Coronavirus, bushfires, and general chaos. This decade has really kickstarted in a way none of us would have expected! But let's move on from all of this for a second and look on the brighter, tastier side of things. With a new decade comes a world of new culinary ideas and movements to keep our palates and plates full. Let’s take a look at 10 of the biggest and tastiest food trends of 2021, that are gaining popularity worldwide!
1. YAY to Sustainability
Sustainable food and packaging have already been a focus for some time, but in 2021 this is likely to only keep growing in the culinary world. Many restaurants are focussing on not only sourcing and producing their food more sustainably, but there has been a bigger focus on supporting local producers as well as utilizing seasonal produce. In the late 2010s we have already seen a growth in the farm to table concept, which is likely to continue to gain momentum. This is great to see, as the culinary industry is reinventing itself and embracing the amazing local produce, supporting local growers,
We have already seen the culinary world supporting sustainability by moving away from single use plastics, such as plastic straws, cutlery and food packaging. This is a movement which will continue to grow, as even the biggest restaurant chains are embracing the change to provide customers with more ecologically friendly packaging and cutlery. Some shops have also introduced unpackaged retail concepts which invite customers to bring their own containers to fill up with products such as grains and pastas. As this movement is being embraced by businesses big and small, the industry as a whole is working together to cut down their carbon footprint and reduce waste.
2. Cauliflower everywhere
This delicious, vitamin packed vegetable is gaining popularity worldwide as a healthy, gluten-free alternative to traditional grains and starches. Cauliflower is being used in new and inventive ways, such as in pizza doughs, gnocchi and as a low carb rice substitute. More and more restaurants are opting to create dishes using cauliflower as a basis, and you will be likely to see it appearing more frequently on menus for some time to come!
3. Ube, the purple dessert star from the Philippines
The world has been through the exotic superfood açaí and matcha trends already. But it is time to introduce a new contender for your Instagram brunch feed: Ube. Ube is a purple vitamin packed yam originating from the Philippines. It has been used in traditional dishes there for years, but is recently finding its way into Western cuisine, mostly in the form of desserts. You will be sure to see some new desserts utilizing this tuberous vegetable, such as ice creams, cakes and other purple desserts in the months to come. Filipino food in general will likely to be gaining popularity worldwide in the coming years!
4. Hummus but as a dessert
Hummus, hummus, hummus= yum, yum, yum. This delicious dipping “sauce” has been enjoyed by millions worldwide for the past few years, but this savoury treat has recently been taking a sweeter twist. Dessert hummus is the next big thing; used as a vegan alternative to cream cheese. Flavours such as brownie, peanut butter and cookie dough have been hitting the shelves of supermarkets. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to give this food trend a try IMMEDIATELY!
5. Diet Alternatives Galore
With the increase in specialized diets such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, keto, paleo etc. restaurants and supermarkets around the world are shifting their offerings to include more diverse diet options to cater for everyone. New plant based proteins are being created and used as meat alternatives for those who do not eat meat. Even fast food restaurants have been embracing the trend and offering their own meat-free twists on their classic burgers. These are even found in supermarkets in the form of soy sausages, pulled oats and Beyond Meat burgers. In 2021 the demand for plant based proteins and meat alternatives is likely to keep growing, as many are cutting down on their consumption of red meat. Meanwhile, for those who do not consume dairy, more and more restaurants and coffee shops are offering diverse dairy free milk options. Almond, oat and soy milk have been around for a while already, but new options such as coconut, rice, hemp and pea milk have been gaining popularity and can even be found on the shelves of popular supermarket chains at prices that will not break the bank. Vegan ice creams, desserts and snacks are also on the rise, and will likely gain popularity in 2021.
6. Bye Bye Sugar
As consumers are becoming more health conscious of the ingredients in the food they are eating there has been an increase in demand for healthier and less processed foods. Consumers want less added sugar, preservatives and additives in their foods, and their demands are being heard by food production companies and restaurants alike. The use of sugar and its additives in many foods will likely be on the decrease throughout 2021, as consumers are opting for healthier, more transparent foods.
7. Regional and indigenous cuisine
Chefs around the world are returning back to their roots and embracing their specific regional and indigenous cuisines to offer authentic dishes to diners. By regional, they don’t mean just Asian, Mexican, or Spanish food. Chefs are focussing more on hyper region specific foods to create the most authentic food possible. This trend is gaining popularity worldwide, as this trend ties in with focussing on highlighting local produce and presenting the local cuisines of a country in a more authentic way. Diners and chefs alike are embracing this trend, as international flavours and dishes have become more widely spread around the world.
8. Experience dining
Our generation is demanding. With the rise of Instagram, social media and the constant documenting of our daily lives through the lens, even the culinary industry is taking note and trying to deliver. Food is no longer just food to us, we want experiences too. Restaurants are taking on this shift in behaviour, and launching inventive concept dining experiences to grasp the attention of us and our followers’ too. We have already seen concepts such as Dinner in the Sky, and Dining in the Dark, but experiences such as these are likely to grow in popularity and diverse new and exciting dining options are likely to continue to emerge as we move forward in 2021. Tasting menus, visits, table spreads, cooking and mixology classes and experiences are all likely to become more popular in 2021 and the years to come.
9. West Africa going global
African cuisine has been gaining popularity worldwide, specifically the cuisine of West Africa. As the world’s population is hungry to eat the world, they are on the constant hunt for the next international world cuisine to try. Why West African? Firstly it is incredibly diverse. West African cuisine encompasses a huge region including over 15 countries with different flavours and techniques for their traditional dishes. The bold flavours, indigenous ingredients and healthy, plant based meal options are enticing to many international food lovers. West African cuisine is famous for its rich spice blends and spicy peppers, as well as the use of hearty vegetables such as yams, okra, cassava and plantains. The cuisine is all about family friendly and communal food and dishes. As eating out in bigger groups is a growing trend worldwide, this cuisine is perfect for a hearty meal between friends, families or colleagues alike.
10. Move over Peanut Butter
In 2021, diners and foodies are likely to see an increase in different types of butters and spreads to make those brunches and toasties even tastier. Butters such as Watermelon seed butter, macadamia butter and cashew butter are likely to gain popularity and yield a variety of new and interesting flavours to try!
There we have it, the top 10 tastiest food trends of 2021. Which one are you the most excited to try out?
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