As 2015 draws to a close and supermarkets fill their shelves with festive foods, I’ve been looking back on all the trends that we’ve seen this past year. I’ve boiled it down to the few that come out on top, and those that are here to stay will no doubt sit comfortably on menus and shopping lists for a little while longer. Others however, could be left behind until a celebrity chef does them a favour in a few years time and brings back an ‘old favourite’:
Avocado has officially been titled the most pinned food trend on Pinterest this year and I’d be pretty confident in claiming that not a day has gone past where I haven’t seen the stuff mashed, sliced, or blended on my social media. Fears of an avocado shortage have dragged the fruit (yes, fruit) into the drug trade in Mexico and Britain’s shoppers will be distraught when they see the price of their beloved guacamole rising in 2016 as a result. But with its fantastic health benefits and versatility, avocado will probably be here to stay and with McDonald’s rumoured to be trialing it on their menu, it wont be long until we’re all guilty of an Instagram post or two.
2. Pulled Pork
It’s essentially just another way of preparing meat but pulled pork took the barbecue industry by storm this summer. It actually just looks like a pile of meaty mush but when smothered in sauce and put between two buns, it really does the trick. For pig farmers, this trend is a dream come true, enabling them to sell the unpopular joints previously put to waste and with pork becoming so popular, the nation chose not to stop at pigs. Chickens and cows are pulled now too and I wonder what meat we’ll see next on the grill in summer 2016.
3. Salted Caramel
Nigella hit the nail on the head when she referred to it as “the class A drug of the confectionary world“, ticking all the boxes when it comes to sugar, salt and fat. I reached an all time low (or high) in Bali at a buffet breakfast when I started salting my own caramel at the table to have with pancakes. I’m obsessed with the stuff and it makes me so happy that it just keeps appearing on the dessert menu of all my favourite places. Its lethal, and death by salted caramel is probably a thing, but there’s something so wrong about adding salt to sweet that makes it so so right. As chefs around the world continue to marry our widest commodity to all things sweet, I think we can be confident that this one is here to stay.
With “green is the new black” and all that, kale is everywhere. Grandparents across the country are confused to see their favourite cabbage in the shopping trollies of yummy mummies and are even more confused to see it put in smoothies. I work with the stuff, so I’m pretty biased, but kale fits the definition of ‘superfood’ perfectly, and with more and more people catching on to the idea, it’s probably quite likely that kale or other green bushes will make an appearance in our Nutribullets for a little while longer. Beyonce also has a sweatshirt that says KALE, need I say more?
The miracle grain has slowly but surely made its way onto the menu of all high street cafes and restaurants and these days, for a lot of us, it is just as much of a staple cupboard item as pasta and baked beans. But with a whole host of new grains and pulses being brought to our attention from the likes of Peru and Bolivia, in the new year, quinoa could be pushed to the back of our cupboards to join the 5 year old tin of John West tuna and to make room for quinoa part II, kaniwa or teff – at least they’re a bit easier to pronounce.
6. Prosecco – the roots of Fizzy Fridays across the nation.
Britain has fallen hopelessly in love with the Italian fizz and with sales exceeding those of Champagne as drink of choice to bring in the New Year, it’s fair to say Prosecco started 2015 with a bang. The drink has become so popular, as a stand alone or in a cocktail, so much so that fears of a Prosecco shortage filled us all with anxiety this summer as demand for the Glera grape peaked and farmers couldn’t quite keep up. But the nightmare was never lived out and it is believed that us Brits have drunk over 30m litres of the stuff this year. Cheers to that.
7. Spiralised Veg
When you think about it, spiralised veg is actually a relatively strange concept. It’s the same veg we’ve eaten for years, there’s nothing new about it, but we put it through an over-priced contraption just to trick our minds into thinking that we’re eating spaghetti or noodles when no-no, there’s no carbs here, this is actually courgette. Fooled your tummy? Probably not. It’s a great concept but in reality I’m not sure how many of us have caught on. If you’ve got the time and energy to push a courgette through a spiraliser, then you probably have the time to do a 10k run before work and you probably only shop at Whole Foods, in which case, hats off to you. For the rest of us, we’ll stick to proper spag with our bol please.
8. Coconut Oil
Is there anything you can’t do with the stuff? With people putting it in their frying pans, swishing it round their mouths, smothering it on their split ends and scrubbing it into dry skin, it’s hard to name something it’s not good for. Once shunned for it’s high levels of saturated fat, nowadays people all around the country are going (coco)nuts for it and health fanatics claim it’s “the miracle they cant live without”. I’m way too far into my overdraft to cook with it and I’m sure my hair is just fine with Herbal Essences but that’s not to say I wouldn’t jump on the coconut bandwagon if I could. I think we’ll be seeing more and more of the stuff in our food, and lets hope the price comes down in 2016 so that we can all reap the health benefits – if not, I might have just found a use for those poor left over Bounty bars in the selection box this Christmas.
Pictures are not my own.