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Happy-Gourmand

Predictions of what will be hot food-wise in 2024

A new year and new trends

When I heard that Pantone, the company that categorizes colours for design, chose “Peach Fuzz” as the colour for 2024, I knew this week’s column had to be about the food trends for the new year.

Wait till you read what innovative, and maybe even outlandish, ideas are on deck for us to try. I learned all kinds of terms.

Of course, we are continuing with all kinds of global cuisine, since the world is still getting smaller. More Asian and Pacific Rim flavours will become more common—ube-filled pastries, anyone? The Filipino root vegetable has a unique earthy, nutty flavour and a vibrant violet hue. It has taken the visual world of social media by storm and is in everything from savoury to sweet dishes, and even drinks.

Researchers studying Pinterest trends say new “melty mashups,” like carbonera ramen and burger quesadillas will become even more popular this year. (Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like the kind of stuff we cooked while in university?)

Fusion cuisine is still a thing, but sometimes it is referred to now as “third culture” food, signifying the new trend in American food that offers a blend of cultural flavours. There are plenty of flavours to blend—Mexico, the Caribbean, Korea, India, you name it. Exotic flavours are also crossing into new categories. We will see more innovative foods, like Spanish ham potato chips and black sesame popcorn.

This year we will move towards salty and away from sweet. More snack foods will be promoted on the grocery shelves and in restaurants, since many people’s eating habits (and bank rolls) have adjusted from bigger meals enjoyed in the past.

Visually, foods will become more diverse as well. Blue is a trendy colour for 2024, with algae and butterfly pea protein being used to create blue drinks, muffins and other foods.

Customization will also continue with the ever-popular charcuterie board. Food on boards now goes beyond cheese and meat to include desserts and candy or fruit. Pundits say this expression of creativity allows people to eat to their taste and diet, and it allows for more flexibility in budgeting. Nibbling isn’t just called “girl dinner” anymore. (I didn’t know that’s what it was called, but there you have it.)

Are you interested in alternate foods, like cashew cheese or impossible meat? Well, the category is strong for 2024 but the trend is for those foods to be simpler. Veggie burgers will be made from veggies again (think black beans instead of man-made formulas). Ingredient lists will shorten, and plant-based foods will be more about the plants again, and less about processing.

Any kind of food referred to as “ultra-processed” has lost its charm with marketers and grocery stores, apparently. The trend is for more transparency as people want to know ingredients and BTS details (behind the scenes – I learned that this week.) If foods are processed, the advantages presented will be longer shelf-life or preserving nutrients, so we can use these foods as part of a healthy and sustainable diet.

Technology has given us many advantages and innovations. New countertop appliances are popular examples in many kitchens. Air fryer recipes will still be popular in 2024, and innovations with countertop ovens continue. However, ChatGPT recipes are not quite ready for prime time yet, according to testers. Maybe that’s because the algorithm can’t taste its results?

Whatever you decide to try this year, I hope you’ll be encouraged, like me, that interactive social dining is back in style. I am a firm believer that all food tastes better when it’s shared with others in a comfortable setting.

The space and the food can change, but getting people together for a meal is a classic pastime.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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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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