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Sustainable everything, zero waste, seasonal and local, vegan, turmeric latte, ghee — you’ve seen more trends than ever before in recent years. And if there is one thing that continues into the new decade, it is this—a buzzing food space. So, prepare yourself for the food trends of 2020 that match step with our anything-is-possible generation. Here’s a forecast.

Flexitarianiasm

food trends of 2020

Vegetarian? Non-Vegetarian? Pescatarian? Vegan? You don’t have to tick a box anymore. Simply go for the new and increasingly accepted diet choice—flexitarianism. As the name suggests, it’s when you’re flexible in terms of what you eat. Need that cheese to fight Monday blues? Go ahead. All vegan on Tuesday—why not? Looking at a Seafood Sunday? Sure thing! Well, it needn’t change every day, but if you are someone who changes their eating preferences often, you won’t have to deal so much with raised eyebrows. Also, flexitarianism is perfect for certain situations, like going vegan but need a meat for health reasons, or are travelling and can’t strictly follow your diet, etc.

Indian food rules the roost (tandoor)

Valentine's Day idea. Asmas Indian Kitchen.
Hyderabadi Tamatar Ka Cut by Asma Khan

Gaggan Anand and his international techniques. Asma Khan and her traditional Indian cooking style. Sure, Indian food has been on the map, but now it is gaining momentum like never before. People around the world are taking to trying (and loving) the country’s cuisines in their true form. So expect a lot more Indian restaurants to come up across the globe, as well as an influx of travellers who want a taste of Indian cuisine in its home.

Regional cuisine

searock delhi
Pomfret (Manji) Tawa Fry at Sea Rock Delhi

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — regional cuisine is here to stay. Be it Indian or international, specific regions are getting their time under the Sun, and what it means for you is authenticity and culinary craft at its best. So, you don’t have Italian now — there’s Napoli, Tuscan, or Emilia Romagna to choose from. You don’t have Spanish — it’s Catalan or Valencian. Closer home, there’s Kashmiri, Manipuri, Konkani, Gujarati. Being bored with food options cannot be an excuse anymore.

Corn

Yes, corn. Just that. If 2019 was the year of the cauliflower, 2020 is predicted to be the year of the corn. It’s sliding into menus gradually, and seems like is taking leave no time soon. Apart from becoming a popular alternative flour, dishes like polenta will be mainstays in restaurants in the coming year.

Water

food trends of 2020

So, when did water become a trend? When the need to maintain its nutrients became a talking point. It has been increasingly said that filtration at home or outside strips water of all natural minerals and nutrients, thereby resulting in intake of a liquid that quenches the thirst but does nothing for the health. It is suggested to go for bottled water brands that keep the natural qualities of the water intact and maintain the ideal pH balance, which is good for health. That’s a tune that’ll be sung a lot more this year.

Fresh breads

food trends of 2020

Move over the plastic-packed, bulk-produced loaves. India’s taking to loving fresh bread, hot out of the oven, hand-made, and artisanal. Sourdough is one of the top choices, with niche bakeries cropping up across the country and frequent workshops for it as well. Not just home bakers dedicated to making good quality breads, cafes and restaurants in the cities have too started retailing fresh loaves. So if you love your carbs (who doesn’t), why not make it an unprocessed, healthier version that’s crafted with care?

Healthy snacks

food trends of 2020

The health wave isn’t going away anytime soon. And healthy, packaged snacks is a trend that’s set to pick up pace. Foxnuts have been game-changers in recent times — roasted, spiced, or on their own, they’ve cracked the code for a fun, tasty, yet healthy snack. What’s set to join the bandwagon are dehydrated chips (mango, beetroot, kale); rice puff and sesame bars; chickpea puffs, and so on.

Environment first

The cause of caring for the environment is thankfully gaining strength each day. Another continued trend, this year is big on removing single-use plastics, bringing your own cups or boxes for takeaways or groceries, mindful sourcing of meats and plants, and favouring local, seasonal, and artisanal over mass-produced.

Ube

Image: Courtesy B Sweet Instagram

The days of unicorn-everything and charcoal treats have passed. The new shade to lookout for it ube, a purple sweet potato that lends that colour to any dish you add it to. Originally from the Philippines, it is smooth in texture and carries a mild sweet flavour. Ube has been added to ice creams, doughnuts, macarons, brownies, and even cocktails. And it won’t be too long where you’ll be clicking your own ube dish to post on Instagram.

No sugar

food trends of 2020

At least no artificial sugar. Kitchens as well as diners are looking at more holistic eating experiences, and that means including natural sugars into the food while eliminating processed varieties. Whether it’s from fruits, jaggery, sugarcane syrup, or honey, expect healthier forms of sweetness in your food now on.

Megha Uppal
Associate Editor
An innate love for travel and food has translated into many a trips since childhood for Megha; it also fed her curiosity to know about local cultures. When not writing, she is on the lookout for three things: A great dark chocolate dessert, a beautiful pool where she can practice her backstroke, and art that she can save up for.