The past few years have had us munching on cauliflower pizza bases, choking down slimy avo burgers, and crunching on charcoal. Thankfully, while most of the emerging food trends that look set to go big in 2019 retain the focus on healthy eating, there is a greater push for flexibility and for regional flavours.
From going green with vegetable-based mains, to focusing on fermenting, these are the top foodie trends you need to be aware of.
Mushrooms are all set to make it into the spotlight next year. They make a marvellous meat substitute, have that special flavour quality known as umami, and research indicates they can help prevent breast cancer.
The humble shroom can be used as a star ingredient in its own right. They can also be made into sauces and condiments as an alternative to the lurid goo usually slopped all over a perfectly good meal. Expect to see more than the regular assortment of button, Portobello, Shiitake, oyster, and wild mushrooms, though. Less well-known species such as Eryngii and Maitake are poised to enter wider culinary awareness.
Vegetables Are the New Meat
Vegetables are going to be one of the hottest topics in food next year. Thankfully, the push for more veg in our diets will not come from strange cults or activist groups whose most powerful tool is guilt and shame.
Instead, it will come from men and the chefs who have shown them that well-prepared veggies can be every bit as tasty, as filling, and as satisfying as a plate full of meat. This trend has already gained a lot of ground in the UK this year. Chef, writer, and blogger Derek Sarno and British supermarket chain Tesco created a range of ready-to-eat meals such as mushroom bolognaise and carrot pastrami wraps. More than 2.5 million of them sold in just 6 months.
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Feed Your Gut
Probiotic-rich food options have been available for quite some time, and there is nothing new about fermented food and beverages such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and yoghurt. Love them or hate them, there is a good chance you are going to see much more of them in 2019.
This emerging trend is all about keeping the gut healthy, although you need not feel too bad if you can’t stomach any of that stuff – the alleged health benefits of kombucha and similar trendy home ferments are exaggerated at best, and anecdotal at worst.
Localise Your Taste Buds
Forget about food flown in from far-flung places next year, because 2019 is the year of local and regional flavours. Some food writers predict the push will be felt from restaurants to supermarkets, which will showcase the best of what is available in town and country.
Ensuring that what you eat is a little closer to home could even create opportunities for interesting outings and excursions, as local producers and suppliers will probably host market days, fruit or vegetable-picking events, tastings, demonstrations, and more.