BBC Good Food Magazine

Discover this month’s trending ingredient­s and eco-friendly kit. Plus, make Rachel Khoo’s Scandi-inspired brunch

From the ingredient­s that are selling like hot cakes to the most-shared dishes on social media, we look at what’s trending in the world of food and drink this month

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1 RETRO BIRTHDAY CAKES

Feeling nostalgic? We are, because we’ve spotted the latest 80s-style trends in celebratio­n cakes. Think hundreds and thousands, candles in primary colours (Dr Oetker), swags of intricate piping punctuated by glacé cherries (Lily Vanilli) or your favourite dinosaur depicted in icing (Waitrose & Partners). Give the retro-look a try at home with our sprinkle sponge recipe on page 58.

2 MORE CHEESE PLEASE!

Creamy, salty feta has always been popular with our readers (you’ll find our recipe collection on bbcgoodfoo­d.com), but recently a viral online recipe video has seen sales of the tangy Greek cheese booming in supermarke­ts. The recipe is simple – just bake a block of feta in a dish along with cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil and plenty of olive oil until soft, then toss through cooked pasta for an instant sauce. Look for #bakedfetap­asta on Instagram and Tiktok.

3 PLANT-BASED BASICS

Vegan and plant-based trends are still holding firm, but now we’re seeing a surge in convenienc­e favourites being veganised: jackfruit soup (Baxters), vegan pepperoni (Quorn) plant-based sausages (Richmond) and no-pork pies (Higgidy). This trend makes a lot of sense as the next step in vegan product growth, and could be useful for vegans or flexitaria­ns with busy lives. Plants cost less to cultivate than meat products, and by choosing a plant-based version of your favourites, there are no animal welfare concerns.

4 POPPED LOTUS SEEDS

Could this be the new popcorn? It’s likely you’ll spot more of these in the supermarke­t or online, from brands including Karma Bites, Plant Pops and Native Snacks.

Popped lotus seeds are a popular street-food snack in India, known as ‘phool makhana’, where the seeds of the lotus flower are dried in the sun and naturally popped, usually by frying them. The result is a light, crunchy puffed-up snack, a bit like popcorn, which can be flavoured. As for the snacks available in the UK, such as Native Snacks (see page 15 for our favourite product), they’re popped by roasting, not frying, making them a healthier choice with 60% less fat than a standard packet of crisps. We think this trend is likely to grow further, with more brands and more flavours becoming available.

5 CARABINERO

PRAWNS

Yes, these prawns really are that red. Carabinero means police in Spanish, referring to their bright red uniform. Also known as cardinal prawns, this special crustacean is having a moment, probably due to the fact that it photograph­s particular­ly well – it maintains that deep colour even after cooking, and the flavour is still rich and intense. These prawns are also large enough that they can be treated like lobster, but still suited to any classic prawn dish you can think of. They’re easiest to find through online specialist­s (finefoodsp­ecialist. com), with Instagram providing plenty of serving ideas.

6 KOMBUCHA

Kombucha already has many fans, but we’re seeing a surge in exposure and uptake this year with a much wider selection on shelves. Impressive newcomers like Real (realkombuc­ha. co.uk) are easier to find, alongside Equinox

(equinoxkom­bucha.com) or Jarr (jarrkombuc­ha. com). ‘Hard’ kombuchas are being launched, too, which are fermented to produce alcohol at a level that you’ll actually notice. The flavour profile of regular kombucha also lends itself to mocktails, with the acidity providing a more satisfying edge. It’s worth noting that kombucha can vary greatly between brands; some are very sweet or fruity, while others lead with a distinct acidity, so keep an open mind if one brand isn’t to your taste. We’ve recommende­d three of our favourites on page 15.

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