Eat and drink to your heart's content in 2021
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Arguably 2020 has seen the biggest shift in food trends; not only were families forced to cook more and together at home, but many turned to cultivating vegetable gardens for fresh produce.
Sales of seeds skyrocketed around the world and people found a new respect and understanding for the process of 'farm to table'.
Experimentation in the home kitchen also thrived. As most people had more time, cooking became a family affair and was more enjoyable. Some products were harder to access, so one had to be inventive. There was less waste, and one became more conscious of what we were eating.
But, going forward, as we enter a brand new year, celebrity chef Sarah Todd believes we will see an increase in plant-based food and sustainable eating.
"I believe there has been a paradigm shift in eating habits. The last 12 months have instilled a new mindset that will continue in 2021. We will think before we spend, meaning home cooking will continue. farmers’ approach to marketing has matured and customers are now more aware of what is available," she told IANSlife.
Todd added: "Restaurants and cafés have been the hardest hit during the pandemic, which affects farmers, workers and proprietors. People are making a conscious effort to support them by eating out when they can. This will increase as confidence grows."
Chef Vineet Manocha, Vice President Culinary, Lite Bite Foods, feels the year 2020 brought dramatic changes in eating and living habits, with "local being the new sustainable... More and more use of local resources, produce, ingredients and equipment, and a focus on seasonal produce," he added.
Manocha lists a few trends to look out for this year:
Healthy all the way
Health food is totally in and immunity-boosting foods are trending. The focus will be on choosing the ingredients carefully and eating well in the age of dieting. Wholesome and nutritious food which is well balanced as per the principles of Ayurveda will be planned. Food also affects your mental health, and in this age of pandemic anxiety, it's very important that we eat calming, nutritional food.
Heirloom and ancient ingredients
There will be a lot of experimentation on heirloom varieties like ragi, barley, millets, teff and spelt. More and more focus will be on lost ingredients and lost recipes. Home chefs are bringing in a lot of traction on ancient recipes. It's not difficult in India to move back to sustainable heirloom ingredients as we just have to look back two generations.
There is a lot of focus on reviving the old cooking methods, cookware, techniques and recipes. There is a growing appreciation for ghee and cold-pressed seed oils which were used by the ancestors.
Rise of neighbourhood foodpreneurs
With growing awareness and campaigns to "Support Local Businesses", many trained chefs will turn entrepreneurs, providing personalised, customised food solutions to limited customer bases. This is also supported by the demand for "food with a story". Small menus, customised to needs, changing frequently to provide variety, local sustainability, daily subscription to meal kits, unpretentious, dark kitchens, etc, will get a further boost this year.
We are all aware of the threat of food security and rising population. The severity of food wastage is catching up as a trend with the chefs. There will be a growing trend to reduce food wastage as much as possible and develop recipes which can make peels delicious. The trend does not just revolve around blissful food from waste, but also cocktails and beverages using food waste, peels and ingredients like apple pulp, orange peels, etc. Blissful recipes will be a big trend in 2021.