This year was a dream for foodies from all over the globe.
From the most Instagrammable menus looking at you, unicorn frappucino to Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods, Oreo’s new mystery flavor, Snicker’s release of three additional candy bars, Hooter’s expansion to include male waiters and Lucky Charm’s marshmallow-only cereal, 2017 was the year for foodies.
1. Sea vegetables
We’ve seen an exponential rise in veggie and vegan cooking in the last few years, with ‘vegetarian butchers’ and their ilk around to remind us that vegetables should no longer be consigned to a side order. One sub-genre we expect to see more of is sea vegetables like healthy dulse (seaweed), which can be used as a salt substitute, to add a briny tang to food or for snacking.
2. Portuguese food
Lisbon is one of the hottest European travel destinations of the moment, as people make the most of reasonable flights and the promise of beautiful food including the legendary Portuguese custard tart. The PCT is already the pastry of the moment in London, thanks to Nuno Mendes’s Taberna Do Mercado and I Love Nata, a new chain exclusively selling pasteis de nata, but salt cod, rice pudding and spicy sausage are among other Portuguese classics worth checking out.
3. Zero waste
Minimising food waste is something we’re 100% behind, and now thanks to restaurants like Silo in Brighton, the war on waste is gaining traction. Add to this companies like Rubies in the Rubble, who make jam from rejected fruit, and California’s Fog Point Vodka, which extraordinarily is made from net-caught fog moisture, and we’re starting to see some real pioneering.
4. Pickles and ferments
Health trends move fast, whether that’s the hottest vegetable of the moment (cauliflower, in case you were wondering), a trendy piece of kit or a buzz phrase, like ‘gut health’ – the term that’s set to be at the heart of the health world in 2017. What this means is more yet more pickling and fermenting, so kimchi, kombucha and Yucatan pickles will remain foods du jour. Gut-friendly foods like these are thought to help with irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, fertility, immunity, low energy and libido.
5. Taco fever
According to our trends panel, hyper-regional food will continue to set our tastebuds ablaze in the next 12 months. From Nordic bakeries to niche Cuban and Filipino restaurants, we expect authenticity to be the order of the day. As for star dishes, tacos have been all over our Instagram feeds recently thanks to the likes of Breddo’s Tacos, Neil Rankin’s Temper and Taqueria, so now’s the time to get well-versed in the fine art of tortilla wrangling.
6. Healthy snacks
According to our trends panel, a continued blurring of mealtimes will mean more of us opt to graze instead of eat three meals a day. Picking and sharing small plates are on the rise, as are healthier snack solutions, so expect to see lower-sugar and high-protein bites.
7. Smart tech in the kitchen
From smart frying pans to camera plates, kitchen equipment is looking more and more sci-fi. We love the sound of the Totali-Tea device, which monitors your sleep and will provide you with a cup of tea with added caffeine if you’ve had a bad night, the Coravin wine preservation system, that allows you to siphon wine out of bottles without popping the cork, and the IKAWA coffee roaster that works off your iPad.