Food Trends 2018 – Year in Review

Well, 2018 was something, wasn’t it? And I’m honestly not sure it was a good or a bad one. The fun thing about history is that you only really get the sense of whether a year was a good one until ages later. Historians uncork the metaphorical wine years after we live through it. They get to judge our successes and/or failures with the benefit of hindsight, grace and a ton of other things we dont get to use, without the metaphorical alcohol to soothe the judgement. What will history judge us for? The shitshow of American politics? The horrors of war and ecological destruction? Or maybe something happier – our embracing of LGBT youth, the marches against political bufoonery. 

Being an idiot, I dont worry myself with being a chronicler of our age. I prefer to point and laugh, because honestly its all I’m good for and also PEOPLE ARE FUCKING HILARIOUS. And nowhere are they funnier than in the world of food, because humans went way past providing adequate nutrition for ourselves ages ago and started FANCYING IT UP for no apparent reason. Sometimes, however, we should pause and take stock, and look back on the hilarity. Having spent a considerable amount of time looking at food trends, I decided it was high time to waltz down memory lane and see whether last years soothsayers were truly looking into the crystal ball of the future or ingesting the CBD oil I’m assured is going to be ALL THE RAGE in 2019. So here, I present the joyful matter of whether or not I got it right in judgement of last years trends. HERE WE GO!!!

Bleeding Food

The Beyond Burger, Impossible Burger (presumably followed by the Unlikely cutlet and Unexpected Sausage and other plant-based pals) turned up with a vengeance this year, with appearances from Tokyo to Tunbridge Wells and every man and his dog vlogging excitedly about the results. All in all, its a good time to be a person looking to reduce or suspend their meat consumption and I’m here for it! I’m yet to try the results, but note that the Beyond Burger and friends, for all the fans, appears to be…. A veggie burger. Ah. Well, its a good veggie burger. Lets see what more the boffins have yet to produce. A slightly oozy quorn cutlet? A Linda McCartney Kiev with a bit of extra juice? I’m a supportive gal but in the last 12 months I’ve suddenly asked myself a critical question – is it REALLY a big deal? 

Last years Lewishambles trendometer rating: 4/5 (I’d like to see this in the wild and think it has a real chance of moving mainstream)

This years assessment: I think I’m bang on with this one. Interesting to see if there will be a sequel. At the moment it feels like an expensive gimmick. 

The Fashionable Ferments

This was a sure-fire, nailed-on super trend for 2017. And last year. And this year. And probably for 2020 as well. The foodologists are DESPERATE for this to be a thing. Myself, I’ve a little insight here having moved to a country where sauerkraut is a real genuine everyday food. In Germany, the world of pickles is a bit more common than in the UK, where the nearest most of us will ever get to pickles on the dinner table is the murky bottle of eggs sadly cluttering the shelf of the local chippy. 

Delicious Korean tteokbokki (fried rice cakes) with Kimchi – my favourite sort of ferment

And I’m sort of sad to report that its still a trend which is ever more prevalent in the restaurant world than it is at home, which is baffling because honestly fermented food is super-tasty and a damn good way of avoiding food waste. That’s not to say it isn’t popular or not growing in popularity. I myself have been nurturing a baby kefir thingy ever since a diagnosis of IBS earlier in the year (oh yes, I get ALL the sexy afflictions). It’s just that to qualify as a TREND, it needs to be something I see as more than just the preserve of restauranteurs and food geeks. Basically, has my mum tried it? Or any of her pals? Is it becoming a matter for the weekly church coffee morning? The answer, my friends, unlike veganism and cranberries, this one has struggled to move up the agenda. However, the groundswell of murmurings in the foodie world mean this one is only a matter of time, in my opinion. 

Last years Lewishambles trendometer rating: 3/5 (food elitists will tell you that everyone is doing it, but – spoiler! – they won’t be).

This years assessment: I’m going to say I got this one half right. In the world of foodies, fermenting is definitely having a MOMENT, but its yet to breach the mainstream. The moment Holly Willoughby does it on Good Morning, its all over. 

Fancy-ass Tea

The tea cabinet at the Kurrara Guest House in NSW, Australia. Note how despite the selection on offer I have gravitated inexorably to the One True Tea – Yorkshire.

Last year, we were told “it’s time to make our tea fancy”. My response? “Oh goody. I can’t wait to be patronised about the choice of all my fucking hot beverages in the future.” The realiTEA? We’re okay people, they left the tea alone. Thank the LORD! 

Last years Lewishambles trendometer rating: 3/5 (probably it will happen but also it will be terrible).

This years assessment: I am delighted to tell you I got this 100% wrong.  

”Functional Mushrooms”

I can’t even bring myself to pick over this trash. Suffice it to say thank god mushroom coffee is not a thing. 

Last years Lewishambles trendometer rating: 1/5 (if this does become a trend I will probably set something on fire)

This years assessment: I am delighted to tell you I got this 100% right.  

Timut Pepper

Fancy tingly-mouth pepper, hailed as a trend for last year and then NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN. 

Last years Lewishambles trendometer rating: 2/5 (Guys if you really care about pepper that’s cool but I really don’t think this is the next dried cranberries, people)

This years assessment: Honestly I should have given this 1/5. 

Pandan Leaf

GREEN SNACKS OF JOY

This wounds me. I was PROMISED my neon-green dream snacks. 

Last years Lewishambles trendometer rating: 4/5 (I’m willing this to happen if only cos I want my pandan ice cream fix and I want it NOW thankyouverymuch)

This years assessment: I’m so sad I dont have my pandan ice cream!! WHY!?!?! I’m wrong 100% and I’m so so sorry that I am. 

The New new Wellness – Veganism and alcohol-free cocktails

Look mum, no dairy!
Healthier than pizza, but hitting all the right spots
This stuff is so magical. It‘s basically restorative. I can eat it on toast with eggs, on it‘s own with bread, hot on rice, cold in front of the fridge… the list goes on.
So delicious it should be a crime. I should note that you can switch this up with paneer, tofu, sweet potato, cauliflower – you name it. It‘s also easily VEGANISED using an almond-based rahmspinat pack or by using plain chopped spinach with some almond milk added at the end

Everyone is a vegan, a veggie, a palegan, a vego-keto-ist or flexitarian. And people are drinking less than ever and being SUPER irritating about saying how irritating it is when people try to make them drink. his is the new normal. But I point-blank refuse to say that the food seers got this right. You cannot OBSERVE a thing happening, say it is a TREND FOR NEXT YEAR then expect GIANT congratulations for being so OBVIOUSLY FUCKING CORRECT. God damn, people, be more humble. 

Excuse me while I have a giant bowl of lentils to celebrate my soothsayer abilities. 

Last years Lewishambles trendometer rating 5/5 (it’s a new movement, people. I’m just not sure if it’s a trend…)

This years assessment: CROWN YOUR QUEEN OF ALL KNOWLEDGE NOW 

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