Candlelight dinner in a romantic restaurant, picnic in the park, a home-cooked meal or a quick bite to go from the snack stall around the corner–food dictates our life.
Not only is it essential to survive, it also ranks high among our favorite pastimes: there is hardly anything more satisfying than sharing a nice meal with family and friends. On social media platform Instagram, photos of carefully curated dishes can garner thousands of Likes and short videos of easy-to-make yet delicious recipes are happily circulating on YouTube and Facebook.
Established in 2005, the UK-based global food trends and ideas agency “thefoodpeople” reports and predicts global food trends. According to the agency’s latest report, here are some trends we can expect to see in the F&B industry in 2016-2017. Some seem to be a backlash of the predominantly health-conscious food consumption of recent years, while others still favor a balanced diet.
This might sound silly yet at the same time makes a lot of sense. If the food comes in a bowl, it immediately radiates a sense of simplicity and comfort. Think of all the times you were sick as a child and your mother brought a bowl of hot chicken broth to your bed to spoon-feed you. The comfort lies in the shape, not the ingredients. In addition, eating your food from a bowl is also very practical, especially when at home: you can stretch out on the couch in front of the TV and don’t have to worry too much about spilling everything on the new cushion covers.
The Japanese Superstaple: Seaweed
The high life expectancy of Japanese people is largely owed to their national diet. One of the staples of Japanese cuisine is seaweed. Filled with antioxidants, calcium, a broad range of vitamins and -its greatest benefit- iodine, seaweed shouldn’t be missing from any shopping list. Although most of us know seaweed from being wrapped around sushi, seaweed is also used in salads, soups or simply as garnish for Japanese dishes.
The Rise of Filipino Cuisine
Filipino Cuisine is inextricably linked with the country’s history. Often overlooked and underrated, food from the Philippines is predicted to be the next big thing when it comes to global food trends. Strongly influenced by the Spanish who controlled the Philippines until 1898, the Chinese whose first wave of immigrants arrived on Philippine shores in the 16th
century, as well as the Americans who stayed in the country until independence in 1946, Filipino Cuisine is an eclectic mix of strong and bold flavours. The “national dish” of the Philippines is Adobo, which is not only the name of the dish, but also of the cooking process that sees meat, seafood or vegetables marinated, browned in oil and simmered in the marinade.
The Return of the Fat
When the health-conscious hear the word “fat”, alarm bells begin to shrill. In order to maintain a slim and healthy-looking figure, fat naturally becomes a threat to the whole diet. But more and more people have cried for the return of the fat: they put the butter back on the bread, use an abundance of avocados in their salads and other dishes and munch on a bag of nuts as a snack in front of the TV. If we stay true to the old saying, everything in moderation, a little fat definitely won’t hurt us, especially given that it provides energy and improves brain function.
The Thrill of the Extreme
Adrenaline junkies are always looking for a rush of excitement, the thrilling feeling of doing something potentially dangerous. Foodies are bound to do the same: we are not only talking about trying “extreme food” like bugs and bats on a stick, but “extreme indulgence” that sees dishes turn from ordinary into over-the-top. Imagine a strawberry and vanilla milkshake served with a chocolate-frosted donut on top, or a plate of french fries garnished with four different kinds of melted cheese and bits and pieces of meat. Now that’s extreme!
Sophistication Sans Alcohol
More and more diners refrain from drinking alcohol, and even those who can’t resist temptation, order more moderately these days: perhaps a glass of wine to go with the main course, but digestif? No, thank you. But what to drink instead? This opens up a whole world of possibilities: the non-alcohol-consuming diners still want to look sophisticated even though they don’t take occasional sips from a glass of Manhattan or Mojito anymore. A soda or a glass of water won’t cut it, hence the emergence of new creations of unique mocktails, shakes and juices.
Bring It Home
Many of us lead a hectic life, as we juggle work and family at the same time and try to squeeze in some extra time for our friends and favorite pastimes, which leaves hardly enough room to breathe, relax and unwind. Thanks to the ever-growing array of food-related apps, we can now order our favorite dishes to be delivered to our front door with just one touch on our phone screens. In Jakarta especially, services like Go-Food and GrabFood cater to our urge to avoid being stuck in traffic but still be able to indulge in culinary treasures in the comfort of our own home.