So, what are the hottest trends in food and drink for summer 2018?
Adventurous? Exciting? Local? Technological? What’s predicted?
Firstly, gut-health is big in 2018, so gut-friendly, probiotic foods such as kimchi, miso and kefir will be popular, along with prebiotics such as onions and garlic.
Non-alcoholic drinks are also a growth area, and as we cut down on alcohol, flavoured premium tonic waters and botanical mixes are flooding in.
The popularity of Hawaiian poke bowls - basically sushi without the fussy presentation - is on the increase though they have yet to become mainstream. Extremely customisable, they can be healthy and economical too.
Ever exciting, spicy food has a new entry in Nepalese timut pepper, a zesty, tingly flavour that leaves a residual heat on the tongue – even worth a try in a gin and tonic.
In the UK and indeed many other countries now, there is a growing trend for dishes created with ingredients sourced within walking distance – of course to many of us, that would mean foraging, so get your facts right…
At the cutting edge of food science – though not yet available to buy - heme is a possible gateway to more environmentally sustainable meat alternatives. It’s being used to bring a meaty quality to plant-based burgers, even trying to emulate the sensation and texture of meat cooked rare.
As more and more of us are turning to ingredients such as tofu, tempeh and quinoa, modern veganism is on the rise as meat-free meals increase in popularity. Indian cuisine is rich with pulses and restaurants are aiming to make plant-based food original and appealing while Mexican, Peruvian and Brazilian food, along with Japanese-Mexican fusion, could well be big this year. Arepas (corn pizza – muffins), chicha (a fermented maize drink) and chulpe (corn used to make snacks) will be out and about, and purple potatoes, white and purple corn, black quinoa and kiwicha seeds are on the up.
Up next are nootropics – or brain food. While gut health is still a major focus, interest in foods affecting cognitive function may now start to cause a stir - be on the look-out for turmeric, salmon, eggs, dandelion greens and jícama (Mexican yam).
So if you’re feeling food-trendy, here are some great ideas to get you started.