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Welcome 2018: Food trends you must chew into

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Some amazing trends are being cooked up this year. Sapna Sarfare finds the ones that matter

Whatever the year, the most important thing on everyone’s mind is always food. And food trends are looked forward to. 2018 has now arrived and food trends for this year are much awaited by one and all. Hospitality experts are here to help by revealing some such trends.

Making of a food trend


The obvious question to strike any sane mind is of the things that making up a food trend. Chef Gautam Chaudhry, Founder & MD, Demiurgic Hospitality Pvt. Ltd, reveals, “They are nothing else but a part of Supply Vs Demand Quantum. Demand varies on the basis of target audience which in turn would vary from caste to creed to income groups, location, etc.”

Randip Dhingra, Co-owner of Twist, has an interesting take on food trends. “In my opinion, it is a more of a movement towards a certain type/style of food. This “trend” can vary from presentation to taste, from cuisine in general to regional cuisine.”

According to Sahil Gupta, who is the co-owner of TabulaBeach, Arriba – Mexican Grill & Tequileria and The Hungry Monkey, the factors affecting food choices are quite numerous, apart from taste, smell & appearance. “It depends on the choices and preferences of the people. For example, people have become health conscious, hence the food which is delicious and healthy will be in trend.”

Taco Bowl

Previous food trends

Randip has personally enjoyed quite a few 2017 trends. “Locally it would have been the trend to modernise Indian food and internationally I have loved the gravitation towards Peruvian food. You get different versions of Peruvian food ranging from French influence on Japanese influenced Peruvian food. It is my current favourite type of food. Unfortunately, the lack of availability of the produce has not allowed it to be present in India.”

Sahil included two trends he loved in his menus. “First were the bowl meals; these are delicious, nutritious and can incorporate protein, vegetables, and delicious sauces into one dish. The second is wood fire cooking. They give a smoky flavour to food plus it adds rich flavour without extra calories.”

Chaudhry finds talking about 2017 food trends difficult. “When I started my career, I was very keen on the classics and then eventually started to enjoy the progressive cuisine. In a nutshell, I enjoy the traditional recipes but love to experiment with the classics just to improvise or get elements that would complement those classic beautiful flavors. I love my desi food as much as my progressive cuisine.”

Mocktails

Fads in the offing (Buddha Bowls, Hawaiian Food, Floral Flavours)

It is time to really touch the main subject of the story – 2018 Food Trends. Sahil mentions three trends. “Taco Bowl is the most globally accepted Mexican dishes. Nowadays people have become health conscious. They prefer something which is tasty and healthy at the same time. Taco Bowl is full of nutrients and vegetables and thus would be liked by all. The second is Buddha Bowls that are one of the healthiest food trends to have taken over the entire Internet. They are rich in protein, fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. The colourful bowls are usually loaded with raw or roasted vegetables served on a bed of whole grains with sauce. The third is Floral Flavours. Edible flowers are always been used to garnish dishes, in 2018 they will also be infused with drinks and  snacks with botanical flavours. Think of lavender lattes flavoured cocktails.”

Chaudhry speaks about people talking about healthy & organic food. “But I think the way forward is Bio Dynamic Agriculture, where the growth of the crops does not allow synthetic pesticides and originates from live soil. To further explain, it is where you use those composts which are going to affect the produce as well as soil and improvise its qualities; whereas in organic foods, there is no assurance of produce being bettered in any way.”

Randip is positive that the one trend to catch on this year is the pull towards local produce. “It is farm to table concepts where the local produce is highlighted. In a country like India where import of raw materials is restricted at best, this is the food trend that I am most positive about it. The concept of using local produce, reducing the transit and storage, in turn contributing to further reducing the carbon footprint, in my opinion, is the tend to look out for. This will have a multiplier effect in combination with organic foods and shall really catch the imagination and palate of the discerning.”

Few other trends to look out for would be Hawaiian Food, Specialised Food, Super Coffee, Moroccan Food, Gochujang, Ghee, Vegan Desserts and Mocktails.

Hawaiian Food

Keep in mind

Chaudhry has just two things to say to everyone – Reliability of Source and Authenticity of Product. For Randip, the important thing in following trends is personal palate. “I always encourage everyone to experiment with different food to broaden their palate which shall then help them decide if a particular trend is good for them.”

Sahil feels trends are seasonal. “People are drawn towards what is in that season and the ‘it’ thing that moment. Food too changes and varies, and one has to constantly innovate and come up with what people want, but the presentation is also the key and plays a major role in changing how people perceive a product.”