New Food Trends to Look Out For in 2017

The evolution of food is a fascinating subject. As ideas and attitudes change, so do our food choices, from the ingredients we use to the dishes we prepare. And every year there are new culinary influences to surprise and delight us. With the experts already making predictions about what we will be consuming in the coming year, let’s take a look at the possible trends for our food in 2017.

New cultures

The recent movements in global populations have seen us welcoming new cultures from around the world. And with them, new foods have become more prominent. Some of those which are predicted to have an influence in 2017 include:

  • Ube – a key ingredient in Filipino cuisine, this is a purple yam that is turned into powder and used in baking.
  • Congee – a popular breakfast fare in Asia, this rice porridge is spiced and flavoured with additional ingredients.
  • Lamian – these Chinese hand-pulled noodles are made by a master noodle-smith, who swings, stretches and kneads the dough into long strands.
  • Poké – this is the Hawaiian version of sushi, consisting of cubes of marinated seafood served with rice, seaweed, cucumber, avocado or fish roe.
  • Teff – this is an Ethiopian gluten-free grain that can be used as a flour substitute and is high in calcium, iron, protein, copper, fibre, manganese, zinc, vitamins and amino acids.

New attitudes

Cultural expectations regarding health and the environment have seen dramatic changes in our food in the past few years, a trend that is expected to continue to grow in 2017. Examples include:

  • Faux foods – as more people eat less meat, faux foods are entrenching themselves on our shelves and menus. These are vegetable substitutes for meat made from seitan, soy, chickpeas, legumes and fungi.
  • Whole food usage – public outcry over food wastage is seeing more of our meat, fruit and vegetables used to make creative new dishes; including everything from bones and seeds to leaves and rinds.
  • Medicinal foods – increasing public interest in food as medicine will see the growth of food trends such Dosha Dining and the Nordic or Viking diet (eating only seasonal, sustainable and healthy food that is smoked, fermented or cured).
  • Sugar-free foods – the rise of diabetes has seen new sugar-free trends emerging including Mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails flavoured with vegetable juices, herbs and savoury extracts) and plant waters (naturally flavoured botanical beverages packed with antioxidants).

New ingredients

A raft of new ingredients are predicted to star in our dishes in 2017 including:

  • Seaweed – expect to see more seaweeds on our menus along with sea vegetables in general.
  • Goat – lean and low in calories and cholesterol, goat is expected to become the next big protein source in 2017.
  • Nooch – this is a nutritional yeast that is set to revolutionise our meals thanks to its umami-like taste.
  • Broccoli leaves – packed with vitamins, potassium and folate, they have a similar taste to sugar-snap peas.
  • Daikon – a radish-like root vegetable used in Asian cooking and a great source of vitamins, potassium and magnesium.
  • Dandelions – their green leaves can be used like any other herb and they’re jam-packed with Vitamin A.
  • Moringa – more nutritious than kale, this leafy green vegetable contains a plant protein similar to quinoa.
  • Avocado oil – just like avocado fruit, the oil is high in Vitamin E and has been shown to lower cholesterol.
  • Sweet potato flour – this is gluten-free and non-allergenic and can be used in any baked goods just like regular flour.

New dishes

You can also expect to see some exciting new dishes in the coming year including:

  • Halloumi chips – made from halloumi sliced into thick cut chips and fried to create a crisp outer shell with a delicious cheesy centre.
  • Cheese desserts – cheese is making a debut in more desserts, from cheese ice cream and goat cheese popsicles to apple and cream cheese pie.
  • Sardines – as the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids are more widely known, sardines are becoming a sought-after protein-rich snack.
  • Savoury yoghurts – instead of sugar, some yoghurts are now being flavoured with spices and natural vegetable flavours.

New methods

As well as new ingredients and new and exciting dishes, new ways of preparing and serving food are emerging, including:

  • Blackened food – this new trend has seen all kinds of foodstuffs, from vegetables and pasta to ice cream and lemonade, burned black to create new flavours and textures, giving them a dark hue and often a savoury taste.
  • Artisan preparation – people enjoy seeing their food prepared before their eyes and a growing number of restaurants are offering teppanyaki and stone grill style cooking and a total kitchen-to-table dining experience.
  • Pop-up restaurants – pop-up restaurants have been a growing trend in Australia, as they provide diners with a wider choice of venues and give new restaurateurs the opportunity to reach a wider audience.

Keep an eye out

Hopefully this brief look at emerging food trends has encouraged you to try new and interesting recipes, ingredients and dishes in 2017. Some of these predictions may be staples by the end of 2017, while others may have faded into obscurity, but one thing’s for certain: the way we prepare, serve and eat our food will continue to evolve with every passing year.