It’s 2018 and many of us are still posting pictures of our meals on social media. It looks like this trend isn’t dying down anytime soon. If you’re a foodie, this is an exciting time to be alive. The world is getting smaller as we share our culinary traditions with one another. It’s now possible to sample cuisine from almost anywhere in the world.
Food trends come and go, but with social media, we can see what’s going viral and catching on almost instantly. These are the top dining trends that are taking the internet by storm this year:
1. Hawaiian Poke Bowls
Poke ( pronounced poh-kay) bowls are a Hawaiian favorite. It’s a combination of many cultures including Japanese, local Hawaiian and Chinese. Poke bowls are basically salad bowls with lots of fresh raw fish like salmon, yellowfin tuna and snapper. These fish are always sushi grade and placed over a bowl of rice.
Various vegetables are also added, including corn, bell peppers, leafy greens, kale and avocado. Sometimes, nuts and beans make up a Poke bowl too, like edamame, peanuts and chickpeas. Then, some type of dressing and seasoning is poured over the mixture. These dressings are often light and incorporate soy sauce in them.
Poke bowls are not just visually stunning, they’re really healthy too. They’re packed with vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids that are great for heart health.
2. Yogurt Bowls
Every generation has its own health craze. This year, it’s all about healthy yogurt bowls. These are usually eaten for breakfast. Basically, they’re bowls of plain or fruit flavored yogurt that’s topped with come very pretty slices of fruits, Usually, muesli, nuts and toasted oats are also sprinkled on top to balance out the soft texture and give it some bite.
These yogurt bowls have been making regular appearances on Instagram. We can only wonder if they taste as good as they look.
3. Artisanal Butter
Forget about mass produced dairy products. These days, healthy, low fat organic milk based dairy products are making it big. This includes the production and sale of home-made butter. What you get is rich and creamy butter that’s of a superior quality. The highlight of many butter artisans is of course their flavored butter.
Butter can be flavored with fruits, herbs, nuts and spices among other things. So if you go online you’ll see things like pistachio butter, saffron butter, rosemary butter and so much more.
4. Flower Flavored Foods
You’ve heard of fruits flavored foods, but have you heard of flowers as flavoring? One good example of this is the Sakura flower of Japan. The Japanese often use Sakura to make cookies, chocolates and even soft drinks. This trend is making its way out of Japan and now, more and more people from other cultures are incorporating flowers into their diets.
Edible flowers include roses, chrysanthemums, marigolds, osmanthus,hibiscus and more. These flowers can be used to flavor cookies, cakes, jellies and drinks. However, some people are getting creative and even using them in savory dishes like pasta and salads.
5. Telang Tea Party Trick
The Telang or Butterfly Pea flower has been used in Southeast Asia for centuries. When soaked in warm water, the blue of the flowers are extracted out and they’re used as a coloring for rice and other desserts.
Telang flowers can also be turned into tea. Just let the dried Telang flowers steep in hot water for a few minutes and the results is a blue colored tea that’s great for cooling down the body in summer. The blue color of the tea can turn purple when an acidic liquid is added, such as lemon juice. This has made the drink a popular party trick, with many people serving it at gatherings and demonstrating the ‘magic trick’ to their friends.
6. Plant Based Dining
Whether it’s vegetarian or vegan food, plant based diets are here to stay. This year, more and more netizens are posting about their vegan diets. They’re balanced and healthy, with lots of vibrant colors. Plant based protein sources are also becoming more prominent. This includes soy based products like tofu, and bean based ‘faux meat’.
‘Clean eating’ is becoming a common buzzword, and that basically means eating from more plant sources rather than animal based foods. This is more sustainable and better for the environment overall.
7. Asian with a Twist
Asian seasonings, spices, sauces and cooking methods are making its way around the world. This is due to the fact that many Asian dishes are so simple to make, but also so flavorful. Plus, they’re really versatile. They don’t need a lot of skill to prepare, so even newbies can get them right.
One of these Asian cooking methods is fried rice. Nowadays, many people are replacing the rice with healthier options like quinoa, cauliflower ‘rice’ and millet.
8. Middle Eastern Food
The middle-east has plenty of flavors that we’ve all been missing out on. Among the dishes that are making it big internationally include hummus, tahini, shawarma and various flavored rice dishes. These dishes are often low in fats and grease. They also make awesome fusion options that are easily incorporated into fusion cooking. Hummus in particular, is now a mainstream spread and dip in many cafes.
Middle eastern spices like za’attar, cardamon and harissa are making an appearance in Asian and western kitchens that have never used them before.
9. Root to Stem Eating
As humans become more environmentally aware, we begin to realize the importance of not wasting food. As such, more and more recipes nowadays are incorporating parts of vegetables that we would normally throw away. Examples of these include potato skins and broccoli stems.
Eating these rarely consumed parts help cut down on organic waste. Sometimes these parts just need to be cooked in a different way to reveal new tastes and textures.
The dining trends this year are very obviously skewed towards themes of health and environmental sustainability. Eating healthy can be easy and fun, just check out these healthy desserts for a quick but calorie conscious sugar fix.