What happened to what was hot in 2014?
“Like dogs, foodies wag their tails at the slightest sniff of new and exciting. Then bark at each other on social media. Food is fashion. If you’re into that stuff, it matters.” Perry Haydn Taylor
I have almost finished my last delicious. magazine to be thrown out. Just two more bookmarks to go. This one - actually two is from two of their four pages cataloguing the trends they are predicting for 2015 based on what was hot at the time - November 2014. When I say 'they' - actually each trend is from an individual - from their staff or their contributors, etc. The other two pages were on travel - so irrelevant these days, and restaurants - also irrelevant. Which, of course is interesting in itself, but we'll leave it at that for now. I'm going to work my way through their 12 hot trends in each category just briefly and see if they were right. Some of them might be worthy of a deeper look, some other time. I can promise you today is going to be superficial.
Whatever you do with this post though, do watch the video from Jamie near the end of the post. It's just lovely and I feel like rushing out there and giving smoking fish a go, right now. Well I would have to collect various bits and pieces, but it's entirely possible. The other stuff is interesting too - some more than others of course, but give it a go.
So page one which is called Eat and Drink: top ingredients, techniques, cuisines.
Cold-pressed juices and raw desserts - as illustrated as their header to the page. When you read further though it seems they really mean that 'vegan and raw food is inciting more (positive) curiosity". Well that was accurate was it not? I mean - vegan - say no more.
Nut milks and creams - but as more than an alternative to dairy. This was a Jill Dupleix prediction and she mentioned cashew cream - so here is a picture of her Cashew cream, sweet or savoury. She also mentioned nut cheesecakes and almond milk flat whites. So yes - but really it's still all part of that vegan thing isn't it?
Sour, bitter astringent - I'm not sure that this one lasted the distance. Sour seems to have been replaced by hot as a taste I think. Although I suppose pickled and fermented things might fall into this category and they are definitely still big - and still a bit vegan. Simon Wilkinson who proposed this, saw it as a move away from sweet. Will we ever move away from sweet?
Flexitarian - yes in ever growing numbers, and I would probably class us in this category. We are all eating less meat. Not sure about the dairy though - other than the vegans of course. Meatless Monday has become a thing and Mondays are usually designated as vegetarian in Coles' weekly menus in their magazine.
Making food from scratch - well they were well ahead of the trend there. COVID, at least briefly, saw everyone making bread at home, followed by pasta, and then jam, pickles, everything in fact. However, as I now check out what they said, they actually missed this one completely because Christine Manfield who made the prediction was actually talking about chefs -"I love that restaurants are pickling, smoking, preserving and making everything from labne and goat's curd to hard cheeses." Didn't she think that children can also make labne, jam and pickles? We all do it now. I even know some who do their own smoking (see later). And shouldn't the best restaurants be making their own anyway?
Pan-Asian crossovers - almost what I was talking about yesterday, but Paul Wilson was a bit more specific - Korean/Mexican, Peruvian/Japanese. I suspect these are a bit specialist and confined to a few restaurants. But his suggestion that "we'll see more dishes matched with craft beer" is probably true - though only in posh restaurants, which are currently dead here in Melbourne really.
Sustainable provenance tags - John Susman said gill tags on fish showing where they come from are a trend. Not in your local supermarket I think. Maybe in posh fishmongers for posh fish. Mind you there are indeed many more tags on fish, and other products too that certify various things - organic, RSPCA approved, MSC on fish, etc. Look out for them. And yes it is indeed a growing thing, but much slower than seems to be expected in 2014.
The celebrity producer - I suppose Maggie Beer might fall into this category, but also prestige brands like La Luna for cheese, Meredith goat's cheese. On the whole though this is more for restaurauteurs than for the common man. Mind you the supermarkets have started to do a thing on their producers in their magazines. They will profile a particular producer - it's good marketing. Makes you think your stuff comes from 'real' people - and of course it does, but some of those 'real' people own vast enterprises. Still it's always interesting to check into some of them.
Food packaging and waste - This was Valli Little's contribution and she mentioned a German supermarket that had banned plastic. Well our supermarkets have indeed made some changes in the right direction - no more of those disposable plastic bags, although you can still get plastic bags. Most of us use other longer-lasting bags now though. The bags for the vegetables are now biodegradable I think. No more plastic disposable picnic plates and things, and plastic trays for meat are disappearing. It's a two step forward three steps back kind of movement, but slow progress is being made. On the food waste side though organisations such as Oz Harvest and Second Bite, have made giant steps forward - with the help of the same supermarkets. It's on ongoing thing and a lot more to be said on the subject.
Southern Italian and Spanish grape varieties - oh yes - has prosecco overtaken traditional bubbly yet? This is still ongoing, although Cab Sav still holds sway in the white aisle I think. They say they are popular because of being suited to our warm climate - but then so is Shiraz. We just love something new though don't we?
Native ingredients in drinks - I think this is true, but it's a bit niche and very slow, which I suspect is something to do with availability of the ingredients. I mean have you ever seen finger limes, for example in the supermarket?
Page 2 - Inspiration: Voice in food, kitchen essentials, style and design - some of these are so trendy I am completely out of it.
Textures and tones in kitchens - in other words a move away from white, white, white. Well my son is a builder and I have noticed, that his latest kitchens, although largely white, very definitely have bits of black and wood in there as well. Not the brilliant red white and blue that we had in our 70s kitchen though! Texture - well I suppose the wood is a texture and granite bench tops too.
Home made gin - apparently you can get home-made gin kits, although even with COVID lockdowns I have not heard of a lot of people making their own gin. Gin is definitely big though.
Munchies TV - this is from VICE and therefore very American. Here is a screenshot of their current front page selection of videos. Nathan Sasi of Nomad who recommended this as a trend said it was "a tongue-in-cheek perspective on chefs and their kitchens." It still exists so it must be successful. Oh I'm so old.
Sylvia Colloca - one of those people who can do everything - opera singer I believe, maybe also an actress, married to Richard Roxburgh, beautiful and now a celebrity cook with a winning manner. This one was a bit of delicious. promotion because she had just joined their team of contributors. I don't think she is a regular any more. Maybe they weren't paying her enough. Click on her name and you will be taken to her own blog. It's not fair that one person should have all those gifts is it?
Yotam Ottolenghi - Very much still going strong, still selling massive quantities of books and shaking us all up. This is his latest - out now and cheapest at Woolworths. The description is: "The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team takes you on a journey through your kitchen cupboards, creating inspired recipes using humble ingredients. Relaxed, flexible home cooking"
Maybe and not very Ottolenghi sounding - but I was a bit unimpressed by his last one. Maybe this is a reaction. Lots of people might have thought there was too much chilli in Flavour. Anyway the man is a phenomenon and shows no evidence of disappearing from view. We haven't yet had anyone of similar fame since.
Home-made fish smokers
Warren Mendes, the delicious. food editor after the death of Valli Little, and her deputy beforehand. nominated his home-made fish smoker, which I thought was a bit poncey until I found this video from Jamie. You have just got to watch it. It's sort of why I love him. I used to talk like that when I was a child. I come from Essex too.
You can, of course, buy one - Aldi will probably have one one day. Or just buy smoked fish in the supermarket. It's divine. Is it a trend? I don't know, but smoking your own fish fits in with the do-it-yourself time of COVID. This is my top pick of the lot. Because of Jamie.
Modern Farmer magazine
I think this is American. Chef Matt Wilkinson chose it because: "It inspires me to focus on the seasons and producers, and understand about how things grow and how I can make tastier food."
It looks a little bit like The New Scientist for farmers and those who are interested in food production.
Corn is the new pineapple - now what does that mean? I mean pineapple has been around for ever and so has pineapple. The proposer - Megan Morton - whoever she is did not explain. Yes corn is good. Corn is available. Corn is very adaptable.
Molly Yeh - Jill Dupleix again who was recommending Molly Yeh's blog, which I checked out but seems to be dead - nothing since the beginning of 2021. She is however the host of a show called Girl meets Farm on the Food Network, which I think she still does. But the blog is dead.
Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton - This was an upcoming book recommendation. American again. Prune is the name of a restaurant in New York, Gabrielle Hamilton, the chef. I'm not aware of this being a super big name over here as some American chefs are.
The Whole Pantry - this is an app rather than a blog from Belle Gibson - and I've just discovered that this is the lady that scammed everyone by claiming to have had brain cancer. Relevant because the app was a health and wellness app. Wikipedia describes her as "an Australian convicted scammer and pseudoscience advocate." She was taken to court, had hefty fines and still hasn't paid some of them. Christine Manfield recommended this. Black mark Christine, and delicious. but then I guess a whole lot of people were taken in. Very, very dodgy. They got that one wrong. Well maybe they just predicted a whole lot of other dodgy people - Pete Evans anyone?
Interesting. Two very different worlds really - the eat and drink and the inspiration ones. I wonder what they will be predicting for 2022. Must buy the November issue to compare.