Put down the avo toast, step away from the turmeric latte and hold fire on that Pastaio booking; they’re
so 2017. The new year is a-coming and brings with it a whole new set of food-based trends that we just can’t wait to tuck into. From Tokyo-style yakitori to Black Forest gateau and exotic pandan via gooey, oozy cheese fondue, next year promises to be a delicious one. Here’s your guide to eating your way around the hottest, tastiest trends of 2018.
Photo via @potatoldn.
Potatoes Carbohydrates as a whole are up there right now, with the world and his wife making their own sourdough, and proper bread (not the supermarket sliced stuff) having a real comeback, but what we’re really here for is potatoes. Yep. Research from the Potatoes: More Than A Bit On The Side campaign suggests potatoes are likely to be a top pick for 2018, with almost half of people surveyed saying they’d rather cut out booze than forgo potatoes next year. We don’t need to tell you that potatoes are tasty, but they’ve rather fallen out of favour with the health-conscious among us over the last few years – and wrongly so. Potatoes are packed with fibre and antioxidants, and just one potato contains almost half of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. So chow down at Soho’s The Potato Project, or get in on the carby action at home with this North African Spiced Baked Eggs with Potatoes recipe for a scrummy brunch.
Photo courtesy of Ichibuns.
Japanese Dude Food Japanese food has been on the radar for a while now, but 2018 marks a turn away from the delicate dishes of miso and noodle soup and the mega hit that is ramen, to even more indulgent and hearty cuisine combining Japanese flavour with the ‘dude food’ of the American south. We’re seeing wagyu beef burgers and sakura blossom milkshakes, deep-fried tofu and all the fun of the traditional Tokyo izakaya bars – where the Japanese stop off for a bite and a beer on the way home from work. Think big, surprising flavours, all-out indulgence and supersized portions if you’re thinking of cooking something up at home, but personally we’d just head down to Ichibuns Chinatown for the Hokkaido burger: two wagyu beef patties, sliced red onion, sautéed shiitake mushrooms, white truffle oil and blue cheese fondue.
Vermouth All the fuss about negronis over the last few years means we’re now sitting up and listening to one of their main components: vermouth. This botanical bitter is going from strength to strength, with alcohol retailer Berry Bros. & Rudd reporting a 41% increase in sales of vermouth this year. Vermouth is the ultimate cocktail builder, so you’ll already find it in most bars, but for 2018 the focus is shifting to make vermouth the star of the show. Drink it straight up on the rocks if you like your bitters, er, bitter, or spritz with a slug of soda for a refreshing long drink over ice. We highly recommend Belsazar Vermouth, and their new limited-edition Riesling variety has heavenly notes of Azores pineapple balanced by the classic vermouth bitterness. They say: "Vermouth is making a comeback due to the exciting new range of varieties on offer, which are completely different to what’s gone before. Next-generation vermouth such as ours are both delicious drunk on their own and when mixed add a unique flavour to cocktails. We’ve also fallen in love with the ‘aperitivo hour’ and Belsazar makes a brilliant spritz when mixed with tonic. With vermouth sitting at around 14-20% ABV and going down to 7-8% when mixed, it’s also feeding into the trend for lower alcohol cocktails."
Photo via @hugdecook.
Indian Street Food The trend for lots of small plates for sharing is going nowhere, and predictions are that this will take on more of an Indian street food vibe for next year. Flavours are big and bold, so expect smoked, grilled or seared delicacies such as super spicy scallops in pickled ginger, or simple puris stuffed with zingy vegetables and drizzled in a vibrant coriander chutney – and of course, lots of different dishes. Street food is all about mixing and matching foods and flavours, with a real emphasis on layering up tastes and building upon different levels of flavour sensation in an easily consumable fashion. Instagrammer @hugdecook is calling this one, and has created a deceptively simple recipe for Mixed Grill Naans that are perfect for making next time your mates are round; with heavily spiced grilled chicken, crispy lamb, cooling raita, salsa and a tempting chickpea and lentil mashup, we’ll let you off making your own naans. It seems long but we promise it needn’t be a lot of work if you cook everything in just a couple of pans – hey, it’s about layering those flavours, ok?!
Pandan This one comes courtesy of Queen Nigella; back in October we told you how she predicted that by this time next year we’ll all be getting to grips with those fantastically exotic pandan leaves. Indigenous to southeast Asia, pandan is a large leaf herbaceous plant that grows extensively across the continent and is used frequently in cooking, thanks to its availability. It’s kind of a poor man’s curry leaf but sweeter and nutty-tasting and can make a decent addition to jasmine or basmati rice, but most frequently it’s used to wrap chicken or fish before poaching or steaming and imparts a verdant green flavour as a result. Instagram is going wild for it in baking, where using pandan extract produces similar results to matcha in anything from rice pudding to crème brulee or traditional cakes. Pick up a pack of leaves in your local Asian supermarket and take your pick from the plethora of recipes on Pinterest.
Photo: Getty Images.
'70s food Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll have noted that this Christmas’s fayre is distinctly retro. Of course, there are the usual prawn cocktails, cheese straws and trifle, but this year there’s an air of now about it all too. Heston Blumenthal has transformed classics like the aforementioned prawn cocktail, there's pâté galore and he's even dreamt up a Black Forest panettone for Waitrose this Christmas. Over at M&S, full-on Swiss cheese fondue sets are lining the shelves, KERB Camden threw a two-day nostalgia-fest peppered with prawn cocktail (again!), s'mores and sausage sandwiches, and the restaurant at the bottom of the newly done-up CentrePoint complex, Vivi, is dedicated to all things ‘70s, too – chicken à la King will be a speciality from its opening in April ’18. If you can’t wait until then, Coin Laundry is worth a little look, and fondue fans should head straight to Camden’s The Cheese Bar, Androuet or for all-out cheesy nostalgia, St Moritz.