What's cooking with foodie trends

Private Property South Africa
Belinda Mountain

It’s a new year, which means a new outlook, new fashions, and new ways of eating. We spoke to some South African food trend experts on what to look out for this year.

Water

Last year was the year that South Africans realised just how precious this natural resource is, and this year will bring with it a new-found appreciation for water. Marika Jack, trends analyst, Woolworths, says that plant waters such as birch sap water, maple sap water and coconut water are here to stay, and that we may even see water sommeliers in the future.

Superfoods

Yes, we already know about blueberries and kale, but Marika says we should look out for new additions to the superfoods list including coconut vinegar, lacuna, baobab, tiger nut flour, and turmeric.

Souping

Marika says that “souping has become the new juicing”, with more raw soups, savoury smoothies and rich, nutritious stock shots featuring on menus around SA. Food stylist, writer and photographer Sam Linsell agrees, commenting that “bone broth will become something you’ll see on drinks menus and in health-food outlets.”

Fermented and aged foods

Fermentation is a unique way to preserve the best foods of the season, while also releasing more flavour and developing beneficial enzymes that boost gut health. The trend of fermentation and preservation will carry on gaining momentum, says Sam, noting that kimchi and permutations of it are the condiments of the moment. Other fermented foods to look out for include sauerkraut, miso, amasi, kefir, fermented beet juice, and pickles.

Open-fire cooking

Deep-smoked, charred and even bitter-burnt flavours are a new trend. “Elevated braai experiences are all the rage, as are charred vegetables, smoked sauces, burnt butter, smoked peppers and chillies,” says Marika.

Beetroot

Think pink! According to Marika, beetroot yoghurt, fermented beetroot juice, beetroot ketchup and beetroot smoothies are all things to look out for this year.

Doughnuts

We’ve seen the rise of cupcakes and macarons, but 2016 may just be the year of the doughnut. Sam predicts seeing gourmet and artisan specialty doughnut shops opening locally, selling doughnuts with interesting flavours made from local ingredients.

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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