A revolution’s ahead in the world of food
Foodies point to DIY food and drinks and greater production awareness as upcoming trends, writes SUE SEGAR
A“REVOLUTION” in the fast food industry, more urban farms, a closer look at where our food is coming from – and a return to the simple, healthy vegetable. focus on childhood memories and stories associated with food.
huge move back into the kitchen, with “housewives” creating businesses around their homeindustry dishes. Fermenting, foraging, a continued focus on the “artisanal”, and ever more food trucks popping up.
These are just some of the trends that local chefs and foodies are predicting for next year, as an increasing number of ordinary people become passionate about cooking – and fussier about ingredients.
Expect a growing obsession with street food – particularly Americanstyle, with hot dogs and hamburgers taking pride of place – along with other American-themed food.
Key ingredients that will come into the spotlight, say the experts, include: noodles, salt, eggs, “boerekos”, home-made cordial, the use of a variety of different oils like macadamia, avocado and grapeseed – and, of all things, peanut butter.
Beautiful broths will come to the fore, as will baked goodies and desserts, but with interesting “twists”.
Trend forecaster Dion Chang says the world should expect a “very, very” big revolution in the fast food industries, thanks to the changing demands of the millennial generation (people born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s).
“Even Coca-Cola is targeting the needs of millenials’ palates. The Coke Life initiative, kickstarted in Argentina, is moving towards recyclable casing and reduced calories. This is happening in all the fizzy drink and fast food industries, and will continue into the year ahead. McDonalds, which took a hard blow and is no longer on the top 10 millennial list of favourite places to go, have started including healthier foods on their menus. We can even expect to see items like gluten-free doughnuts,” said Chang.
In line with a growing awareness of health, it’s vegetables that we will see a lot more of, say the experts.
“More people will grow their own vegetables and herbs at home. Expect to see many more big window boxes on flat balconies. It is already a big trend worldwide,” says Carianne Wilson, deputy principal of the Silwood School of Cookery.
Award-winning food blogger Samantha Linsell agrees: “The vegetable is going to be massive. Instead of just being side dishes, vegetables will become centre stage. For instance, you will see people ordering a vegetable – such as cauliflower – as a main course.”
The growing prominence of vegetables, she says, ties in with the trend of people growing their own food.
According to legendary Cape foodie Annette Kesler, there will be a much bigger focus on simpler, less expensive vegetables. “Expect a move to using vegetables like beetroot, cabbage, parsnips and cauliflower to the utmost – and in the most creative ways,” she says.
Kesler also predicts a bigger focus on “learning to cook vegetables in a way that elevates them”.
“Carrots can become an exquisite soup with a little fresh ginger and cumin. Vegetables can be air-dried and eaten as healthy snacks.”
Justin Bonello, local chef and TV personality, best known for his cooking/travel show Cooked, believes the move towards seasonable availability will be bigger than ever.
“People are becoming more aware of our global footprint and of green miles, and are choosing not to buy produce like avocados flown in from Spain when homegrown avocados are out of season,” he says.
Asked to name some of the main food trends emerging in the year ahead, Wilson says: “Expect an ongoing trend of the artisanal – people will be making their own everything!
“For instance, home-made bacon and sausages will be all the rage. Some of the major retailers are saying the sales of their sausagefilling attachments have taken off. Curing and smoking will still be popular, but fermenting is the new rage. Beer brewing will be huge – as will beer pairing on fine dining menus instead of wine.
“Homemade cordial will be big too.”
Wilson believes food trucks will continue to pop up all over the show.
And, she adds, “watch out for the new rage: peanut butter.”
Linsell, who recently won the Best Food Blogger award for her blog drizzleanddrip.com in the Fairlady Consumer Awards, says the year ahead will be marked by the ongoing popularity of American-style street food – or, as she puts it, “dirty food”.
“The obsession with hot dogs and burgers was big this year, and it’s going to carry on. In London, hot dogs and burgers are still taking centre stage on menus.
“There will also be a focus on other American-themed food like barbecues.
“In the US, a barbecue is often related to pork products, with lots of barbecue sauce. Barbecued ribs will be big.”
Linsell predicts a move from fine dining, and agrees that part of this trend towards more casual eating will be the continuation of the “food truck scene”.
“There is also a huge trend around tapas and small plates around the world. In small plate eating, portions are more substantial, but not quite a course. With tapas, you’d order six or seven portions, while with small plates you’d order two or three, and share.”
Linsell also expects an increasing acceptance of raw food: “Sushi was the gateway to that. We will see a lot more tartares and carpaccios. Ceviche will be huge, and we will continue to see a lot of smoked foods – salt, paprika and meats.” Tea will also be big. “Fermented products – like kimchi – will become bigger, as will foraging. Noodles will be huge, including ramen noodles. There are already ramen bars all over London. Watch out for little street food ‘bars’ from all over the world.”
Kesler’s predictions include a trend towards “eating more simply and better”.
“There will be a return to the kitchen and to creating businesses around home-industry dishes.”
There would also be a move away from sugar and carbohydrates, towards more grains, pulses, and, of course, vegetables.
“As is already happening, we will see more use of good free-range products and more fish on our tables, with hake coming into its own. We will see more oils, such as macadamia, grapeseed and avocado. Eggs will play a prominent role as they become increasingly recognised as a complete food and an excellent source of protein.”
Kesler would also like to see more attention paid to “our daily bread”.
“Bread is a staple in most families. I would like to see a more natural product – using quality flour, water, salt and yeast. It is good to see more and more artisanal bakers coming through in South Africa – and they deserve our support.”
Bonello, who suggests an upcoming trend will be a closer look at “where our food comes from”, expects a move to more simplified cooking.
“The slow development of urban farms is one of the most exciting food trends in years. If we can get more of our chefs and average Joes to understand the importance of growing food locally and in cities, we can change the food landscape and social fabric of South Africa.
“I want to have markets in cities, with produce grown in an urban food farm; stuff that is produced locally where you can trade, swop and exchange food in a central space,” adds Bonello.
KEY INGREDIENTS: Noodles will come to the forefront, as will the humble vegetable, especially homegrown and seasonal vegetables.
HEALTHY CHOICES: Vegetable dishes will be the preferred main course.
AMERICAN FLAVOUR: Gourmet burgers will feature widely.