Photo by Stephanie Klocke (Flickr CC)
I'm writing this from the future. Well, technically from six hours in the past. But when it comes to food in Berlin, from the gourmet burger to Korean tacos to the cronut, the US has always been my crystal ball. Unfortunately, though, I've been spending this particular Stateside sojourn in the south of Florida, home to probably the only population in the world that eats supper earlier than the Germans, so I've got only my intuition to rely on to predict the next year of Berlin eating. Here are a few wild guesses...
Music-food pairings Burgers and Hip Hop was a 2014 hit, obviously. Early December's Thai and Techno, organised by "food and lifestyle collective" Opal, rather less so, but it still got an inordinate number of Berliners to line up for €6 mouthfuls of curry prepped by Australians in a Neukölln office building. Following in their footsteps, this year will see Pysch and Szechuan, Ribs and Reggaeton, Chips and Chiptune and, naturally, Salsa and Salsa.
Name your meat In 2013, we reported on the pig farm that "gives meat a face". But apparently faces weren't enough for local locavores. A couple weeks ago, at new food festival Schlachtfest, a group of select Berlin chefs all prepared parts of one steer named Kevin. A few days prior, as an amuse-bouche, attendees were invited up to Brandenburg to witness Kevin being butchered. With that in mind, I predict that by spring, the minds behind all-local pop-up Zweimeilenladen will open Der Namenladen, a butcher's shop where every single cut of meat has a name: from the delectable haunches of Hans-Peter the pig to the tender breasts of Friede the hen to a succulent filet of Norbert the Dorade. Later in 2015, Berlin's hottest new startup Tinner (like Tinder, but for dinner!) will allow you to swipe through all the willing and available animals in a 10km radius till you find the one you want on your plate.
Kale, kale, KALE! This year, Germans will finally get curious about the 'superfood' that's been so big in the States only to realise, with mounting horror, that it's none other than the same old Grünkohl they've been callously stewing, canning and serving with various cured meats for centuries. Prices will quadruple. Berlin will revive the northern German custom of the Grünkohlfahrt, which is as far as I can tell some sort of alcohol-fuelled traipse through nature that culminates in the eating of kale, this time with local artisanal schnapps and all-vegan preparations. Then in 2016 they'll finally catch up to America's current obsession, Brussels sprouts aka Rosenkohl. At which point they'll probably give up.
Next-level street food Remember 'street food on the streets'? Summer 2015 will see a hyperlocal celebration of 'street food from the streets', as Markthalle IX holds a dinner foraged exclusively from Wrangelkiez sidewalks. Think wild, locally grown weeds with a dressing made from the contents of those discarded foil instant noodle seasoning packets, whimsically garnished with a sliver of old TV set smoked over, oh, let's call it 'naturally processed canine nourishment'. Guten Appetit!