Food and Drink Trends 2016 – 2017

Food and Drink Trends

A variety of food and beverage trends have been taking shape and dominating the restaurant industry this year. Some maintain tradition, while others flaunt their cutting-edge boldness and embrace a revolution in cuisine.

Culinary Culture

Mexican food has always been popular across North America, however the general standard leaned towards a more “Tex-Mex” feel. Now, abandoning the pedestrian, authenticity in the kitchen is prized, as traditional Mexican dishes actually offer healthier options than fast food restaurants might have you believe.

Taking a quick trip to the other side of the world, Filipino fare is making its way onto the scene in a big way. Mixing salty, sweet, and tangy, an unparalleled flavour fusion is created by combining aspects of Chinese, Malaysian, and Spanish foods.

Finally, with chefs exploring the multitude of multicultural spices, every meal is sure to have a little kick. Whether it’s a chili blend hailing from Japan, like shichimi-togarashi; or a more sweet-spicy zing from West Africa, such as tsire, experiencing the flavours of the world without leaving home is made simple.

Keep it Green

Keep it Green

Vegetarian dishes are growing swiftly in popularity as health and ethics become a main component of dining preferences. With the versatility of vegetables, some chefs are choosing to forego meat ingredients altogether in favour of demonstrating the potential and allure of a purely plant based meal.

Noting the rising demand for fresh veggies, many chefs are taking a more hands on approach to their produce, whether it be through becoming more directly involved with their suppliers or actually farming the ingredients for their dishes themselves. It’s clear, however, that the best ingredients are key to the perfect menu.

Hey There, Sweetness

Dessert has become a dichotomy of deliciousness, encountering forays into the world of indulgence, and boasting tasty confections that are almost unbelievably healthy.

Though honey was – and still continues to be – a highlight in natural sweet flavouring, bakers and pastry chefs are turning to unique and light alternatives to sugar. Stevia, tree syrups, and natural fruit juices. Additionally, focus is being placed on portion control, so even if you do decide to spoil yourself with a little extra sugar, you’re not overdoing it. Individually sized tarts and pies, shot glass cakes, two-bite brownies, and even cake pops all fit into this perfectly pint-sized category.

On the extreme end of the scale, moderation is simply scoffed at. The deep fryer, that was once home to chocolate bars, is now being visited by cookies. Milkshakes are being adorned with candies, cakes, brownies, or doughnuts (or all of the above). The bubble waffle cone is the new way to wrap ice cream – unless you’re counting ice cream tacos. Served with a regular waffle cone folded much like a Mexican hard taco, it’s topped with anything from candies to syrups. The ice cream sandwich is making a comeback in a unique and delicious way. If it can hold ice cream, it can be a sandwich, whatever your fancy; brownies, cupcakes, doughnuts, and even mini pies!

Drinks and Sweets

Think Drinks

Being responsible is admirable, but it can be annoying when the group’s drinking delicious cocktails and you’re stuck with a plain old pop. Lucky for you, “mocktails” are skyrocketing to notoriety. Old classics are replicated and new creations are imagined, full of flavour, but sans alcohol, so your palate can rejoice.

And if you are down for a drink or two, but find that your libation needs a little more oomph, caffeine is here to save the day. Coffee is the new trend for beverages, creating a vast new territory of refreshment. The many different types of coffee provide a fresh canvas for cocktail creation and the possibilities are endless.


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