Foodies watch out, as 2018 is already turning out to be the year of cuisine experimentation and design. With veganism, low-carb diets and the rejection of gluten all gaining popularity in the past few years, research and experimentation into new ways of cooking is at the forefront of everyday living. Furthermore, internet trends seem to be having a big impact on dining and cooking culture. We’ll see here that food is both playful and nutritious this year.
1. The veggie burger that bleeds
For at least five years now, we have been experimenting with plant-based meat alternatives. The rise in popularity of vegan culture and lifestyle has brought us a number of innovative trends. However, none can match a vegan burger that acts like beef. Beyond Meat have released a burger that looks, cooks and satisfies the same as beef. It even bleeds, with beetroot juice. The secret to this and many other meat alternatives is haem, an iron-rich molecule found in all living things. Meaty veggie burgers get their haem from nitrogen-fixing plants such as legumes. And, as research continues in this field, plant-based meat alternatives will continue to be at the top of major food trends for a while yet.
2. Unicorn quesadillas
The unicorn trend, of late, is proving to be more than just a fad. There have been unicorn outfits, bags and even unicorn coffee. It seems almost everything you can think of has been splashed with the memorable rainbow glitter. But, now, we see two popular trends meet. The quesadilla has recently been reimagined by a number of restaurants in Australia, with fillings from sweet potato to old-fashioned meat. These deliciously cheesy Mexican slices are back by popular demand due to the rise in street food culture. In 2018, the quesadilla has found its inner sparkle, with the invention of the unicorn quesadilla. To get this mythical effect, chefs dash grated cheese with food colouring. As the quesadilla is torn open, the multicoloured, rainbow cheese comes as a gorgeous and delicious surprise. Although the unicorn trend may not last forever, there are plenty of other twists on the classic Mexican dish being plated, from vegetarian specials to untraditional fillings, such as, jerk chicken and macaroni cheese.
Pulled pork? That was so 2017. Searching for vegan alternatives to meat products, the jackfruit has really demanded the culinary world’s attention. The bonus of this meat alternative is that it acts and cooks like meat. The most popular cooking method is similar to pulled pork where jerked jackfruit is slow-cooked and shredded. The fruit, when cooked, has the texture of meat and holds flavours in a similar way, releasing juices so tasty you’d think it was meat.
4. Poke bowls
Hawaiin cuisine is offering up the next best healthy food trend since the acai bowl. The poke bowl contains raw fish, vegetables, rice and fruit, and so feels healthy. This trend is for those that want a healthy eating kick, want the tastes of sushi, but don’t want to faff. It’s all about display and fresh ingredients, creating a delicious main that’ll leave you feeling rebooted and cleansed.
Whether you’re into healthy eating, ‘free-from’ dishes or just something delicious, 2018 is offering up plenty of food trends that both spark the imagination and excite the pallet.