It seemed like everyone and their dog were buying Instant Pot pressure cookers, eating charcoal charged “Goth foods”, poke bowls and avocado toasts in 2018 – such is the nature of trends. There’s nothing wrong with any of the aforementioned trends, and in fact they helped make 2018 more delicious. But looking forward, everyone is wondering what the next big thing is going to be, and how it will shape the culinary landscape in years to come.
This post will look at a few of the emerging culinary trends you can expect foodies to be penning essays about in 2019. Each of these trends has emerged in some way from our shifting cultural attitudes: to drugs, to meat consumption, and to the need for environment protection.
Cannabis has come along way over the past 60 years. Once relegated to news stories about Reefer Madness and the “hippie epidemic”, nowadays, many – if not most – people accept cannabis as a harmless, even beneficial substance. With this shift in cultural perception has come a greater acceptance of cannabis in mainstream applications. Take Canada, for instance – they legalized cannabis in October, and now you can try cannabis infused teas and edibles made from leading chefs.
Remember, the terpenes – essentially, the aroma compounds – in cannabis are not all that different from woody herbs like rosemary, or additives like hops. They have potent, seductive citrusy smells, woodsy tones and all sorts of different spice aromas. Frankly, it’s amazing that it has taken chefs this long to harness the flavour potential of cannabis.
Beyond Meat Products
Maybe you haven’t noticed it; maybe, to you, the shift was imperceptible. But now there is no denying that cultural attitudes toward vegetarianism and veganism are changing… for the better. No longer the butt of jokes about soy lattes, vegans are making a real impact on the culinary world. There’s no better evidence than the recent surge in popularity of “beyond meat” products – products made from plant-based ingredients that are meant to mimic the blush and texture of real meat. Even A&W offers them on their menu.
In addition to these products, great strides are being made daily in the production of lab grown meat. This is meat grown from a small sampling of animal tissues – whole burgers, chicken fingers and even steaks have been made using the method. It may be years before the technology can feasibly hit the common market, but the prospect of cruelty free, real meat has some culinary trend watchers already salivating.
Digging in on Insects
While the world waits for its lab grown meat, some are turning their attention to a different source of protein: bugs. Once you get over the “ick” factor, eating bugs has its perks. For one, it is a much more environmentally friendly form of protein, and with the right cooking process and flavours, it can actually tasted pretty damn good. After all, other cultures have happily eaten insects for quite some time. Just imagine cuddling up to Netflix with a big bowl of barbecue-flavoured grasshoppers. Welcome to 2019!
These are just a few of the culinary trends to look forward to in 2019. So go grab a cannabis tea, try a pea-protein burger and dig into some spicy, wok-fried ants. The future is delicious!