2019 What Does It Have In Store
As we make our way into 2019, you may wonder what the culinary industry had in store for us. I had the opportunity to talk to gourmet shoppers about what they are interested in, what cook books are they reading, what techniques would they like to learn along with other things that interest them regarding food. There were a few themes that repeatedly surfaced that lead to my trend predictions for 2019.
What Chef is the current biggest influencer?
Yotum Ottolenghi, without a doubt!
His latest cookbook Simple sold out so fast that it took publishers off guard and now it is in it’s second printing that won’t be available till the end of February or beginning of March. His recipes lean toward his Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean heritage and the ingredients that have been more then a mystery to many of us. The 10 most used ingredients used in his recipes may be a challenge to find, but most can be bought in Canada from The Gourmet Warehouse.
Tahini: Sesame Seed paste that every grocery store provides. Great in marinades, sauces and of course hummus.
Preserved Lemon: Lemons preserved in a salt brine that adds a pop of citrus to your recipe. Great in a beetroot salad
Ground cardamom: This seed is roasted in many Indian spice blends and lately in holiday cookies. It brings out a fantastic aroma in both sweet and savoury dishes. Use caution and start with less as it can become overwhelming.
Dried Barberries: This bush grows wild in Europe and West Asia that has a sharp flavour and very high in Vitamin C. They are very frequently used in Iran. They are used in Persian rice and Russian Jams.
Urfa Chilli Flakes:Also known as Isot pepper from the Urfa region of Turkey. It has notes of raisin, chocolate and pipe tobacco as well as some heat. Great on eggs, avocado and cheese.
Sumac: Widely grown worldwide but mainly used in Middle Eastern recipes. It is slightly tart with a slight lemon taste. If you have an allergy to mango, you may have the same reaction to Sumac. Can be used for both savoury or sweet.
Za’atar: A powder made from ground Za’atar leaves, sesame seeds, sumac and salt. Great on fish, meat and vegetables.
Rose Harissa: The difference with regular harissa and rose harissa is that rose petals are added to the chilli paste made from massive amount of different herbs and spices. I think there are more them 40 ingredients . The rose addition adds a bit of sweetness and tones down the chilli.
Pomegranate Molasses: This is an ingredient you can make yourself by reducing pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add to stews, marinades and sauces.
Black Garlic: This is fresh garlic that has been fermented over a long period till it turns black and instead of being harsh and giving you smelly breath, it is sweet, mellow and has an umami quality.
Speaking of Black Garlic, another cookbook that is changing the way we think is The Noma Guide to Fermentation. The 20-45 population are interested in learning and eating foods that are transformed from summer fresh to something completely different in the winter. A transformation that some of our ancestors used to survive, a return to a healthier and simpler lifestyle. How to make your own black garlic is demonstrated in this book.
Eating in or out
Recently there has been increasing talk about automation taking over our lives including up to 40% of the jobs in the culinary industry. This includes chefs and waite staff. This would be a travesty as I go to a restaurant for the interaction and experience as well as the food. If this is a prediction that comes to pass then I would make a counter prediction that people will eat at home more often then not.
Don’t throw it away
We need to dig deep and make a concerted effort to be less wasteful. It didn’t take too long for us to get into the habit of taking our own reusable bags to the grocer but what we still need to remember is not to pick up small plastic bags next to the potato bin and pop them in a bag. Although it may be convenient for us to wrangle them in a bag, we ultimately toss the bag out the moment we get home.
With the sharp increase in the prices of produce, why is it that we will only pick up the most perfect produce. Producers are increasing the prices because they may have to destroy the eggplant that looks like a ugly instead of an giant pear. Doesn’t it still taste the same? Zero-waste should be on all our minds.
Oil or Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar has become a staple in our homes but many people are still baffled at what olive oil to buy. In the past people believed that cooking with olive oil was good for you. The benefit you get from cooking with olive oil is the flavour as increased heat diminishes some of the antioxidants and Vitamin E also the smoke point is 350-400 degrees. With that said, smart cooks are looking to all the options they have with olive oils. Our knowledge of all kinds of oils will definitely increase this year because we are curious and care about our well being.
The flavours of olive oils from different countries and regions within the country will give you years of pleasure finding and utilizing them in your recipes. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample of an olive oil to taste in a reputable gourmet store like Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver or The Spice Trader and The Olive Pit in Toronto. An oil might be described as spicy, but it doesn’t have a pepper additive, it is the polyphenols in the oil that can cause a cough or tingling in the throat. These polyphenols are an antioxidant that may fight against aging- related diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol and certain types of cancers.
Where in the World?
At the beginning f this article I mentioned the influence Ottolenghi is having on our tastebuds. Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and South American food are starting to build and become mainstream. These countries will continue to grow as well as Philippine cuisine trying to take a step up. Seeds and spices are finding a new place in our eating. Up until now, nut butters like peanut, almond, pistachio and hazelnuts have been spread over all our meals. Seeds have been growing in popularity to replace these staples.
We are increasingly wanting more spice in our life as it evokes an exotic picture. If we can’t travel to some far flung places, let’s use spices in our recipes to act as a boarding pass for an outstanding adventure.
These are just a few of my observations for 2019 so Happy New Year, enjoy!!
“The only time to eat diet food is while you are waiting for the steak to cook”