The year 2020 saw a huge disruption in the food industry, with trends such as shared platters, Michelin-starred tasting menus, and experiential dining giving way to a new way of enjoying and relating to food. Home cooking has boomed, as have deliveries and takeaways, with some restaurants racing to digitalize menus and ordering processes, and others investing in the establishment of outdoor dining spaces. Whether you enjoy dining out or in, there are still many exciting trends to watch out for when it comes to food. The following are just a few you can enjoy in the way that most suits your family’s budget, taste, and lifestyle.
The last few months have seen a big rise in the popularity of plant-based foods, owing in no small part to recently published studies showing that fostering good gut health is a powerful way to promote better physical and mental health. This trend arises from the fact that fruits and vegetables – which are high in fiber – provide your gut microbiome with the nutrients and structure it needs to grow a plethora of bacteria that keep everything from inflammation to depression in check. From the Impossible burger (which literally ‘bleeds’ thanks to its beetroot content) to ‘vegan bacon’ (made by dehydrating zucchini and covering it in spices), there are so many exciting vegan foods to choose from. As such, going plant-based is no longer the ‘sacrifice’ it once was.
Virtual Cooking Classes
Whether you’re at home or you have rented a holiday home for your immediate family, chances are, home-cooked dishes will be served, and there is no way to hone your craft better than by signing up for a virtual cooking class. As reported by delish, this is one of the strongest trends around, with a bevy of celebrity chefs and chefs from local restaurants sharing their passion for food with digitally savvy home cooks. Sites like CocuSocial are even catering for keen gourmets, with Master Series experiences that allow you to cook simultaneously with world-renowned chefs while asking them questions. Most recipes are catered to beginners, and can be prepared on a simple portable induction hob, which directly heats cookware and which is handy if you are away from home. If you will be on vacation and need a very light cooker, opt for one that weighs no more than around six pounds. Make sure that the equipment you choose holds temperature well and works consistently well throughout the cooking process so your dishes can turn out as well as those of the chefs you are following.
Sustainable Ingredients And Packaging
The zero-km way of eating (i.e. relying on local producers and organic, homegrown produce) continues to predominate, with sustainable packaging now also given equal importance. From food served on leaves, to biodegradable plastic wrap alternatives, takeaway dishes packaged in 100% recycled materials, and 3D printed algae pots, the sustainable packaging trend is here to stay. This is good news, considering the fact that 37% of US consumers now prioritize sustainability when parting with their dollar.
Pickling And Jam Preparation
Pickled vegetables and jams are perfect presents to give to friends, and they are also a perfect excuse to get into the kitchen on a lazy Sunday to make use of any excess fruits and vegetables you may have. Vintage mason jars make a cute receptacle for any treats you make, so make sure to purchase a few to make your gifts to friends a little more special. For ideas on what vegetables to pickle, try cucumbers, peppers, cabbages, radishes, and banana chilis.
It is predicted that the in-restaurant dining experience many love and cherish will probably have to wait a while to return to normal. Nevertheless, there are many trends you can start enjoying from the comfort of your home. These include plant-based dishes, takeaway purchased from companies that value sustainability, and virtual classes. Pickling is another big winner this year, so if you love nothing more than spicy kimchi, why not make your own so you can enjoy the perfect blend of sweet, sour, and spicy at home?