MATT PRE­STON

How are the 2017 food trend pre­dic­tions com­ing along? We see which of the much-vaunted trends have made it

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - MATT PRE­STON

Food trends that are hot, or not.

At the start of each year, colum­nists around the world try to pre­dict the next big food crazes. As we pass the half­way mark of 2017, let’s see how those pre­dic­tions are go­ing, as well as what hasn’t made it.

FOOD

Luxe chawan­mushi: Crys­tal balls told us this steamed Ja­panese cus­tard would have a posh makeover this year, and that’s ex­actly what’s hap­pened. In Mel­bourne, Mi­namishima tops it with ev­ery­thing from span­ner crab to foie gras and truf­fle. In Syd­ney, Lumi gives it an Ital­ian spin with parme­san, while Chaco Bar tops it with par­adise prawns or sea urchin. In Bris­bane, Sono adds chicken, scal­lops, eel and veg­eta­bles.

Kom­bucha out, Koji in: Cool chefs are all about koji, the fun­gus of choice these days. A mould that forms on steamed rice, koji has been used for cen­turies to make dishes rang­ing from miso to saké, giv­ing them an umami hit. Mean­while kom­bucha is so com­mon now, it’s al­most un­re­mark­able.

Whey: This cheese­mak­ing byprod­uct used to be sent to the lo­cal pig farm as feed, but now it’s pop­ping up on hot menus ev­ery­where. Some pro­tein pow­ders are whey-based, there’s Whey Whip ice cream and even Tas­ma­nian dis­tillery Hartshorn is pro­duc­ing vodka and gin made from sheep’s whey.

Navajo fry bread: This bread recipe was cre­ated by Na­tive Amer­i­cans based on the ra­tions that were given to them by the US govern­ment. It uses few in­gre­di­ents and has bak­ing pow­der as its rais­ing agent. The sim­ple bread is also fried, not baked. I haven’t seen it around, but the po­lit­i­cal an­gle (and cool name) would see it fit well on any hip­ster cafe menu. This is one trend that could still take off.

Ve­gan food: Ob­vi­ously this is a hot trend right now – I wrote a col­umn on it in these pages just a few weeks ago.

Liq­uid puff pas­try: When is puff pas­try not puff pas­try? When it has been caramelised down to liq­uid form. It sounds silly, but I’ve seen it at Ath­elo in Bris­bane, The Point in Bal­lina, Racine in Orange and Miss Fitzy’s in St Kilda. Pas­try chef Terri Mer­cieca, at the Happy End­ings pop-up in Lon­don, makes ap­ple tarte Tatin with bay leaf ice cream, poached ap­ples and liq­uid puff. Enough al­ready!

Savoury yo­ghurt: With Chobani do­ing a chipo­tle pineap­ple and a sriracha mango yo­ghurt and Dan Bar­ber’s Blue Hills in New York reg­u­larly sell­ing out of its beet, parsnip and but­ter­nut yo­ghurts, it’s safe to say savoury yo­ghurt is a hit. Yo­tam Ot­tolenghi uses yo­ghurt to dress his vegie dishes and Nigella Law­son has it in her recipe for beet­root dip. The sur­prise is how long it’s taken the world to catch up with Aus­tralia where we’ve been us­ing yo­ghurt in savoury dishes for years. Dips any­one?

DRINKS

Tem­per­ance cock­tails: Cock­tail bars have been a thing here for a while but a trend for non-al­co­holic cock­tails has seen a host of in­ter­est­ing drinks be­ing mixed at venues like Mel­bourne’s Lume, which has a “tem­per­ance” menu, Black­bird in Bris­bane, and the Bent­ley Bar in Syd­ney. (I refuse to call them “mock­tails” as it is a re­pel­lent word.) At PS40 in Syd­ney it’s all about the mix­ers – think smoked lemon­ade and a bush tonic with na­tive lemon­grass and le­mon myr­tle.

Chill­ing red wines: We al­ready do it with sparkling shi­raz, and quite a lot of cheap red wine is far nicer served on ice with a strip of orange zest, but it’s hardly a thing. Freez­ing it and mak­ing a wine slushie on the other hand was mas­sive last sum­mer – although that was usu­ally rosé.

PHILOSO­PHIES

Flex­i­tar­ian di­et­ing: In a nut­shell, this is veg­e­tar­ian with a lit­tle bit of meat on the side. With ve­gan eat­ing gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity, it’s a way to be on trend with­out for­ever say­ing good­bye to ba­con, so it’s rather per­fect.

Food waste gets se­ri­ous: What we don’t eat has never been more dis­cussed. The ABC’S War On Waste se­ries has made it a hot topic, and it isn’t con­fined to this coun­try. In the United States, culi­nary gi­ants Tom Colic­chio and An­thony Bour­dain joined with The Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion to make Wasted! The Story Of Food Waste, a doc­u­men­tary that pre­miered last month. Mean­while, in Lon­don, Jamie Oliver has set up Ukhar­vest, a Bri­tish branch of Aus­tralia’s Ozhar­vest. And I will de­clare a per­sonal in­ter­est here – the food recla­ma­tion char­ity I sup­port, Se­cond­bite, re­dis­tributed more than 10 mil­lion ki­los of fresh food in 2016.

HAIL THE VE­GAN While we still love it, avo toast isn’t the only op­tion for those fol­low­ing a ve­gan diet any­more.

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