As 2016 draws to an end, it’s time to look ahead and see what will and won’t find a place on our plates in 2017. This year, health products like cold-pressed juices and kale chips; artisanal foods like handcrafted sausages and gourmet coffee and tea; and everything gluten-free shaped our eating habits. We embraced global culinary concepts like chef-driven restaurants, secret supper clubs and small plates meant for sharing, too. With the passage of each year, it seems like we’re moving towards eating healthier and more mindfully, and this year is no different. A browse through food trend reports for 2017 proves that there’s definitely a focus on food being more innovative and sustainable while retaining its flavour and taste.
Revival of the supergreens
The year 2016 saw the rise of kale, a super green packed with plenty of health benefits. We tried to consume the bitter leaf in the form of decompressed chips, smoothies and what not, until we were informed that many more of its leafy cousins are equally, if not more, beneficial. Next year, it appears that we’ll bid goodbye to kale without giving other nutritious greens the cold shoulder. Global food, restaurant and hotel consultancy Baum + Whiteman released its food trend report for 2017 that states that we will replace kale with an unlikely, but healthy green — seaweed, loved for its umami flavour in broths.
The future of food looks bright because a focus on brightly coloured vegetables, known to contain more nutrients than others, will continue well into the New Year. If yellow and red peppers were a favourite with chefs in 2016, richly coloured purple foods,dense in antioxidants, are expected to pop up everywhere in 2017. In fact, next year, they will also be fed to us in an easy-to-consume manner,not unlike kale was in 2016. Sweet potato chips, a healthier version of potato crisps, have already hit the shelves of many Indian health stores. Purple cabbage, eggplant, figs and purple corn are a few more definite candidates. We just need to wait and watch how these purple-hued foods are packaged and deemed tasty enough to eat. And, while on this topic, you can also expect this trend to fuel a happier Instagram feed.
Faux meat movement
Baum + Whiteman also state that healthy alternatives to meat will be all the rage in 2017. And, we aren’t even talking about soy. Already popular in the US, the fake meat trend focuses on healthier eating habits and is one that comes as a blessing to vegans and meat lovers in India. Plant-based burger patties — often made using mushrooms — that mimic the bite, look, smell and taste of a regular beef burger are expected to become more popular with the turn of the New Year, as are dishes that look and taste similar to sausages.
Return to tradition
Ayurvedic-inspired food is making waves across the world right now and will continue to serve as culinary inspiration through 2017. Ironically, India, where this ancient philosophy actually stems from, hasn’t yet jumped on to the Ayurveda bandwagon, but it won’t be long before it will. After all, India has never been one to lag behind in the global culinaryscene. Trendy Indian diners will learn more about their doshas, or natural constitutions as per Ayurveda, and will soon embrace condiments like turmeric that prevent disease and inflammation. Other trending ingredients, states the Baum + Whiteman trend report, include saffron and caraway, and delectable Asian curry powders that contain the flavourful notes of chillies, tamarind, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, kaffir lime and cinnamon.
Ice creams with a twist
Frozen yoghurt will take a backseat in 2017, states the Baum + Whiteman food trend report, and frozen desserts from Southeast Asia are slated to their place. Ice cream rollups, a popular dessert in Thailand, are thin layers of liquid ice cream frozen into crepe-like thinness on a cooled metal plate and then scraped into tight cylinders and placed in a cup. Another major trend, albeit not from Southeast Asia, that’s expected to land on Indian shores, is vegetable-based ice creams.
Article by Beverly Pereira
Photo credits: Osha Key, Unsplash, Google Images
Read to celebrate 2017 new year eve party as Retro.