Culinary trends to chew on.
I love food and cooking, so I am always eager to know what new food trend is around the corner. Chefs, amateur cooks, supermarkets and gourmet food shops also want to know what the food predictions are so they can have the right inventory. In general, it appears that home cooking will remain very popular.
Cocktail drinkers are moving more towards alcohol-free and lower calorie cocktails. Popular beverages will now be offered with alcohol. There is hard kombucha and sales are up 320% from 2020. There is hard seltzer with sales up 519% and homemade craft cocktails are definitely a trend. Alcohol-free liquor sales are up 195% from 2020.
Will hard kombucha replace your favorite beer? It can have from 3-8% alcohol and is lower in sugar and calories than beer. June Shine has 6% alcohol, and a can is $5.00.
Superfoods, which is not an aisle I frequent often, will still be dominant, with many new products. The pandemic only increased interest in specific nutritional benefits of foods and beverages. The focus is on immune health. Here are a few examples:
Cleveland Kitchen will come out with Roasted Garlic Kraut with pre and probiotics.
Om Mighty Mushroom broth is organic and claims to support memory, focus and clarity, immune, nerve, joint, bone, skin, hair and nail health, digestive and gut health, stress management and healthy aging.
Exotic fresh citrus fruits will make an entrance, like Buddha’s Hand pictured above. It is supposed to reduce pain, soothe tummy troubles, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and cure respiratory illness.
With people cooking at home more, pantry items like pasta, sauces and spices are getting jazzy. There is more interest in handcrafted shelf-stable sauces and spice blends.
Spicewalla Chai Masala spice has Indian street flavors like ginger and cardamom. Add it to your favorite black tea.
Piri Piri (also spelled Peri-Peri) sauce sales are up 725% over last year. It is a sauce of garlic, pepper, salt with citrus and oregano. It can be made at home or bought. It can be used on chicken, shrimp, pork, just about anything that needs more flavor. This variety pack of four is $20.00.
Everything Bagel spice is sold out almost everywhere you look. Whole Foods reports it is their number one seller in spices. $10.79 for 11 oz. Turmeric and matcha will also become standard pantry shelf spices.
Try Hearts of Palm Pasta which is a vegan and gluten-free ‘pasta’ sold by Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods among other stores.
Meyer lemon honey is wildflower honey infused with Meyer lemon juice and has multiple uses.
Hot honey, along with fruit chutneys and harissa will all become standard pantry staples.
Hot Honey is honey infused with chili peppers and can be drizzled on almost anything. Mike’s Hot Honey is $9.99 on Amazon.
Upcycled Foods are those that use the underused and neglected parts of an ingredient like peels and stems in order to reduce food waste. There has been an increase in the packaging of these foods. Restaurants call it ‘tail to snout’ cooking as they try to take the ‘no waste’ approach to their protein selections.
The Ugly Company’s 100% Upcycled Kiwis, Apricots and Peaches
Plant-based eating is on the rise and hemp will be everywhere. Beans, legumes, hemp, whole grains and plant-based meat alternatives are great healthy plant proteins for those who are Keto, Paleo or vegan. Fast food restaurants will begin to offer plant-based choices.
Try Amolitta Pasta made from USA-grown durum wheat semolina. It is dried at lower temperatures over a long period of time for a ‘true firm bite al dente’. The bag is compostable. $5.99
A sneaky way to get vegetables into your family’s diet is with Pulp Chips, made with vegetables and supercharged with superfoods like chia seeds.
Try Pulp Pantry Pulp Chips. A 3-pack is $16.00.
Eating and Food Shopping Locally
During the pandemic many were motivated to support friends and neighbors by spending their dollars eating or ordering take-out in neighborhood restaurants and buying fresh foods from local vendors.
To find a farmers’ market near you go to Local Harvest.
To find out local restaurants offering take-out go to Yelp’s ‘Best take-out near me’
Breakfast Charcuterie Board
Breakfast is a must
Many of us have not had to commute to work or school during the pandemic. This has meant that breakfast is not a meal eaten on the run now. Food experts expect hot breakfasts will no longer be saved for the weekends. Breakfasts have become a planned meal, seven days a week. Breakfast charcuterie boards with bagels and pancakes will gain popularity. New on the market are sous vide ‘egg bites’, ‘pancake bites’, and plant-based ‘eggs’.
Starbucks has been selling egg bites for a while but now they seem to be everywhere. While they are not difficult to make yourself, they are also easy to buy ready to go. These are by Three Bridges and are sold at Target along with other stores.