Foodie trends: The next quinoa

Private Property South Africa
The Roosting Venus

Keeping your food savvy up to date, and find out about all the latest culinary crazes.

Move over quinoa, there’s poke ahead. And many other trendy things too. For those who like to keep abreast with international foodie habits, there are plenty of new ones begging for attention, and with winter here, and bikini bodies on hold for now, what better time to let our taste buds on the loose. So let’s get back to poke and other need-to-know culinary crazes.


For those who don’t yet know, poke (pronounced po-kay) is a traditional Hawaiian dish made of raw diced fish (usually tuna) marinated in sesame and soy. It’s served in everything from salads and sandwiches to rice bowls and noodles. A bit of a DIY ingredient, restaurants are coming up with their own poke dishes and encouraging diners to create their own too.


Stand by for seaweed and other types of algae. Already lurking around in salad form, new superfood on the block seaweed will start to appear as bacon-flavoured algae, seaweed popcorn, savoury seaweed strips and seaweed spaghetti. Packed with fibre, antioxidants, iodine, and good fats, it’s also environmentally friendly and plentiful.


The 0-kilometer trend is well established in Europe and the rest of the world is following suit with hyper-local sourcing. In essence this is about sourcing as locally as possible to minimise the carbon footprint, and restaurants are obligingly growing as much as they can in-house, boasting rooftop garden for herbs and greens, and getting supplies wherever possible from farmers nearby.


With billions of kilos of food going to waste each year, restaurants are forming a new conscience with many chefs paying attention to wasted-based cuisine – cooking up something delicious out of unused or previously discarded food and leftovers. Think unusual cuts of meat, peels and rinds as well as cabbage cores, kale stems and broccoli stalks.


You’ve already tucked into zucchini spaghetti, sweet potato pasta and cauliflower wraps, and this trend is all lights ahead. Even traditionally meat-centric restaurants are starting to serve up the cauli or mushroom steak, the veggie burger made from carrot pulp with standalone veggie dishes on the up in response to the demands of the “flexitarian” the part-time vegetarian, who’s reduced meat consumption for health and environmental reasons. Say hello to root to stem dining!


Flavour profiles are doing a bit of a brimstone act with smoke and fire turning up on menus. It started with charred or roasted veggie sides and has now progressed to desserts with charred fruits or burnt-sugar toppings and cocktails featuring smoked salt, smoked ice and smoky syrups.


Bread is back, despite the carbs, with wholesome claims such as gluten-free flours made from legumes, chick-peas, ancient grains, teff, amaranth and nuts. Spot it on menus in forms such as artisan toasts, bagels and babka, gourmet pizzas and flatbreads.

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