Photo Credit: moriza
With 2013 speeding past and new culinary venutres springing up all across the UK, we are in a pretty good place to have a fair idea of what British foodies will be consuming throughout the rest of the year. Let’s take a look at some of the clear trends:
Chicken on the rise
Chicken dinners have long been a quick and affordable form of food, often eaten in lieu of something more expensive and time-consuming. Chicken-only restaurants have been on the rise lately, however, and through 2013 we look set to see a range of surprising new chicken dishes.
This is part of a series of changes in the poultry world, from birds which are raised with more care, to exciting new ways of preparing their meat. Spicy chicken recipes which have been around in America for some time will now be reaching the United Kingdom. London has already seen a rise in chicken focused establishments in the same vein as popular gourmet burger restaurants.
Let’s face it: for generations, far too many people in Britain have treated vegetables as a mere back-up feature to meat and pastry. This is set to change, as fluctuations in food costs and a newfound interest in healthy eating will put some most unusual vegetables on the map.
Flavour is the key here, so everyday vegetables with a strong taste – the Brussels sprout, for example – will come into their own. Joining them will be more exotic ingredients such as the horseradish, which is currently a trend in and of itself: many eateries have recently discovered the wide range of sauces and garnish which can be made from it.
Ramen is another convenience food favourite, appreciated by takeaway-goers for years, which will reach a new audience of foodies as it becomes a major culinary trend of 2013. At its heart ramen is, after all, a simple dish of noodle soup; there is plenty of room for innovation and experimentation. How about some Mexican-infused ramen to spice things up? If you prefer something more authentically Eastern, there is always the Japanese-run Shoryu restaurant in London. Noodle shops represent the best of both worlds – truely fast food but healthy meal options.
Popcorn: not just for cinemas anymore
We have always taken popcorn for granted as something to much on while absorbed in a Hollywood blockbuster. Throughout 2013, however, it looks as though popcorn will be given a cultural re-evaluation and emerge as something far more versatile than most people had previously imagined.
Popcorn has long been available in both sweet and salty varieties, and this is perhaps a key to its success: it can be used in everything from ice cream to savoury cheese dishes. There are even some great recipes for herbal popcorn out there, and Texture, a restaurant in London, serves bacon-flavoured popcorn.
An added benefit is that, as a wholegrain, popcorn lends itself to health food.
Alcohol in desserts
Alcohol and sweet foods go together brilliantly: just look at the longstanding popularity of brandy butter, chocolate liqueurs and countless other foodstuffs. In 2013, it looks as though the floodgates will open as whiskeys, beers and cocktails are poured into cakes and puddings across the country.
Just think of the possibilities: Guinness in cupcakes, spirits in marshmallows, even beer-flavoured jelly. If evidence were needed that sweeties aren’t just for the kids anymore, this is it. Alchohol infused desserts have already seen their way into a variety of London’s top venues – from michelin starred restaurants to 5 star luxury hotel kitchens.
Predicting nationwide food trends is an almost impossible job, but real change in the wind can usually be detected. Even if the trends above turn out to be flashes in the pan, they will likely influence our nation’s approach to food in one way or another. Who knows what 2014 will bring…?
Sources for research:
- License: Creative Commons image source
Hayden is a food afishionado who most commonly blogs about savoury desserts.