New Year, New Food Forecast

January crept by at a nauseatingly slow pace as my winter-induced illness sent me slurping down chicken noodle soup at an impressively fast rate; but, nonetheless, we have somehow survived a month of 2018 already!

In terms of food, 2018 seems to have a lot of potential, with many flavors ready to take their turn in the spotlight. Channeling my inner psychic vibes, here are my predictions of the rising foods and food movements of the new year.

Rooting for the Lotus Root

The what? Yes, the lotus root. For those who don’t hold prior knowledge pertaining to roots and whatnot, the lotus root is acquired from the bottom of the lotus flower pad, where its long structure allows it to be chopped and sliced, similar to that of a cucumber. The root has a potato-like texture and crisp, tart taste when pickled. Or prepare it in a stir-fry, braise it, or toss it into your soup. Not good enough for you yet? Lotus root powder has medicinal properties, as well as the benefits of a superfood (like improved digestion, lowered cholesterol and reduced risk of cancer). I think health nuts will have a ball with this bad boy. Chefs too, embracing its irregular shape and extensive cooking possibilities.

Lotus
Photo Courtesy of Kitchen Missus (Sauteed Lotus Root)

Flowers in your hair food

Remember when flower crowns were all the rage? This year, think less of flowers as flourishments for festival-goers and more of flowers as an integral element of decor on your plae. Rose, lavender, elderflower, and hibiscus are going to be used to spice up your daily eats as latte flavors, dinner garnishes, cocktail bases, and dessert fillings. When used correctly, the floral flavor won’t penetrate your soul but instead, the gentle aromas will precipitate a refreshing, smooth palette cleanse.

 

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Photo Courtesy of Popsugar.com

 

 

Cocktail, Please. Hold the Booze.

Due to millenials and their ever-present desire to maximize ~health~, high-end alcohol-free drinks will be on the rise. Spunky cocktails, minus the healthy splash of vodka, will creep into restaurant and bar scenes more so than before. Consumers want the well-executed crafting of the drink, but shy away from those extra alcohol calories. Mocktails sound cheap and childish, but the thought of a fancy polished drink that doesn’t raise the calorie count or blood alcohol level sounds like a possible trend in 2018.

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Non-alchoholic Passionfruit Cocktail, Photo Courtesy of Foodal

Street Food Inspo

The best part of travelling is all the gooooood and most importantly, affordable noms that can be found on every corner. Soon, restaurants will be transporting you across the globe with the emergence of a diverse array of traditional street foods. Try a Bánh Mì, a Vietnamese baguette sandwich stuffed with meat, slices of cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots, liver pâté and a dash of mayo. Maybe even a Pork Satay, where thinly sliced meat is marinated in coconut milk, turmeric and spice and grilled to perfection. Also, Jamaican Jerk Chicken may become more popular in the culinary scene as critics embrace the jerk sauce-marinated chicken with a rich, smoky flavor. Along with these three bold staples, you may begin to see an increase in Indian Dosas, Korean Barbecue tacos, Argentinian Empanadas, Polish Perogies and so many more international favorites.

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Bangkok Street Food, Photo Courtesy of SBS

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken Photo Courtesy of Curiousnut.com

Middle Eastern Cuisine

There is much more to Middle Eastern cuisine than falafel and hummus, and you need to know about it. Shakshuka is all the rage, a skillet-styled dish composed of eggs cracked into a flavorful tomato base, seasoned with spices galore. You’ve probably already seen this dish pop up on your Instagram feed, and my mouth waters Every. Single. Time.

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Photo Courtesy of The Mediterranean Dish

Matcha meet Ube, Ube meet Matcha

2017 loved matcha. 2017 loved ube. 2018? Well, 2018 loves both. MATCHA UBE!!!! The health benefits of both create an amalgam of cool-colored perfection. It’s going to be in drinks, ice cream, pastries. Oh my. We are really doing the most this year and I am loving it.  

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Ube, Matcha Soft serve from Soft Swerve NYC, Photo Courtesy of Instagram @omgitsbomb

Bring it on, 2018. I’m ready for you and all you are bringing to the plate.

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