In a recent post, we outlined a few of the biggest food trends for 2016. These are the ingredients and greater cooking styles that will motivate and inspire chefs all over the world, leading to tasty dishes and delightful innovations alike. But it’s a long year, and a handful of trends isn’t enough to encompass the entirety of 2016. Here are four more hot trends to expect throughout 2016:
“Over 36% of diners are concerned with chemicals in food.”
1. Clean menus
In late 2015, Baum and Whiteman, a consortium of food consultants, outlined its 11 hottest trends in the food and beverage industry. In that entire list, there was no item more interesting than the so-called clean menus. According Baum and Whiteman, chefs across the globe are completely rethinking their approach to cooking, doing away with harmful additives and chemicals that are meant to enhance flavor or color. It means a push away from genetically modified crops and a sharp turn toward all-natural ingredients. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect. According to a recent report from the International Food Information Council Foundation, 36 percent of restaurant goers are concerned with chemicals in their food.
2. Vegetables in general
As mentioned in the previous post, seaweed is set to replace kale as the most beloved vegetable alternative. Yet, as Forbes reported, another trend emerged during January’s annual Winter Fancy Food Show: vegetables as a whole are finding new life in the kitchen. No longer are these items being served as a side dish, or sprinkled onto other meals as accents. Instead, chefs are starting to use items like rhubarb, cucumbers and carrot as the main ingredients for yogurt, ice cream, teas and other beverages, and much more. As Forbes’ Cathy Huyghe pointed out, this vegetable trend is especially popular with many millennials, perhaps the same audience who is interested in clean menus.
3. All things fermented
In years past, kombucha – a tea made from a special strain of bacteria – has been celebrated for its health benefits, including aiding digestion. However, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, kombucha is set to be overtaken by another set of fermented vegetables. In addition to the tried and true cabbage, an increasing number of chefs and health gurus are using carrots, beets, sauerkraut and Brussels sprouts, among others, as powerful beverages. Not only do they have a uniquely refrshing, but there are plenty of health benefits to boot. According to Tufts University, all of these veggies are chock full of friendly bacteria, strains that can streamline the digestive process and help bolster the immune system.
4. Artisanal butchery
For the most direct look into kitchens across the country, the National Restaurant Association surveyed 1,600 chefs for its annual survey. Though African cuisine was an especially hot trend among kitchen gurus, a large number of participants also noted a growing interest in artisanal butchery. Though the meaning has changed over time, most modern-day artisanal butchers use naturally-sourced meat, interact more directly with customers and commit themselves to the core traditions of butchery. In fact, the artisanal trend has taken off to the point where there is now a nationwide professional organization, The Butcher’s Guild. These butchers are committed to socially conscious dining and practices.