EHL Ingredients joint managing director Tasneem Backhouse has revealed its predictions on ingredients trends for the year ahead.
Spice up your life
Timut pepper will be the ingredient to use in 2019. The zesty spice from Nepal has a grapefruit-like flavour and is a good addition to condiments, chutneys, sauces and in Indian and Asian dishes.
It is a hot, spicy pepper with citrus notes and can be used in traditional dumplings, noodle soups, broths and marinades. Backhouse said it has also been used in drinks, including flavoured gins and cocktails.
The popularity of turmeric is also set to rise according to Backhouse because it is loaded with nutrients, vitamins and minerals and is widely used in Indian and Chinese medicine and cookery.
It can also be used in tea and smoothies, Asian breads and curries, as a meat, fish or vegetable marinade and within soups.
Vegan junk food
Free-from junk food is another area Backhouse predicted will see a surge in popularity, particularly vegan junk food such as pizza, burgers, kebabs, grilled cheese and fried foods, which is becoming increasingly mainstream and widely available in dining and fast-food outlets, on pop-up stalls and markets as well as at food and music festivals.
A vegan-inspired version of the paleo diet – pegan eating is expected to be the latest consumer food craze to hit the mainstream in the next 12 months.
It involves eating lots of ‘clean’ whole plant foods, fruit, vegetables and cooking from scratch. It also includes coconut, olive oils, nuts and seeds alongside herbs and spices will feature heavily to add flavour and colour to meals.
Backhouse said: “This year looks set to bring more exciting food trends as consumer tastes and preferences develop.
“Timut pepper and turmeric will be the spices pub chefs should add to their cupboards and include in dishes, thanks to the distinctive flavours, nutritional benefits and wellness credentials.
“Pub operators and chefs are recognising the importance of the free-from market, from national chains to small, start-up businesses, which are offering new products to appeal to those who want free-from foods, either for health reasons or to fit into their lifestyle choices.
“Vegan junk foods, as well as pegan-style foods, will dominate eating out. Younger consumers especially follow the latest food trends and health buzzwords so it is important to keep up to date with emerging dining preferences.
“The Millennial generation and younger are the future spends so it makes sense for pubs and operators to plug into these trends, to develop and to offer food products they love and will enjoy all year round.”