2019’s hottest food trends
What’s hot on the plate right now?
What’s hot on the plate right now?
The world of food and drink is in a constant state of flux. Food trends come and go. But some endure and reshape our culinary consciousness for good. For instance, an overall global shift to healthy eating and wellness has been the cornerstone of many of 2019’s foodie fads. From the rise of alcohol-free cocktails, to the fermentation-frenzy, here we explore the hottest food trends and where to enjoy them in Dubai.
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 the US has seen a 600% increase in the number of people who identify as vegans. From ethics to wellbeing, the reasons to go plant-based are myriad. Vegan foods in 2019 are nourishing, colourful and packed with flavour. For imaginative herbivorous treats, the vegan afternoon tea at Al Samar Lounge at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam puts a plant-based spin on this age-old tradition.
From tangy Korean kimchi to lightly effervescent kombucha, fermentation is all the rage. 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 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 own home. Discerning diners have been cultivating this trend, whether that means 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 a growing demand for in-home dining. At Jumeirah Residences in London, Guangzhou, Dubai and Abu Dhabi you can enjoy the restaurant experience at home, courtesy of 24-hour in room dining.
Plastics are the new faux pas and recycling is a must. Sustainability and the environment are topics at the forefront of everyone’s consciousness. 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 in the UK and Nolla in 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 has been the year that excessive food waste finally became taboo.
According to surveyed bar managers in L.A., 83% say alcohol-free drinking is a growing trend. The desire for mocktails stems from a combination of wellbeing-conscious consumers and the advent of premium alcohol-free spirits such as Seedlip. Furthermore, mixologists are becoming 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 Mohammed Jayah. ‘When crafting a new soft (alcohol-free) 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 blend on the block. 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. Za’atar can be found sprinkled on pastries, chicken and even cocktails in the eateries and bars of 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 in Abu Dhabi or poolside at Khaymat Al Bahar in Dubai.