Aside from gorging ourselves on snacks and spirits, interviewing food personalities, and attending celebrity chef demos, what else were we doing at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival ? Why, keeping our eyes pried for new culinary trends, of course. Here are six themes we saw in a big way that may be poised to hit your dining scene soon.
Sugar and salt are nothing new, but the combo was at just about every event we attended. At Andrew Zimmern's truck event, Potoffee combined potato chips and toffee, and Friar Tuck's served a burger patty and cheese between maple-glazed doughnuts. At the Tasting Village, we enjoyed freshly shucked oysters that were dressed in a tropical passionfruit sauce.
This breed  of cattle, known for having less cholesterol and fat than its counterparts, was out in full force at the Grand Tasting Village. Andrew Zimmern also shared details on a new product he served at Trucks on Midtown's Tracks: a species-specific Piedmontese beef hot dog .
Passionfruit was everywhere at the festival, from passionfruit mousse and marshmallows by Fontainebleau chef Jordi Panisello to passionfruit pops from Hip Pops at the Trucks on Midtown's Tracks event.
Croquettes — filled and fried bites — were among the most popular offerings in town. A few highlights included Elle's paella croqueta with lobster, shrimp, and chorizo; Cubancube's sweet potato croquette; and pastrami and pickle croquetas with rye breadcrumbs.
Braised Short Ribs
Are braised beef short ribs the new pork belly? Judging by the number of people serving them, it's possible. We spotted them in the tasting tents over polenta, sandwiched between a slider bun, and even cooked sous vide and thinly sliced over a beef tendon chicharrón.
Beer in Food
We aren't the only ones who think recipes can be boosted by beer . Morimoto took advantage of Amstel Light to make a beer shake at Burger Bash, the students at Florida International University made spelt beer bread with beer butter, and Gravity Brewlab and The Hidden Kitchen served a take on beer bread with pork belly as an accoutrement.