s not all goats and yodeling in Andorra; not hardly! There’s food as well. Andorra is an alpine nation, and not a formal member of the EU. This means there’s a lot of snow and no sales tax. There’s almost no arable land in Andorra, but the hills, dales and terrifying crevasses are great for sheep, which are consumed in massive numbers.
I predict that 2018 will see the opening of no less than four Andorran-themed restaurants serving the country’s national dish, which as I’m sure you’re aware is a stew/soup called Escudella. The restaurants will all be located on Magazine Street between Napoleon and Jefferson.
In the past, we’ve elevated cocktails, tea and coffee to high status, using terms such as “bespoke,” “craft” and “pretentious” to describe formerly mundane drinks. In 2018, we’ll do the same with … water. I predict water bars with meticulously curated selections poured from taps designed in some Nordic country that, through some patented process involving a lot of umlauts, keeps the H20 “immaculate.”
You will pay a great deal for small, recycled cups of water that, surprisingly, you can distinguish from each other or at least from the distilled water you are given in between “courses” or “water flights.” Problems will arise late in the year when proponents of “raw” water run afoul of health codes after untreated water from the Mississippi that has more “terroir” in a literal sense than figurative sickens fourteen tourists visiting from Greenpoint, New York.
We will continue the predictions in a future edition of Haute Plates; in the meantime, please share your own guesses for the coming year in the comments.