Forget the days of Flake bar soft serve, or chocolate ice cream in a cone. Things are changing on the international menus and where there’s change ahead, we need to know.
Strawberry or caramel ice cream? Yawn. Artisan concoctions are on the rise, but think way beyond salted caramel or pistachio honey ricotta. Though the all-time flavours aren’t going anywhere fast, adventurous eaters are being wowed with wonders such as sriracha, summer corn, carrot habanero pepper, prosciutto, and bacon and butter flavoured treats. Look out also for Taiwanese shaved snow cream and the rolled ice cream mania.
Like ice cream, savoury yoghurt versions are raising their heads. The Greeks may have been combining yoghurt with cuc and garlic for many a year, but now mass marketing is seeing savoury yoghurt on the shelves in guises such as beetroot, carrot, butternut squash and tangy twists like chipotle pineapple.
Like their cuzzies red raspberries and blackberries, black raspberries are chock-full of antioxidants. Watch out for them on superfood shelves.
This vibrant purple Filipino yam is heading for fame. Its natural shock of violet colour will be seen on doughnuts, ice cream, cheesecake, milks, tarts cookies and cakes.
The earthy vinegary flavour of fermentation is big this year, as consumer stock up on artisan pickles and pile kimchi on just about everything, from sandwiches to savoury pancakes. When food is fermented, the sugars and carbohydrates are broken down by healthy bacteria, (great for a healthy gut) and result in a pungent burst of rich and sexy flavour.
The canned version. As American wine drinkers become increasingly young, diverse and playful, so winemakers are responding with portable, easy to chill wine in a can. Well suited for single servings and active, outdoor lifestyles it’s set to spread.
A waste-friendly way of cooking, souping is on the up, embracing the fibre, seeds, rind, and pulp that is often discarded in other forms of cooking. Don’t simmer for too long though as heat breaks down nutrients too.
With the growing disgrace that sugar has found itself in – and the rise of the sugar tax, companies are increasingly turning to more of the “natural sweeteners” such as stevia, maple syrup, agave syrup, monk fruit, date sugar, and coconut palm sugar. Beware though – many of these are metabolized by the body no differently than sucrose.
Packed with proteins, nutrients and enzymes that make plant proteins, essential fatty acids, starches, and vitamins more available for absorption, sprouts and pulses are becoming more mainstream as consumers take heed of issues relating to sustainable food production. Easier to find in restaurants and becoming more frequently used in home cooking too, options are widening as chefs experiment. Look out for pigeon peas and cranberry beans.
Clean menus and clean labels are on the rise, with increasing numbers of consumers refusing to buy foods with chemicals, additives and other artificial ingredients. Hand in hand with this goes a move to holistic treatment of the food production process - control of waste, water conservation, humane treatment of animals and employees, and a host of other eco-social issues.