Around 22 million Americans travel every year to enjoy a culinary vacation, according to a new report from AAA. Around 75% of Americans consider food and dining to be an important part of their travel experiences, and four out of five try to enjoy a gourmet experience such as wine tasting at a vineyard or dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Of course, upmarket dining is only the iceberg of this trend, with many enjoying streets, bistro, and home-cooked-style meals that bring a country’s deepest traditions to life. If you are one of those people who equate a good holiday with great dining, why not take your cue from top global food trends, and recreate them at the next dinner party with family and friends?
Living Foods for Light Energy
Americans have seen a big watershed in the way they view food, with recent scientific findings showing that the old adage that ‘you are what you eat is true. With obesity levels skyrocketing, health professionals are increasingly extolling the virtues of Mediterranean cuisine, organic produce, and, more recently, living foods. The trend has hit America in restaurants like Scottsdale restaurant Farm & Craft, whose founder, Ryan Hibbert, has built an entire menu around the concept. Living foods contain higher levels of phytochemicals – a ‘light energy’ that is vital for optimal cell functioning. To incorporate this trend at home, try to prepare more raw salads, and think about consuming raw veggies and fruits at snacks, preparing healthy, low-fat dips with which to enjoy them.
If you are a food fanatic, then you undoubtedly have heard of Ferran Adrià: ‘the father of molecular cuisine. The star-studded Chef may have closed up his famous El Bulli restaurant to focus on research and innovation, but his brother, Albert has taken the lead, with a hip collection of restaurants that includes Tickets: a restaurant serving both traditional and haute cuisine tapas. Dishes such as bone marrow with eggplant, flame-grilled and served within a slab of bone will blow your mind, but you can always relive this magic at home by being creative with your tapas (snacks) presentation. Tickets serve a beautiful New Zealand oyster with the pulp of kiwi fruit. If you have fresh seafood at home, why not jazz up the presentation with the pulp of a local seasonal fruit?
The vegan food industry saw sales rising to $3.1 billion from 2016 to 2017, with clever Chefs making it easy to see that good vegan cuisine is anything but boring. Burgers that ‘bleed’, vegan cold cuts, and plant-based poke bowls are tempting even meat lovers to steer away from their favorite steak – be it just for one meal. To create a beautiful vegan meal for your family, think of a base (such as quinoa or bulgur) and mix it with a plethora of colorful vegetables – everything from roast red peppers to steamed broccoli, shredded carrots, and edamame beans. A poke bowl has never been so inviting!
Activated Charcoal and Other Superfoods
If you’re an Instagram fan, then you may have seen gorgeous images of shiny jet-black soft-serve ice cream on a cone. Its main ingredient is charcoal – said to draw toxins out of the body. The ‘black food trend’ is bolstered by other ebony-hued ingredients, including black beans (used to make jet black pasta), black sesame (used in sweets), and black rice (for a different take on sushi and other rice dishes). These ingredients are easy to find, so why not start with a simple black fried rice for your next family meal?
We have mentioned just a few hot food trends but there are thousands lighting up restaurants across the globe, all ready for the discovering. Variety is the spice of life, but you can always take healthy trends you discover back home with you. All it takes is a little research and time to buy and prepare products that will surprise family and establish your reputation as a talented chef among your friends.