What will you be eating 23 years from now?
Former News Office writer Josh Schonwald is not a food writer. He is not a restaurant critic. But since his new book, The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Food, was published in April, he’s often mistaken for one or the other. “I wrote one restaurant review when I was in college,” he confesses during a reading at 57th Street Books. “I’m not even a foodie.”
In his obsessively researched book, Schonwald is driven by curiosity not so much about food as the future. His question: what will we be eating in 2035?
Readers of the Magazine, like a test market, were the first to try out one of Schonwald’s theories: test-tube meat. His 2009 article “Future Fillet," about Jason Matheny, AB’96, the nation’s leading proponent of in-vitro meat, has grown into the book chapter “The Guilt-Free, Heart-Attack-Fighting Super Burger.”
In other chapters, Schonwald speculates on the next big salad green, the next fish, the next ethnic cuisine, and the end of food altogether. He visits labs, fish farms, organic farms, and food shows; he interviews farmers, researchers, advocates, and food futurists. He also consumes a lot of odd things—as does his long-suffering wife, Kristi, AB’91, who endured red burning hands for days after Schonwald excitedly brought home stinging nettles from the Evanston farmer’s market.
Nonetheless, she contributes a recipe, Kristi’s Treviso Radicchio Bison Burger, to the final section, “Recipes: The Mouthfeel of the Future.” “The Treviso gives a nice bitter note and bite to the bison, a leaner alternative to ground beef. Pairs beautifully with a hoppy ale,” Schonwald writes, sounding suspiciously like a food writer. “Serve during fall while watching the Green Bay Packers.”
Kristi’s Treviso Radicchio Bison Burger
- One pound ground free-range bison, made into burgers
- One head of Treviso radicchio
- Olive oil
- Sliced jalapenos (optional)
Grill burgers to desired doneness. Separate radicchio leaves and spritz or brush olive oil onto leaves. Grill leaves for one minute each side. Serve grilled radicchio instead of lettuce on burgers. Add jalapenos for additional spiciness if desired.