Avocado has retained its glory. Plastic straws are out. Hyper-local food has arrived. As 2018 draws to a close, so does the reign of the food movements it saw. It’s time to welcome a new drift across the F&B landscape. Here are the top seven food trends that are set to dominate India’s food scene the new year.
Zero Waste movement, employment for local community, chemical-free foods. With an eco-friendly wave taking over the food industry every few months, 2019 is going to be the year where sustainability is at the core of how food is approached. From fair trade to proper disposal of food waste to portion control for conscious consumption of food, next year will be pro-earth and pro-community.
Indian regional cuisines have been picking pace for a while now. Dedicated restaurants for food from all over the country — Karnataka, Bihar, Bengal, Kashmir, Goa, and more — have sprung up. It’s time to take the next step. Enter pan-Indian menus. The new thing for 2019 will be restaurants serving traditional dishes with their own twists from all corners of the country. Masala Dosa next to Rogan Josh? Why not!
Citrus deserts have been gaining momentum, and this year not only will those multiply, but make way for sour flavours in mainstream foods too. Other than lemons and oranges, pomegranate, rhubarb, and tamarind are increasingly becoming the popular ingredients to be used across dishes.
So long, plastics
With plastic straws nearing the stage of complete elimination from F&B establishments, 2019 is ready to further this war on plastic. Guests are actively being encouraged to bring their own glasses (and even cutlery in some cases — for those who’re happy to carry it) to restaurants and bars. Even packaging for take-aways and delivery modes will turn towards more green options such as recycled paper over plastic containers.
Move over the Norwegian salmon and French caviar, Indian chefs have turned their eye to indigenous ingredients. Backed with the knowledge that eating what’s grown where you live proves best for you, not to forget the freshness that comes with local produce, the spotlight is on Indian foods. As the men in white take special foraging trips to bring the best of India’s flavours to your plate, expect to see a lot of sea buckthorn from Leh and crabs from Kanyakumari.
2019 will see not just alcohol and mixers put together in your glass, but cocktails with a story to tell. Be it a region, an ingredient, or a memory, cocktail menus will carry a theme, with all the drinks linking back to it. A hooch-forward F&B culture means resto-bars happily creating fatter drinks menus than the food menus. As hiring bar consultants to set it up becomes common practice, expect innovative cocktails to lead the way in dining next year.
In view of above-mentioned terms such as sustainable, local, fresh, making everything in-house is only a natural extension. Chefs and restaurants have now taken to prepare each single item themselves from scratch. So whether it is the bread basket, crisps, salsa or mayo, or the plum gel accompanying duck strips, know that you’ll be relishing freshly made, unpreserved foods.