Long hours at work, late nights out and the types of cuisine available are just some of the reasons why food is big business in the City. In fact, latest figures from the National Institute for Health Research have found that one in five adults orders a takeaway or eats out at least once a week. With 2017 well under way, here are four of the food fads which have emerged this year and that you are likely to stumble across in the coming months.
1. Including insects in dishes
As we become increasingly aware of our impact on the planet, insects are being advocated as an alternative snack and source of protein. Chefs like Heston Blumenthal have long been fans of these critters as haute cuisine ingredients, and they are certainly starting to make an appearance on menus in the city. You can try grasshoppers on the Southbank as part of Wahaca’s Mexican street food menu, start the day with some Kentish Wood Ants in a bowl of award-winning porridge or even cook your own cricket pasta for dinner.
2. Customising our food
It seems that 2017 is the year of choice. More and more menus are allowing customisation, inviting diners to create their own burgers, choose the ingredients in their bowls of noodles and of course create their ultimate pizza. As well as choosing the type of base, there are now more flavour combinations available than ever before. These include items such as pulled pork, banana peppers and even hazelnut spread. Interestingly though, a recent survey by PromoPony found that 46% of respondents still rated pepperoni as their favourite topping despite the array of ingredients now available. Thus it seems that insects might not be featuring on a deep pan just yet! When it comes to dessert, it is not only the ice cream flavour you need to choose – several kinds of cone as well as toppings are now available to choose from too.
3. Spiralising veggies
When food is not being customised, another increasingly common way to eat it is in ribbon form. Whilst this trend didn’t strictly arise in 2017, it is continuing to be fashionable, with spiralised vegetables providing a lighter alternative to carbohydrate-laden food like spaghetti and noodles. An abundance of recipes available online and in print are evidence of its popularity with inventions including spiralised beetroot with goat cheese, courgetti with mozzarella balls and basil and chicken salad with cucumber noodles. If you fancy having a go at spiralising there are a number of different gadgets for all budgets available to create your own nutritious meals at home.
4. Sharing our food
As well as sharing what’s on our plate, we are also visually sharing our food with others on social media. The most recent BBC Good Food Survey found that 40% of 21- to 30-year-olds have uploaded photos of food that they have made in their kitchen and nearly one-third of them have also posted pictures of meals they’ve eaten out online. Testament to this latest trend are the number of online guides on how to take great food pictures on Instagram.
This means whether you are into insects or like your vegetables spiralised or not, the chances are you’ll be seeing some of these trends on your Facebook page or other social media accounts over the next few months at the very least.
Words: Amy Thorpe