Every year brings new and exciting food trends that you’ll find on restaurant menus, grocery store shelves, food blogs, and meal delivery menus. This past year brought us our new fermented favorite, kombucha, dozens of recipes for spiralized noodles, matcha in every imaginable form, and unicorn- and mermaid-themed foods. We asked our Culinary Creative Director, Libbie Summers, to tell us what she thinks will be hot in 2018 and here are her predictions.
1. Transparent food manufacturing
If you like knowing exactly where your food comes from, then you’re in luck! This is a trend that started in 2017 that will continue into gain popularity into 2018. More and more companies are undertaking the task of documenting and making this information easy to find on packaging, menus, and their websites, which is a huge benefit to you, the consumer! Access to information about food safety, quality, origin, and sustainability can help you make informed choices about the foods you select.
Riding the coattails of the adaptogen trend of 2017, mushrooms are going to be big in 2018. Known for their many health benefits, mushrooms like reishi, chaga, cordyceps and lion’s mane will start showing up in powdered form everywhere from your coffee to your morning omelette. You can purchase these powdered ‘shrooms or make your own! Put your favorite dried culinary mushroom in a spice blender and pulverize them. After that, you’re ready to add them to sauces and other dishes to increase the earthy flavors, without adding meat!
3. Floral aromatics
If you’re into essential oils right now, this is a culinary trend that’s right up your alley! Our sense of smell is closely tied to memories, which is why aromatics are natural mood alterers. Floral aromatics especially are going to start showing up in everything from cocktails to food and in scents like chamomile, lavender, rose, hibiscus, rosemary and eucalyptus.
4. Root-to-stem cooking
This upcoming year, chefs are going to be doing their part to reduce food waste by using everything from the roots to the stems! Companies like ZÜPA NOMA Superfood Soups are doing this already by using everything from the skin to the seeds to stems in their recipes. Cooking in this way reduces food waste, plus the roots, leaves and stems of many vegetables and herbs have the same flavors and nutritional value of the leaves and other more commonly used parts of the plants.
5. Carbonated everything
LaCroix fans, rejoice -- carbonation is going to be everywhere in 2018! Fizz will be added to just about everything including coffee, juice, tea, cocktails, wine and more.
6. Air frying
Frying is usually synonymous with “unhealthy” but this trend is attempting to change that! Air frying is a cooking method that uses hot air circulated at high speeds to cook and crisp your food. This produces a “fried” effect using way less oil than a traditional fryer. We expect to see this trend mostly in snacks, but chefs are already air frying all kinds of things from chips to garnishes.
This is the purest form of chocolate you can consume. It isn’t processed like other forms of cocoa or chocolate. Since it is raw, it is an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber, magnesium and a long list of other nutrients. Cacao has been highly valued for centuries due to its nutritional value, and it is also known for its use in spiritual ceremonies. In the coming year we expect to see cacao in just about every meal from breakfast to dessert.
8. Artisanal baking.
In the coming year you can expect to see artisanal baking, borrowing from ancient techniques. Grinding your own ancient grains such as spelt, sours, rye and kamut will become popular.
Which of these culinary trends are you excited to try in the coming year? We will be releasing new recipes weekly on our meal delivery menu and you just might see some of these trendy ingredients in upcoming meal releases.