Want to know what you’ll be eating in 2016? Here are some of this year’s food trends, from the expected to the extraordinary – check out the April issue of IMAGE to see the full A-Z.
Algae And Seaweed
The superfood du jour, seaweed and it’s sister, algae, are the hottest news in seasonings. Rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, these ocean organics add nutritious umami to a host of other foods. Don’t fancy seashore foraging? Pick up The Sea Gardener’s Seaweed Bars, Fallon & Byrne’s sourdough, SeaBeeTree’s mueslis, Dilliskus Cheese, and Sea of Vitality’s bread mixes, for starters.
The folks at Alchemy Juice Co can’t keep their bone brother in erm, stock, so popular is the nourishing, restorative soup. The gut-friendly broth is trending right now, thanks to its healthy, wholesome goodness (think amino acids, gelatine that’s good for the joints, vitamins, minerals and collagen for smooth skin). Look out for Sadie’s Kitchen, an Irish brand made from free-range checken, sadieskitchen.ie.
Dublin hotspot Brother Hubbard’s Middle Eastern breakfast plate – a moreish mezze of feta, hummus, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, egg and mint – and Turkish eggs Menemen kick-started the trend for international breakfast dishes. Now everyone’s jumped on the yummy bandwagon. Why have scrambled eggs when you could be ordering shakshuka?
Darina Allen says Ballymaloe’s fermentation class is proving popular. Why our sudden obsession with fermented foods? Cookery writer Charlotte Pike says “It increases your nutrient intake and boosts gut health with a rich source of probiotics”. She suggests starting with “super-easy ferments, such as kombucha or water kefir drinks, or live yoghurt”. Sauerkraut or kimchi are also easy to make. Fermentation fans swear by the benefits of apple cider vinegar, and Rose Ciotoli makes her own unfiltered and unpasteurized version from locally sourced, untreated apples, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 086 354 1629.
Move over, ketchup. Hot sauce is, well, ridiculously hot right now. Tabasco may be the original, but now the chillies, vinegar, salt and spices blend has got serious competition from dozens of delicious niche brands. Fallon & Byrne stocks five, with Frank’s, Mic’s Chilli (Irish made with amazing labels) and South Devon Chilli Farm their top sellers.
Next restaurant trend? Korean, but there’s no reason we can’t cook it at home, as Irish chef Jourdan Bourke, co-author of Our Korean Kitchen with Rejina Pyo, his Korean wife, explains. “Korean food ticks all the boxes.. It’s healthy, seriously full of flavour, and there is lots of variety. It can be so quick to make too, but the delicious flavour would make you think you had been cooking for hours.” Head to Dublin’s Parnell Street for an introduction to this delicious fare.
Fallon & Byrne sell no less than 20 kinds of salt! Maldon Sea Salt may be their bestseller, but homegrown brands like Irish Atlantic Sea Salt and Achill Island Sea Salt are proving popular too. From Himalayan pink rock salt to blue sapphire Persian salt and red Alaea salt, not to mention flavoured options, now’s the time to get up to speed on couture seasoning.
Unusual Cuts Of Meat
Featherblade? Hanger? Flank? Cost-conscious cuts of beef are hotter than ever, and when handled correctly, offer as much flavour as their pricier cousins. Not convinced? Just check out hipster steak house Bear on South William Street to see how the pros cook ’em.
2016 is the year of the vegan, with dozens of fitness fanatics including Rosanna Davison, extolling the virtues of a plant-based, animal-free diet. Plenty of wholefood cafes have adjusted their menus to meet demand, making it easier than ever to avoid dairy, meat and fish.
Looking rather like a small grapefruit and tasting like a sour mandarin, the yuzu is undoubtedly the flavour of the month. The aromatic Japanese citrus fruit is rarely eaten on its own, rather used as a zest or juice in Asian food and cocktails. Dylan McGrath is a fan, pairing it with seafood, sticky pork and as an ice cream at Taste,, while it frequently appears on Conor Dempsey’s edgy menus at Amuse.
Ok, so technically we call them courgettes in Ireland, but these versatile veg are still riding high with the spiraliser set. From courgette spaghetti dishes (Deliciously Ella has a great recipe) to fritters and The Pigeon House in Clontarf’s signature courgette fries with harissa mayo, it’s time to embrace their delicate flavour.