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Happy-Gourmand

Top 10 foodie trends

Everyone is back at the office after the holiday break, and so now you need some new water cooler talk, right?

Well, how about the trends with food and cooking that are hot stuff for the New Year? I’ve scoured the many newsletters, magazines, blogs and websites that I follow, and I’ve got a list for you that will wow your friends and colleagues.

I’ve chosen five concepts that are becoming popular: these are ideas that people are excited about. My other five listings are categories or types of food that are being consumed with great enthusiasm.

The entire list is about what people have decided is important in the kitchen. Sometimes it has more to do with a philosophy than the food; I suppose we could still say it’s about the taste that the idea leaves in your mouth, isn’t it?

MOST POPULAR FOOD SUBJECTS

  • Food Activism – this is about using food to engage people. Sometimes the topic has to do with food, like getting people together for a meal of local food to support farmers or marching against Monsanto and their support of genetically modified foods. Other times it’s just about getting people around a table – a way to entice them to discuss difficult topics like improving a community. One of the top cookbooks of 2017 was Feeding the Resistance; it has recipes and encouraging words on how to take your dish to a community potluck.
  • Gluten free doesn’t mean no fun – there are a lot of people choosing to remove gluten from their diets for many reasons. This isn’t just about bread or cake, and it doesn’t mean you can’t have dessert any more. High-end pastry shops are creating decadent desserts with everything from new flours to cashews and avocado. Even those of us who do eat gluten can indulge, we might be pleasantly surprised.
  • Old dogs can show off new tricks – did you hear about the new chocolate bar Hershey created? Their Gold bar was the first addition to their line-up in 20 years, and it was a hit. What’s not to like about caramel cream with peanuts and pretzels?
  • You should order your groceries online too – Have you noticed there is another special designation for parking spots in grocery store lots? In a race to beat Amazon to the punch, almost all grocery stores are working the online angle. If you are confident they will pick the kind of produce you like, this might be a wonderful innovation for your family.
  • More gadgets are better – did you get an Instant Pot for Christmas? If not, you might need one soon. These things are like slow cookers on steroids; one of the most popular selling models on Amazon says
    “Duo Plus replaces 9 common kitchen appliances including Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, Sterilizer and it makes cake too.”

Who wouldn’t want one of those?

TRENDY FOODS

  • Breakfast can be anything you want – don’t eat carbs? No problem. Oprah says pancakes are just as good without them (her banana pancakes have banana, eggs, and baking powder in them – that’s it.) Want something savoury? Poach eggs in tomato sauce for a Shakshuka. You are now officially given permission to eat whatever you want to start your day.
  • Exotic spices and flavours are good for you – if you haven’t heard of how good turmeric is for you, it’s time to get out of the cave you’ve been living in. This anti-inflammatory is the new superfood. Ginger is good for you too, aiding in digestion. So is cinnamon; just in case you thought you had to step outside your comfort zone to feel better. Check out Middle Eastern cooking or Mediterranean recipes if you want to experiment.
  • Cauliflower is the new kale, and rice… - gone are the days when we ate this veggie with cheese sauce. Now you can caramelize it by roasting it with olive oil in the oven, or use it instead of rice if you have a ricer to make it into small pieces. No carbs, fewer calories… why not try it?
  • Meat replacements are food you should feel good about – OK, this new food is a bit out there, as it is created in a lab. There are a few companies working on a food that looks and tastes like ground meat, but is made from plants. The philosophy behind it is that meat takes up more energy, land and time to be created, so this is more responsible food. Look up Impossible Burger if you want to see more on this innovation.
  • Unicorns make food magical – I wanted to end on a high note, and what’s more whimsical than a unicorn? Apparently unicorns and rainbows are deeply connected, so when you make unicorn drinks for example, like Starbucks did last year, they come out in rainbow (read neon) colours. Confetti is another variation on unicorn involvement, and has seen resurgence in cakes and cookies.

You might not agree with these trends, but at least now you will know what weird and wonderful food and drink is out there in the world.

If nothing else, your kids will think you are slightly cooler. 



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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