Going up: the trends rocking the food world

Sarah Cuthbert
01 August, 2016

As we move towards the latter end of the year, let's take a look at the golden, smoking-hot food trends that have risen to our attention over 2016. Why save the trendiest food for dining out? Ensure your eating is always en pointe with our guide to what's trending and how to achieve it at home.

Turmeric lattes

Not content with the ‘old’ chai latte, a recent trend toward non-coffee alternatives has seen the rise of the Golden Latte. Made with a combination of turmeric, ginger and foamed coconut or almond milk, the Golden Latte boasts health benefits beyond those of traditional chai blends. An anti-inflammatory ingredient dating back centuries, turmeric is one of the principal spices in Indian cuisine and is said to offset some of the heavier eating that happens in the winter months.

Try Green Kitchen Smoothie’s turmeric tonic.

Sweet bacon

It’s fair to say that salted caramel has made its way into everything from desserts to doughnuts, entrenching itself as more than just a passing fad. Not content with this sweet-come-salty treat, chefs and bloggers alike have begun experimenting with salty-come-sweet instead – and we like where they’re heading. This trend is easy to experiment with at home either with your favourite small-batch kaiser bacon, taken from the fatty middle of the pig, or your more generic middle bacon, available from your local supermarket.

Try Billy Law’s spicy beer and maple candied bacon, or spend an afternoon making jam flavoured with sugared bacon and coffee – thanks to the girls at the Hang Fire Cookbook.

Pickling & fermenting

Late 2015 saw the rise of kimchi and a return to traditional ways of making sauerkraut and dill pickles. This year, pickled radish, carrots, daikon and mushrooms are appearing on restaurant menus, and health writers are spruiking the benefits of fermented foods. But what’s the difference? In Freddie Janssen’s new book, Pickled, she explains that pickling is the process of preserving food in an acidic medium (usually vinegar). Meanwhile, fermentation actually creates nutrients through a longer process that uses salt and filtered water.

Outside of Korea’s combination of cabbage, chilli, radish, garlic ginger and fish sauce, home cooks can now try their hand at both processes with just about anything. Keeping fermented vegetables in the fridge not only offers great health benefits, but also a fantastic way to use up those sad few remains in the bottom drawer!

Try rosemary pickled plums, coffee-picked mushrooms, or a twist on an old favourite with kale kimchi.

Bread is back, baby

Everybody loves toast. They’re not to be trusted if they don’t.

For most of us, toast was our first solid food and symbolises the ultimate comfort. The perfect standby for breakfast, lunch or something less righteous later in the night, 2016 has seen the welcome return of carbs to menus. Posh Toast combines bready classics with creative toppings such as hummus and spiced lamb and cauliflower cheese, and Matt Wilkinson takes toast into fine dining territory with his crab, samphire and mushroom-topped slices.

Or, why not step up your bread game with sourdough starters and homemade bakes? Leith’s School of Food and Wine provides easy to follow recipes sure to please a crowd, ranging from sandwich loaves to cheesy tearing bread.

Gluten not your friend? Never fear! There are plenty of wheat-free alternatives to keep your tummy happy. Kimberly Parson’s Yoga Kitchen, for one, features a gluten-free pea and mint sourdough.

Green bowls

Green juices are so last year. Now it’s all about green bowls. The team from Green Kitchen Smoothies suggests that while nutrition-packed drinks can be served in jars, bottles or glasses, scooping them up from a bowl makes them feel like more of a meal. Bowl smoothies also offer greater surface area for toppings, which is a bonus.

Try Green Kitchen Smoothie’s green goodness bowl, Kimberly Parson’s green breakfast bowl, or warm up with Jane Kennedy’s green soup.

Nordic cuisine

The cuisine of Scandinavian countries Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Norway has made its mark on the dining scene around the world. Keen for a piece of the action, chefs and home cooks alike are drawing inspiration from the simple, seasonal food of the far north. Not only is Scandinavian food bright, fresh and Instagram-friendly, with its focus on seafood, grains, berries, vegetables and lean wild meats that are easily accessed here in Australia, it’s a synch to prepare at home.

Start your day with cardamom rye crepes with banana and salted caramel, lunch on kelp noodles with mackerel, radish and elderflower vinaigrette, and treat yourself to a slice of apple and hazelnut layer cake for afternoon tea.

Smoked food

Last but not least, smoking. And no, we’re not talking about taking up poor habits – we’re talking about those complex, umami flavours common in South American and Asian cuisine. While most chefs now have a smoking gun at their disposal, the rest of us can make the most of apple and hickory woodchips – available from hardware and kitchenware stores – which are easily used with woks and barbecues at home. Smoked flavours go well with earthy vegetables, oily fishes and roasting meats.

Try Matt Wilkinson’s smoked tomatoes with basil vinaigrette, Sevtap Yuce’s smoked eggplant dip, or April Carter’s smoked paprika almonds. Feeding a crowd? Then you can’t go passed Ben O’Donoghue's smoked beef short ribs.

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