How culinary trends arise
Last year the world was conquered by kombucha, the year before by avocado desserts, and the year before that by French pasta. Culinary trends, like fashion, change at breakneck speed in the age of Instagram, but even before the advent of social networks, these two industries had a lot in common:
– Both gastronomic and fashion diversity depend on the seasons, diets, the desire for youth, for innovation, such as the molecular cuisine boom at the beginning of this century.
– Different foods, like designer clothes, find supporters in the face of celebrities. Celebrities share pictures of dinners, recipes, cooking/eating regimes with the same pleasure as shopping for new bags and outfits. And as soon as the audience gets bored with a certain dish or style of clothing, something new comes to the fore that is surprising.
– Another common feature between cooking and fashion is sustainability. Ethical clothing and food that do not contain any artificial ingredients are relevant today, and the general mania for a healthy lifestyle only increases the interest in novelties in the art of gastronomy.
Health, beauty and more
It is important that each product is not only healthier, but also more aesthetic. Ugly dishes and food have no place on social networks and, therefore, on the table. There is also a flip side to the coin: rampant consumer interest, provoked by skillful marketing, elevates a certain type of food to a pedestal, after which its popularity collapses and gives way to the next trendy product.
This artificially increases its value – in 2017, for example, the world went crazy for avocados, and when the harvest turned out to be poor, this fruit reached excessively high prices.
How does a product become popular? Let’s take plant milk. Interest in it has increased massively for several reasons. People have started moving away from cow’s milk in stores because of claims that producers are diluting it and/or using antibiotics and other harmful additives in animal feed. There is more and more talk about lactose intolerance or an allergy to animal milk, and then the popularity of vegan milk increases. It’s also the first in our top 10 foods that have become true social media stars.
1. Nut (vegetable) milk
Soy, almond, rice, oat, coconut, hazelnut milk, cashew and other types of nuts and seeds are extremely valuable, as long as there is no added white sugar in it, but with a natural sweetener. Different plant-based milks are useful because they contain protein and fat similar in proportion to those in cow’s milk, but also because they contain calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, valuable antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The trend of nut milk as a substitute for animal milk goes far beyond the vegan diet – everyone wants to try it!
Often referred to as the “tea fungus”, kombucha is not actually a fungus, but a special colony of bacteria and yeast, also known as a Scoby. A fermented carbonated drink with a slightly tart, slightly sweet and slightly bitter taste is prepared from it. Mixed with tea and sweetener, it is still among the most popular products on Instagram and has a huge number of supporters who claim that it is good for health, although the benefits are not scientifically proven. There are also skeptics who claim that its benefits are exaggerated. The fact is that kombucha contains vinegar, vitamins and valuable chemical compounds.
A type of chickpea – this is the vaunted garbanzo, which has a slightly sweeter, pea-like flavor and is an extremely ancient food. According to archaeologists who have found remains of this grain in the Middle East, garbanzo dates back to at least 9500 BC. Widely popular for centuries in Indian cuisine, the garbanzo bean has made a permanent presence in European cuisine in the form of hummus, falafel flour or cooked in soups, salads, curries and stews.
4. Hard seltzer
It can be said that it is a low-calorie and low-alcohol carbonated water, loved by young people. Major brewers and soda makers in Europe and the US are jumping on the bandwagon with their own versions of hard seltzer made from carbonated water, alcohol as low as beer (from cane sugar, which is the original recipe), and fruit or fruit flavorings.
Who would have believed that the pods of the evergreen tree, which grows mainly in the Mediterranean, would become a superfood?! When they are ground, a flour is obtained with a taste that is something between caramel and cocoa and is used as a sweetener and substitute for coffee, cocoa and chocolate. Petmez from carob is also sold. Interestingly, it can thicken, so its present and bright future is in smoothies, shakes, puddings, raw desserts and baked vegan cakes.
The fame of this vegetable as a strong antioxidant with an anti-inflammatory effect is fully deserved and starts in Japan, where the famous dietary supplement – the aojiru drink – is made from kale juice. However, its name is derived from the German word kohl, which is a common name for green leafy vegetables. They call kale “wild cabbage” and compare its taste to celery and cabbage, and its ingredients to spinach and broccoli. It is fashionable to drink it ground and mixed with coconut milk or in a salad with corn or rice.
Another vegetable with a place in the “culinary hall of fame” if you ask the influencers. The plant has Italian roots, some pronounce it “radicchio” and is from the chicory family. It is slightly bitter and low in calories, which is why it is often included in weight loss diets, but it is also pain-relieving, reduces cholesterol levels and is good for vision, as it contains lutein, (along with the bouquet of minerals and vitamins, mostly from group B). It is mainly eaten raw.
8. Smoked salt
Here is another modern product with ancient origins. Both Vikings and Native Americans smoked sea salt to preserve game meat and fish for longer. The grains of salt are baked on a very low charcoal fire, which gives a specific smoky taste, which is different depending on the wood used: walnut, fir, pine, oak. Now in eco food stores you can find smoked salt in combination with various herbs, grasses, algae, lemon peel.
9. Banana flowers
Banana flowers and banana milk are the new friends of vegans and all people who adhere to a healthy diet, because it is believed that the flowers of the banana tree are a great substitute for fish in terms of vitamins, trace elements, magnesium, potassium. However, their taste does not even resemble that of the banana fruit, but has a slight whiff of walnuts. How is it prepared? It is first marinated in salt and lemon juice, then stewed with various vegetables: carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, garlic, seeds. It turns out interesting if you mix sauteed banana flowers with sesame or sunflower tahini.
A fine powder of ground green tea that makes a drink that is effectively very strong tea. Helps to lose weight, it invigorates, reduces cholesterol, is used in detox programs. Matcha (literally means “powdered tea”) is a real elixir that came from China to boost immunity and energize thanks to its many amino acids and antioxidant ingredients.