By Natasha Silva
I’m by no means a trendy prophesying culinary master. In fact, every single one of these “future fads” was conjured up by my own wild mind, assisted by somewhat brief trawling through blogs and magazines. Truthfully, the world is unpredictable enough. Trying to pinpoint what we fanatical foodies are going to love this year is as easy as trying to make your boyfriend love Brussels sprouts. However, if I’m even remotely correct, you too can order like a food fundi next time you go out!
Consider these the types of foods Frankenstein’s maker would have created if he was a chef instead of a mad scientist; a kind of old-school Heston Blumenthal if you will! We got a sneak-peak into this weird and wonderful trend last year. Remember the cronut? (Some may know it as the dossant.) It’s round, holey and covered in cinnamon sugar like a doughnut, but is buttery and flaky in taste and texture like a croissant!
The Ramen burger (burger patty between two “slices” of compressed ramen noodles) has since made foodie headlines, and is sure to pave the way for more hipster hybrid foods of the future. In 2014 we want it all in one sitting: sweet and savoury, Asian and traditional American; whatever we can get. We’re creating cuisine confusion and fusing taste elements like never before. It’s a kind of artistic reawakening and it’s exciting!
Craft beer was all the rage in 2013 and let’s face it, beer is the new wine. We now have modern and relaxed beer and food pairings where uptight wine pairings once stood.
2014 brings with it sweet craft beers that the dessert lover is going to adore. Not so long ago, I read about a neon pink candied bacon beer (a sort of hybrid in itself) that’s set to make waves in the foodie ocean. My past beer festival experience definitely saw a lot more fruity and fun beers in place of the regular “malty” and “hoppy” variations.
Local craft breweries are boarding the sweet beer train. Triggerfish does a banana infused beer, Robertson Brewery’s cherry beer is taste bud tantalizing and Dragon Brewing does a ginger beer (no really, it is an actual beer) that will make your head want to implode with refreshing excitement.
Rogue Beers, an American brewery, does chocolate stout, hazelnut brown nectar ale, peanut butter and banana ale and just about anything delicious that you could imagine in a beer. This isn’t even beer anymore; it’s liquid dessert!
It’s becoming an increasingly common occurrence at meal times – vibrant colours where you least expect them! These are wraps, pastas, breads, or any other homemade basic that has been infused with vegetable and/or herb puree, as well as vibrant spices in order to heighten colour and flavour. Think squid ink pasta but on a whole new level!
So far I’ve spotted deep purple beetroot wraps, vibrant green spinach bread and robot red tomato pasta. Yes indeed, we’re playing with our food and using natural colorants to turn our plates into something Jackson Pollock would be proud of. But, most importantly, we’re doing so by simultaneously enhancing the flavour.
The flip side of this coin seems to emphasize the homemade. Food magazines are publishing recipes for making your own wraps, breads, pizza bases and pastas. Once you’ve got the basic recipe down, you can play with colourful and flavourful additions of your own. This trend is a brilliant way to cut out some of these pesky preservatives or allergen laden ingredients.
Food and Health Awareness
Every foodie loves a “heart-attack-in-the making” indulgence, however, there seems to be a definite general turn towards healthier eating and responsible ingredient sourcing. We’re more aware of “food miles” (the journey our food makes from the field to the plate) when means that imported, out-of-season produce is lower in quality and harms the environment. The further the food travels, the worse it is, so local really is lekker.
Another trend to keep an eye out for is healthy ingredient swaps. We want to eat well, but use shortcuts that keep us healthier, without sacrificing taste.
Only time will tell how right I’ve been in my predictions for 2014’s food fads. When you think you have it all figured out, something as weird as the cronut pops up!
Image 1: Ruecker, L., n.d., Crazy for Cronuts?, viewed on 8 April 2014, from http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/crazy-for-cronuts-royalty-free-image/464683527
Image 2: taketan, n.d., Beer and taps, viewed on 8 April 2014, from http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/beer-and-taps-royalty-free-image/460681921
Image 3: SchÃ¤fer, C., n.d., Coloured conchiglie on wooden crate, close-up, viewed on 8 April 2014, from http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/coloured-conchiglie-on-wooden-crate-close-high-res-stock-photography/142451504#
Featured image: Westend61, n.d., Young man with flying fast food around his head, Composite, viewed on 8 April 2014, from http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/young-man-with-flying-fast-food-around-his-head-royalty-free-image/475192461#