A review of food trends for 2020 including updates from restaurants and chefs as well as large grocery store chains highlight a wide range of topics but there are some common themes among all of them.
How and Where Food is Produced
Like past years, the topic of local food is still trending and there is also an emphasis on sustainability. While there is not one specific meaning across all types of foods, the term sustainable suggests that the food is grown or produced in a way that is not draining resources. Those resources might be environmental or social but are often specific to the food product and those who are growing or producing it. If this is an important value to you, learn about the meaning of sustainability in the foods that you choose. Composting is often given as a sustainable option. More places are composting food on a larger scale such as restaurants, grocery stores and entire communities. On an individual level, it is not uncommon for backyard or community gardens to choose to compost.
Refrigerated Snack Packs
Have you noticed the wide variety of refrigerated snack options at the grocery store? There are many options of nuts, fruit and cheese or meat, salads, crackers and pickles. They are convenient for times when people are out and about. Is this a trend that you can replicate in your kitchen? Use those combinations for inspiration to prepare your own snacks in advance!
Green vegetables like Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage are trending. One nice thing about these vegetables is their versatility. Not only can they be prepared in healthy ways they can also be used raw or cooked. Another type of food that has more options than ever before is flour. While wheat flour is still common, there are many alternative flours such as other grains, nuts or vegetables. For whole grains, farro is an ancient grain option becoming popular with chefs. Grains that are popular in other parts of the world and starting to be used more here include fonio, teff and millet.
Foods and recipes from West Africa are becoming more popular in the US. A base for many recipes includes tomatoes, onions and chili peppers. In addition, other common ingredients in West African dishes include peanuts, ginger or lemongrass. Probably one of the biggest challenges with global inspiration is that some of the foods are already available at local restaurants and grocery stores whereas others that are just gaining popularity here might be harder to find.
Try this recipe for African Peanut Soup. While the recipe celebrates food traditions and flavors of West Africa, most of the ingredients are not hard to find in local grocery stores. January is known as national soup month, so this is a delicious way to celebrate. Here’s your invitation to try some new things with food as we enter a new year and decade!