A new year brings with it new trends in the world of food and drink, whether it’s new ingredients, new ways of cooking, or attempts to reduce the amount of waste that we produce in the kitchen and 2019 is no different.
Here are just some of the trends that we expect to see throughout 2019, both in the top restaurants and home kitchens alike.
Fermented food and drink have really taken off as people take more notice of the positive effect it can have on our digestive health, although the process itself has been in use for thousands of years.
The likes of alcohol and some yoghurts are produced through fermentation, but recently we’re seeing supermarket shelves filled with the likes of kefir (a fermented milk drink) and kombucha (a fermented tea), both of which can be made at home.
In particular, we’re seeing a rise in lacto fermentation, as well as pickling, preserves food buy being anaerobically fermented in brine.
No Waste Cooking
In an effort to help the environment, more and more chefs are looking to get as much use out of their ingredients as possible and minimise waste.
This means using every part of each piece of meat or fruit and veg and finding a use for that which would previously have just gone straight to the bin.
It’s also being embraced by retailers, with more misshapen fruit and veg being left on the shelves, and brands, such as Carlsberg glueing their cans together to avoid using plastic rings.
Mexican/Middle Eastern Cuisine
While we’re all pretty familiar with the likes of burritos and tacos, UK foodies are starting to dive deeper into Mexican flavours and ingredients such as jalapeños, with the rise of street food vendors and restaurants such as Wahaca and supermarkets offering their own Mexican ‘street food’ ranges.
Middle Eastern cuisine is also on the up as foodies become more familiar with the region’s colourful and healthy dishes such as shakshuka.
In the world of alcohol, rum is definitely the on-trend spirit, particularly with millennials. Sales of all types of the dark spirit have been on the up, whether it be classic variations from the Caribbean or English rums and the growing movement of craft rums.
One of the reasons for rum’s moment in the sun is just how many ways it can be enjoyed, whether it’s a dark, white, sweet, over ice, with coke or in a cocktail, with more and more flavours hitting the market.
Sales in nut butter have boomed in the last year, in large part due to their natural image and high content of protein, fibre and essential fatty acids.
While peanut butter has always been a favourite, brands are starting to offer more varieties of butter, such as almond, cashew, coconut and Brazil nuts.
While still slightly controversial here in Europe, the trend for cooking with cannabis (or more specifically, cannabidiol).
Cannabidiol (or CBD as it’s more commonly known), is being hailed as the next big wellness trend and while it is extracted from the cannabis plant, it’s different to the psychoactive THC found in marijuana.
It’s mainly being infused with coffee, beer and water at the moment but we could start to see it being used more and more in the UK in future.
Encouraged by celebrity chefs such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and following in the footsteps of those in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, more foodies are looking for unusual wild fruits and mushrooms out in the wild.
Such ingredients are also finding their way into high-end restaurants and also cocktail bars, where they’re often used as garnish.
The foraging trend has also seen a resurgence in the popularity of seaweed. The ingredient has been eaten since ancient times but took off in the UK around the 1990s when we were introduced to sushi.
In more recent times, we’ve seen a rise in native seaweed consumption as it’s started to be marketed as a health snack in supermarkets with people also finding their own off the UK’s shores.
These are just some of the foodie trends we expect to see in 2019 across restaurants, shops and of course, our own kitchens but we’re sure to see plenty more come and go as the year progresses.