The New Year is a time to learn from the past and look forward to the future…so we bring you six trends in the world of food that we think will prosper over the course of this year.
A Scandinavian invasion - following the success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Franchise and the TV series The Killing, high streets are expected to reflect a Scandinavian feel. It all began with flatpack furniture and meatballs, but our taste for Scandinavian style has evolved, and IKEA is soon to be a distant memory amidst all the new influences hitting our high streets.
The number of Scandinavian and Baltic products being sold in the West End has increased fourfold in the last year. John Lewis Oxford Street added 38 new Scandinavian brands to their food hall in January 2011 alone.
Pizzas tend to be associated with Italian-themed chain restaurants on the one hand and American-style takeaways on the other, but all this is set to change this year. Thanks to Jamie Oliver's Union Jacks concept, pizzas are now faithfully British, which finally makes them acceptable pub food. With the big breweries looking to take a larger bite out of the Italian chains' market share expect to see a new breed of 'pizza pub' opening soon near you.
2012 will see the rise of restaurants and shops offering gourmet experiences from singular food types. Burger joints have been around for decades but in recent years the market for gourmet burgers as grown (Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Byron) Watch out for the emergence of other gourmet food types this year. Already we are seeing exclusive sausage butchers (Biggles in Marylebone), gourmet pie restaurants (Putney Pies), gourmet steak restaurants (Popeseye) – what’s next to go gourmet?
Savoury ice cream hits America
Would you like to cap off your meal with some garlic gelato, shrimp sherbet or rosemary ice cream? Shops like Scoops in Los Angeles and Max & Mina’s in New York City are reinventing ice cream and introducing new savoury tastes to diners with sweet teeth. Brown bread, Gorgonzola, lobster, grass, wasabi, balsamic vinaigrette, goat cheese, or cheddar – you can have it as dessert or dinner itself.
Black Sesame Ice Cream
Ever searching for the next new flavour, chefs have introduced a wide variety of flora into their meals to give their clientele a new taste adventure. Hay, moss, pine and juniper have sprung up as flavourings on restaurant menus around the world, stimulated by the rising popularity of Nordic food and echoing the foraging trend.
Inspired from abroad, made in Britain
With locally sourced food now a table stake, restaurants will continue to look for home-grown alternatives to foreign imports this year.
British air-dried hams - such as those from producers Oxprings in Worcestershire and Deli Farm Charcuterie in Cornwall - can hold their own against Italian Parma ham and prosciutto. Food critics predict British coppa, pancetta and prosciutto will form part of the soon-to-be-ubiquitous all-English charcuterie board this year.
What about our favourite tipple, Champagne? Would we dare to beat the French at their own game? For the second year in a row, Camel Valley in Cornwall won the International Sparkling Rosé Trophy, for its Pinot Noir Rosé 2009…and the first English sparkling wine made by a French champagne maker, Meonhill is about to go on sale. So keep your eyes open…