The Most-Memorable Food News of 2015

Bid 2015 a final farewell as we recap some of the year's most-viral food news, from the birth of the taco emoji to the debut of Starbucks' new and improved PSL.

Photo By: Brent Hofacker

Photo By: Lisovskaya Natalia ©(c) Lisovskaya Natalia

Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan Liebe - 2015

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The Room-Temp Cocktail Revival

In the cocktail world, trends come and go faster than the four seasons. As of this fall, pristinely shaped "artisanal" cocktail ice has fallen out of favor, paving the way for a renaissance of classic, room-temperature drinks, such as martinis and old fashioneds.

The Birth of the Taco Emoji

October 21, 2015, is a day that will live on in infamy for Mexican-comfort-food lovers everywhere as the day Apple released the long-awaited taco emoji. The iOS update included a few other tasty additions: a hot dog, a cheese wedge, a burrito, a container of movie popcorn, a bottle of bubbly, a plate with a fork and knife, a hot pepper, a crab and a turkey.

Danny Meyer's War on Tipping

In October, New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, whose 13 renowned eateries include Gramercy Tavern, The Modern and Maialino, announced that he will eliminate tipping altogether at all of his establishments. According to Meyer, this isn't just some miserly stunt, but rather an attempt to better compensate not only those serving diners their food, but also those cooking the meals, washing the dishes and making the dining experience possible in myriad unseen ways.

The World’s Most-Instagrammed Food

According to research sponsored by Chef Alessio Mecozzi and carried out by the communications firm Klaus Davi, the most-Instagrammed food around the globe is pizza, beating out burgers 10 to one. 

The Pros of Pizza Dabbing

According to LabDoor, an online health and science magazine, when you dab your pizza, you reduce your fat intake from 13 grams to 8.5 grams per slice and your calories from 117 to 76.5, saving you 40.5 calories of fat per slice. Pass the napkins, please.

You Say Nutella, I Say Newtella

Are you sitting down? Turns out the first syllable of Nutella is not pronounced "nut" (with a soft "uh") but rather "newt" (with a hard "oo"). Word broke after Nutella, which is produced by the Italian firm Ferrero, released several commercials in which the product is clearly pronounced "Newtella."

What Your Pizza-Eating Method Says About You

When faced with a slice of pizza, what's your method of attack? Do you fold and bite? If so, you could be a Driver — a motivated risk-taker. If you use utensils, you're most likely a Supporter — a loyal and resilient people-pleaser. That's what renowned body language and human behavior expert Patti Wood believes.

"Hangry" Now In Dictionaries

"Hangry"-ness must be a real thing if the Oxford Dictionaries say so. In August of 2015, the go-to source for all things modern English was revised to include "hangry" along with "barbacoa" (we do all love our Chipotle), "awesomesauce" and "fast-casual" (yes, we really love our Chipotle).

Real Pumpkin Now Used in Starbucks' PSLs

The people spoke, and Starbucks listened: “After hearing from customers and partners about ingredients, we took another look at this beverage and why we created it so many years ago,” Peter Dukes, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte co-creator, wrote in a blog post on the company’s website back in August. Dukes announced that the beloved beverage would "be made with real pumpkin and without caramel coloring” going forward.

Fat: A Sixth Basic Taste?

First, there were four basic tastes: sour, sweet, salty and bitter. Then scientists said they’d uncovered a fifth: umami, the savory flavor of, say, truffles, meat and anchovies. Back in July, researchers at Purdue University caused a frenzy in the culinary world when they revealed their evidence of a sixth basic taste: fat.

The Health Benefits of Being a Foodie

A study conducted by the Cornell Food and Brand Lab found that adventurous eaters — or "food neophiles," as the researchers term them — tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than those whose eating habits are more restricted. 

The Great Guac Debate

When The New York Times tweeted, "Add green peas to your guacamole," everyone seemed to have an opinion, from President Obama (not a fan) to popular food blogger and cookbook author Deb Perelman (totally in favor). Where do you stand?

The Cookie That Changed Taylor Swift's Life

"Your chocolate chip cookie recipe was a real turning point in my life,” said Taylor Swift in a tweet to Anne Burrell last June. What’s so special about the recipe? It turns out that the cookies it makes are not your everyday chocolate chippers. Anne calls them her Super-Yummy Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies, and they’re made with rich dark chocolate, rolled oats and a pinch of cinnamon, and finished with sea salt before baking.

Bobby Flay Among the Stars

On June 2, 2015, Emmy Award-winning TV show host and restaurant proprietor Bobby Flay gained yet another achievement to add to his resume: the 2,553rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — the first star ever awarded to a chef.

Beyoncé's Home-Delivery Meal Service

In February of 2015, the most-nominated woman in Grammy Awards history launched a vegan home-delivery meal service, 22 Days Nutrition, in partnership with her trainer and exercise physiologist, Marco Borges. According to a press release, the meals are "100% plant-based, made with organic ingredients, non-GMO, gluten free, soy free and dairy free."

What's in Store for 2016

Stunt snacks that aim to shock consumers with their strange flavor mash-ups are so 2015. The focus of 2016 is all about authentic foods that fit our schedules and lifestyles. What else is to come? Well, food industry experts anticipate that the ugly-produce initiative — a niche movement up until this point — will really start to catch on in 2016. You can also expect to see a resurgence of bread and other baked goods as carbs fall back into the dieter's good graces.