According to gourmets we cook in 2016 simpler dishes, beans are hip, we eat less meat, we snack differently and the beer trend continues. Ten culinary trends for the coming year in a row.
Food plays an important role in our society, which is nothing new. Food is more than a necessity. Food trucks, food festivals, pop-up projects and food halls are hotter than ever. Not only us, but also our southern neighbors, says the Dutch TV cook Mathijs Vrieze.
“We pay more attention to food, yet we have less and less time to spend on food,” he adds. “Nevertheless, we fully share our happy food moments on social media. Quality of food and quality time are becoming increasingly important.”
“During that enjoyment we also have fun, because eating and drinking together connects people. Tastes, smells and colors bring you back to those special and happy moments. Especially at a time when fears play a role, we like to reach back to those feelings and great memories.”
Say ‘no’ to food waste
In recent years the hype awareness of food waste has become a trend. Also in 2016, we try to minimize food waste, by appropriate and clever cooking or reusing the remaining ingredients on another day. The meal boxes also play a hand in this: because you will never find yourself with leftovers.
Restaurants also do it in large numbers. The number of eateries offering the so-called “resto leftover” to combat food waste is increasing. Restaurant visitors can take the surpluss to consume at home.
More and more products are also available in small packs. These are relatively more expensive, but then discard will be a thing of the past. Set your refrigerator at 4 to 6° C or 39 to 43 degrees F, this also ensures that products spoil less quickly.”
Green is in fashion
Not only in terms of the ingredients, such as sustainable growing of crops or a better life for the animals, green is in fashion. Also in the field of preparation, we start to think greener.
We are also increasingly open-fire cooking. The barbecue is not just for summer, but also in autumn and winter we’ll eagerly grill.
Growing your food in the garden or on the balcony is now the most natural thing in the world. But there’s more. “We’re more into nature.” During wild picking in the woods we not only look for berries and fruits, but also flowers, leaves and grasses. Fresh superfoods!
Locally, but also from far away is near
Regional and local products are extremely popular. Witness the success of the so-called farmers markets, where you can go for the best organic and locally grown produce.
“On the other hand there is also the ‘exotic’ ingredients that we discovered during our travels, which win in popularity.” said Vrieze. A visit to the Asian supermarket is on the rise, and also online shops sell them to their advantage.
“We’re also going to see a growth of foreign products that are grown just in our regions. Farmers are developing at breakneck speed and move with the trends, so that these special varieties, that you would not expect there to be cultivated in our latitudes, are becoming available. This idea makes 2016 very durable.”
Years ago, fat was identified as the culprit of obesity. We now know that there are plenty of healthy fats and it is wiser to eat less added sugar. We see that more and more in everyday life. Products, especially soft drinks, with an (artificial) sweet taste we prefer to leave on the shelves.
“We are gradually getting used to a less sweet taste and go for pure. During breakfast we see that again. The sweetened yogurt is losing popularity and more pure variants are in great demand.”
Also the ’24-hour breakfast concepts are totally hip, so you order during the afternoon a tasty breakfast dish, according to the TV cook.
Food as an individual
Visitors to restaurants more often differ from what states the menu. They want to have their own version of steak or salad. An ingredient more or less, this phenomenon shows up more often. In the kitchen, the cooks must be increasingly flexible. Many delivery businesses know this phenomenon for some time now.
“We are now so used to being served at our beck and call (just look at the success of TV, film, music and articles on demand), we also see this back when it comes to food.”
Beans are hip
About our meat consumption last year was much written. For example, the Health Council recently with new guidelines for a proper diet, including the consumption of red meat. We are not massively vegetarian but are aware that eating less meat is better. Less meat but when we eat it, it has to be better meat.
“Flexitarianism goes from trend to be the new standard. Vegetable alternatives will be so popular.” A hip alternative is beans. All kinds of legumes (such as lentils, chickpeas and beans) are a protein and nutrient rich alternative. In the kitchen you can also be very creative with beans. “Special recipes with beans as a base ingredient spread rapidly around the web such as smoothies, spreads, brownies and pies.”
Sweets, but differently
According to Vrieze everybody wants sometimes something to snack and there are also to be found new trends, “such as small sugar sweets made of roses, marshmallows blueberries, coconut cream, vanilla disco-dip chocolates and popcorn. All culinary in small portions.”
The power of simplicity
Cooking is becoming easier. Where once more ingredients was the motto, it is now: less is more. “With just a few quality ingredients make a great dish full of flavor, this is the new trend.”
Beer is in
The revival of beer continues. Moreover brewing in completely ‘in’. More and more hobby brewers venturing at home making their own beer. Even in a cocktail glass beer has become an increasingly popular ingredient. Jurgen Nobels won for example, last summer the Belgian final of the Diageo World Class Competition with a cocktail in which he included and incorporated some ingredients of beer and the perfume hops aroma. “It looked like a beer and it was served as a beer, but it was a pure cocktail, including tequila.”
Beers are becoming more common on the table. We are increasingly experimenting, and the appreciation rises. As in any good relationship when it comes to food pairing equilibrium. The flavors of the beer and the dish must balance. A golden rule for the optimal taste experience.