Food trends of this year

Regional cuisine and local ingredients have been this year's highlights
Last Updated 24 December 2019, 13:29 IST

This decade has been a welcome change for foodies. Diners knew exactly what they wanted and were also open to trying new things. In short, 2019 has been a delicious one.

Though avocado and zero-waste kitchen will continue to take over the next year too, a few specific demands diners made this year could just change the way the culinary industry will function in the coming years.

The local the better

Regional cuisines were in demand. Diners were done with the molecular gastronomy or fancy presentations on their plate. They wanted their food simple, flavourful and memorable.

This movement made chefs scout for local recipes and its ingredients from the original source. They made sure they could get the recipe as accurate as possible, but of course, with a few exceptions of “fusion dishes”.

More vegetarian and vegan dishes

There’s still a large population that prefer their meaty dishes but there’s been a significant grown in the vegetarian and vegan communities. There have also been mock-meat dishes made with vegan products that have been winning the hearts of non-vegetarians.

Chef Rajesh Dubey, chief Of Cuisine, Speciality Restaurants Limited, tells Metrolife that diners have been preferring smaller portions. “They don’t have to fill themselves up with just one dish. They want to try more items and stay healthy, so smaller portions are being opted by diners,” he says.

Healthy route

It’s been a health-conscious year. Many are happy to ditch animal fat and food items that leave them full by the end of the meal. With superfoods and natural variants, chefs have had to up their game.

Chef Rajesh points out that there has been a demand for more veggies even in a meat dish. Mushrooms have been a popular item. Plant-based products have been a focus.

Zero-waste concept

Most culinary experts have been doing everything in their power to make sure that every part of the vegetable or meat is used when cooking. Either as a garnish, broth or plating, there’s been minimal wastage of food. Some
kitchens have built their own gardens and started to use the kitchen waste as manure.

Custom desserts

From making mood pills, bucket cakes to vegan desserts, the innovations have been aplenty in the dessert world. Chef Vinesh Johny of Lavonne says it’s been a year of conceptualisation than flavour in itself.

“Even with the mood pills, it’s the concept first and then the taste of it that attracted people. The visual appeal has been intriguing people to give the dessert a try,” he says.

Gin culture

Mixologists have been busy making gin cocktails this year. Rabi Chetry, mixologist and bar manager at The Pump House, says that more brands of gin have been introduced this year because of the demand for it.
He says, “There’s been a complete change in the drinking culture this year. Even with the introduction of various other cocktails, it’s usually a mix of gin that is preferred. Gin and tonic has been a popular pick.”

He also points out that classic cocktails are back in demand. “For a few years, people didn’t like drinks on the rocks. We’ve seen a lot of it this year though.”

Light beer

Bengaluru is known for its microbrewery culture and most breweries have tried a number of options to make the drinking experience a fun one. However, experts point out that 2019 has been the year for ‘light beers’.

“Interestingly, maybe it’s because of the strict laws on drinking and driving, many preferred to drink light beers. Most didn’t want to drink to get drunk but to enjoy,” says Chetry.

(Published 24 December 2019, 13:25 IST)

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