Let me know if you have any predictions of your own.
This is already turning into THE snack to be seen munching. From Cheddar and paprika to freeze dried strawberry, designer popcorn is popping up (sorry) everywhere. Expect something more than your Friday night cinema snack.
Fermented vegetables have long been a staple in Asian countries, but the Western world is beginning to warm to these spicy strong flavoured dishes.
Cocktails are having a bit of a revival and none more so than those created with British spirits. Chase Distillery have been producing potato Vodka in Herefordshire since 2008 (their Marmalade Vodka is interesting but delicious). As for Gin, seek out a bottle from Sipsmith. These guys also produce Vodka but their Gin is something else. Be on the look out for more British made spirits on your local bars’ cocktail menu and support the British industry.
Championed by the Meringue Girls, I think meringues are going to be a big thing this year, but in little sizes. Bite sized and airy in texture, and coming in a variety of flavours (Matcha green tea meringue anyone?) these little pillows of delight are more than likely going to be gracing the modern afternoon tea.
Vegetables are going to be taking the starring role in our mains. With people taking up the ‘Meatless Mondays’ idea, becoming more health conscious, and environmentally conscious too, be prepared for veggies to be the main focus of meals to come. Raw veg will also be having a revival in 2013.
Street food, pop-ups and food battles
At the end of 2012 we were seeing more and more food trucks on the streets of London. Allowing you to travel the world via your lunch choice, embrace these as your packed lunch alternative because they won’t be going anywhere this year.
Pop-ups struggled to take off last year, but expect better things for 2013. Fortnum and Mason are opening a pop-up bakery, called The Fortnum and Mason British Bakery featuring bakers such as Paul Hollywood and Edd Kimber of The Great British Bake Off fame (Edd’s bakery will be there 11th -24th Feb). If Edd’s tweets are anything to go by, we should be seeing F&M themed Battenberg (green & gold) and perhaps some gold dusted macaroons too.
Food battles are the perfect excuse to stuff yourself silly in pursuit of the perfect burger/ribs/chili etc. Gizzi Erskine took part in a chili battle last year, and even comedian Jack Whitehall spent an afternoon searching for his perfect burger. Follow @Tweat_Up for news of the next one.
Long a favourite of the British for accompanying their Roast Beef, smoked fish and beetroot, this powerful root is going to be flavouring a lot over the coming year. Forget the creamy supermarket versions, this will be raw and invigorating.
Bread was always that slightly stale stuff that lingered in a wicker basket passed from table to table with no one interested, but that’s all in the past. Expect to see more inventive bread being offered, not just the usual sun-dried tomato or rosemary foccacia and not just in restaurants, look out for independant bakeries styling up their own versions too.
Difficult to pronounce grains are on the up. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) and Freekah (pronounced free-ka) are becoming the basis for more and more salads, as our appetite for Eastern flavours flourishes. Yotam Ottolenghi has been championing these grains for a while now (look out for his Braised Artichokes with Freekah and herbs – delish). Try replacing rice and pasta with these grains for a lighter less carby option.
Whilst smoking food isn’t exactly a new thing, expect to see more of it around. With smoke houses getting more adventurous about what they smoke. Smoked olives, prawns, garlic and Stilton along with the traditional meats and fish will creep their way onto artisan menus and perhaps even some of the desserts will get the treatment too?
Think big with flavour this year. Elk, Bison, Pheasant and Partridge are all going to be featured on restaurant menus, and not just traditionally cooked either. Dried and cured meats are going to be big too, perhaps with more exotic meats becoming standard fare (think South African Biltong).