Goth food and root-to-stem cooking among the top food trends for 2018

Forget all that unicorn stuff, I guess.

click to enlarge This black bun burger qualifies as goth food, right? - Pixabay
This black bun burger qualifies as goth food, right?

Apparently, 2018 is the year of goth food, root-to-stem cooking and alternative sweeteners. That’s according to predictions from the Specialty Food Association’s Trendspotter Panel, which has already called next year’s hottest food trends.

The New York-based nonprofit trade association is made up of 3,500 food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. Here’s a quick look at the top 10 fads in their forecast:

• More plant-based foods.

• Upcycled products. With the growing appeal of ugly produce and spent brewers’ grain, goods that repurpose typically-thrown-away ingredients will rise in popularity.

• Filipino cuisine.

• Goth food. The Bricks knew about this one before it was cool, as evidenced by those Halloween-themed Goth Brunches in Ybor City last month. But, seriously — expect to see the spread of activated charcoal, which helps eats like pizza crust and ice cream (South Tampa’s Dough has used the ingredient for one of its frozen flavors) get their gothic edge. So, yeah, forget all that unicorn stuff, I guess.

• Alt-sweeteners. “Syrups made from dates, sorghum, and even yacón and sun root will join monk fruit on the market as emerging options for sweet,” says the panel.

• Product labeling 2.0.

• Root-to-stem cooking. Start using every part of those fruits and veggies, will ya?

• Cannabis cuisine. At this point, an increase in pot-infused bites and beverages seems inevitable.

 A (deeper) feast from the Middle East. Eaters will explore Persian, Israeli, Moroccan and additional Middle Eastern cultures with their forks, venturing beyond hummus and falafel.

 Traditional bread. Sorry, gluten-free peeps. The panel envisions more bakers using local grains and milling the day before baking, among other things, to reinvent “what good bread means.”

What else to watch for? More cricket flour and grain-free sustainable proteins; fermented foods; at-home cocktail mixers and bitters; savory flavors subbing for sweet; bananas transformed into milks, snacks and all sorts of grub; collagen-enhanced foods; and mushrooms in non-mushroom places — such as your morning latte.

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