Forget pedestrian avocado toast and, frankly, dull doughnut burgers – according to the experts, 2018 has got some truly strange food trends up its sleeve.
We fully expect to see some of these appear on an Instagram feed near you soon (if they haven’t already), but we can’t say we’re excited to try them for ourselves.
The demand for healthy and plant-based high-protein foods has increased over the last year, and even mainstream businesses like Waitrose are now stepping up to the challenge.
The supermarket recently said that pulses, shoots, grains, seeds, soy and even algae are all becoming popular sources of protein.
Considered a superfood, edible algae is used regularly in Asian cooking, but can also be added to soups, pasta dishes and salads at home – if you can stomach it.
American bakery chain, Mr Holmes, is responsible for this terrifying culinary Frankenstein’s monster – a sesame seed-topped croissant filled with a smoked salmon, wasabi and pickled ginger nori seaweed sushi roll, and served with a sachet of soy sauce on the side.
As much as we love a croissant at breakfast, and are partial to some sushi at lunch time, we’re not sure the two should ever be served together like this.
As commonplace in Japan as the more traditional fish and beef versions, chicken sashimi has now made its way onto western menus.
Thin slices of chicken are cut from the inner breast and seared for 10 seconds, but (as with all sashimi) the strips are still almost completely raw when they are consumed. Needless to say, the risk of salmonella poisoning is high, and we’re not sure it’s worth the risk.
Vegan burgers that bleed
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Impossible Foods have created a completely vegan burger that ‘bleeds’ like rare meat.
Already being served widely across the United States, the Impossible Burger contains only plant-based products like wheat, coconut oil, and potatoes. The secret ‘meaty’ ingredient is heme – a component of haemoglobin (the red pigment in blood) that is also found in many plants.
According to the creators, heme is what makes meat “smell, sizzle, bleed, and taste gloriously meaty.”
Eliminating waste and lowering our impact on the environment is a priority for many foodies today, and, as a result, we’re consuming more of every animal.
Ross Shonhan, founder of Bone Daddies, Shackfuyu and Flesh & Buns in London, told iNews that he predicts a rise in the popularity of offal as a result of this more conscientious approach to eating.
“I think we will see restaurant prices increase as food inflation continues, and this will give rise to some of the unsung heroes of gastronomy, like offal, using more or every part of the animals we raise for food,” said Shonhan. “This will encourage chefs to get more creative with the ‘bits and bobs’ and hopefully encourage customers to eat more of them.”
Charcoal ice cream
Striking to look at, but not the most appetising of sweet treats, charcoal ice cream is made with activated charcoal, which is said to draw toxins out of the body. The intense colour comes from shells of young coconuts. Astoundingly, the ice cream does not contain any artificial colours or dyes. You might still want to brush your teeth after a cone, though.
We’re not talking about edible flowers for decoration, but rather floral flavours – particularly elderflower. Health food supermarket Whole Foods predict that we’ll develop a taste for flower-infused drinks in 2018, including “lavender lattes, hibiscus teas, elderflower cocktails, and ‘rose-flavoured everything.’” We’re not sure it’ll catch on.
While clay face masks have long been popular, ingesting clay is a relatively new phenomenon, and something that may well become more common this year. Bentomite clay is reported to cleanse the body internally, and remove both toxins and parasites. Experts recommend about one teaspoon of clay to water, but the remedy should only be consumed on the advice of a health professional.