The world of food and drink is in a constant state of flux; food trends come, food trends go, but some endure and reshape our culinary consciousness for good. For instance, an overall global shift to healthy eating and wellness is the cornerstone of many of 2019’s foodie fads. From the rise and rise of alcohol-free cocktails to why everyone’s in a fermentation-frenzy, here, we explore 2019’s hottest food trends and where to enjoy them.
Over the last few years, veganism and plant-based foods have shifted from fringe lifestyle choice to mainstream eating philosophy. To underscore its popularity, in the last three years there’s been a 600% increase of people in the US identifying as vegans. From ethics to wellbeing, the reasons to go plant-based are manifold, but one thing’s for sure; limp salads are no longer acceptable. Vegan foods in 2019 are nourishing, colourful and packed with flavour. For imaginative herbivorous treats, vegan afternoon tea at Al Samar Lounge, Jumeirah Mina A'Salam Dubai puts a plant-based spin on this classic tradition.
From tangy Korean kimchi to lightly effervescent kombucha, fermentation is all the rage in 2019. In 2018 alone, consumption of fermented foods went up by 149%. An ancient food-preservation technique, food fermentation is a natural process through which yeast and bacteria convert carbs like starch and sugar into alcohol or acids. The alcohol or acids act as a natural preservative and give fermented foods a distinct tartness. After being endlessly extolled by Scandi superchefs René Redzepi and Magnus Nilsson, the virtues of pickling are plentiful. Loaded with gut-friendly probiotics and bacteria, fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir and miso inject a tasty, health-enhancing kick to dishes.
Nothing beats the indulgence of having a meal freshly prepared by a professional chef, in the comfort of your very own home. A trend discerning diners have been cultivating whether enlisting a private chef or calling on a caterer. The stresses of everyday life, a desire for balanced meals and the alluring convenience of having dinner taken care of all contribute to an uptick in the demand for in-home dining. At Jumeirah Residences in London, Guangzhou, Dubai and Abu Dhabi you can relish the restaurant experience at home, courtesy of 24-hour in room dining.
Zero waste eating
Plastics are the ultimate faux pas. Recycling is a must. Sustainability and the environment are topics at the forefront of everyone’s consciousness in 2019. Consumers are demanding businesses act fast to reduce the planet’s eco footprint as well as taking responsibility themselves. Restaurants around the world like Silo, England and Nolla, Finland are zero waste, buying food directly from farmers and returning peels and trimmings for compost. From using a refillable coffee cup to rejecting straws, 2019 is the year that excessive food waste finally became taboo.
According to surveyed LA bar managers, 83% say non-proof drinking is a hot growing trend. This desire for alcohol-free cocktails stems from a perfect storm of more wellbeing-conscious consumers and the advent of premium alcohol-free spirits, for instance Seedlip. Furthermore, mixologists are getting evermore innovative when it comes to conjuring up creative concoctions: “Our mocktails are not simply a sugary soda mix or combination juices with syrups, we take this category to a new level, “ explains Dubai nightspot Gold on 27’s head bartender. “When crafting a new soft cocktail, we begin by creating infusions using herbal, floral and regular teas, with varying levels of concentration. We then consider the amount of sweet or bitterness that the drink should have and start to incorporate ingredients that give the best balance.”
Move over, Chinese Five Spice, there’s a new spice blend on the block in 2019. A fragrant amalgamation of thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac and sesame seeds, the Middle East’s classic spice blend za’atar has crept onto the culinary radar of late. Meaning ‘thyme’ in Arabic, za’atar has found itself being sprinkled on pastries, chicken and even cocktails in hipster eateries and bars in the West. A Levantine staple for centuries, za’atar is best sampled in its place of origin. Eat it with warm pide bread at Tean, Abu Dhabi or poolside at Khaymat Al Bahar, Dubai.