Diners the world over are becoming more curious when it comes to unusual cuisine, with Nation’s Restaurant News noting that foods like squid, pickles, and seaweed are gaining wider popularity, especially when fried. After all, anything crunchy is appealing. However, the penchant for the unusual ranges way beyond specific cooking methods. New ingredients, too, are in, including insect products sold in a host of different formats. If cricket flour, high protein cricket cake or insect bites are your thing, you are on to one of five top trends to try out before the first half of 2019 is over!
The Secret’s in the Scorpion
If you have already tried crunchy insect snacks, deep fried atop your stove to crisp perfection, or you have opted for gluten-free pizza made with a dash of cricket flour, then you know that insects make a perfect savory meal or snack. However, they can make excellent protein-packed desserts as well and if you doubted this, then you must try Eat Crawlers’ delectable salted caramel scorpions, dipped in to-die-for salted caramel chocolate and topped with a delicate sprinkling of sea salt!
Dipping into the Algae Craze
Algae smoothies, protein bars, and chips are gracing the menus and shelves of the world’s trendiest restaurants and supermarkets, but the magic doesn’t end there. Top Michelin-starred restaurants (take three-starred stalwart Aponiente in the south of Spain) are creating veritable masterpieces with algae, many of species of which were hitherto unknown. A few of the most interesting dishes served up at this restaurant include seaweed pudding, plankton cheese, and marine celery. Sounds like an ideal choice for those into fresh, green tastes.
Asian Vegetable and Fruit Frenzy
If you’ve never tried the gooey goodness of okra (or ‘lady’s fingers’), the crisp texture of Chinese lotus roots or the meaty goodness of langka, then it’s time to take your palate on a little adventure. These foods, consumed in abundance in countries like China and the Philippines, boasts quite unique health benefits. Okra, for instance, is rich in Vitamins A, M, C, E, and K, as well as iron, potassium, and calcium. Lotus roots, meanwhile, and rich in Vitamin A and langka is a fabulous source of Vitamin B6.
Feeding Your Gut
Fermented foods such as kimchi and kombucha will be big this year, owing to their high quotient of gut-boosting lactobacilli bacteria. Kimchi works beautifully hot or cold, and is a great side dish to your favorite Korean barbecue. Kombucha, meanwhile, can be home-brewed and enjoyed as tea, or even consumed as a ‘gummy bear style snack’.
Pacific Rim Flavors
To sample the best of the Pacific Rim, look into traditional foods prepared in countries from Asia, Oceania, and the west coast of North and South America). Treats to line up for include Filipino adobo, poi made with fermented taro roots from the Solomon Islands, and sweet luo han guo from southern China and northern Thailand. Don’t be afraid to try making Asian dishes at home. Adobo, for instance, is super easy to make and can be whipped up with little more than chicken and pork, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and a dash of sugar.
From super tasty insect snacks to healthy alternative flour-based cakes, it is easy to be on trend and stay healthy. The trends mentioned above all have fantastic benefits, with high vitamin and mineral contents. Some can be created at home; others will require you to venture forth into new restaurants. If you have never tried these foods, why not pick or one or two and put them on your bucket list for 2019?
Written by Kylee Andrews