On the menu

Food trends: what we’ll be eating in 2022

From umami-rich ingredients to edible cutlery and tableware

1

Yuzu

John S Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images

Yuzu goes mainstream

Yuzu – a tangerine-sized citrus fruit cultivated in Asia, with a lemon-grapefruit-lime flavour – is already prized by high-end chefs, says Sudi Pigott in the Daily Mail. Now, it’s expected to break through to the mainstream, appearing on shelves in various condiments, including yuzu mustard and yuzu kosho (a preparation pairing it with fermented chillies that can be used almost like a pesto). 

2

Hibiscus

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Hibiscus, date molasses and pickling

Another ingredient with “hot trend status” is hibiscus: long enjoyed in fruit tea, the flower is now “finding favour in yoghurt and spreads, as well as in soft drinks, mocktails and cocktails”. Date molasses, an Israeli syrup, will become the healthy sweetener of choice. And the home pickling craze spawned by lockdown will switch its focus to fruit – so expect to see social media clips of everything from “pineapple and watermelon to apple, plum and blueberries” being “pickled in a brine of vinegar, sugar and salt”.

3

Umami days

Reading the food runes is never easy, says Kate Ng in The Independent – but in predicting the major trends of 2022, experts have found much to agree upon. Umami – the “moreish, savoury” flavour found in soy sauce, parmesan and stocks – is expected to be the “prevailing profile in our food” this year. This means that various umami-rich ingredients (mushrooms, sea greens, anything flavoured with truffle) are set for substantial increases in sales, as is monosodium glutamate (MSG).

The amino acid widely used in East and Southeast Asia, it has acquired a bad name thanks to “unsubstantiated claims” that it can lead to headaches and metabolic disorders. But with much to recommend it as an instant umami flavour-enhancer, MSG looks likely to be rehabilitated as a “staple pantry ingredient

4

Potato milk

The craze for plant-based foods will continue, says Speciality Food Magazine. Potato milk is being hailed as the sector’s “next big thing”: proponents say it is deliciously creamy, and more sustainable than other plant-based milks. 

5

‘Climatarianism’ and ‘reductarianism’

“Climatarianism” (a desire to reduce your carbon footprint) will be a new addition to the green-eating lexicon, says Bridie Pearson-Jones on MailOnline. And it will be joined by “reductarianism” – cutting down on meat and dairy without going fully vegan.

Meanwhile, the revolt against single-use plastic is set to spawn one of the year’s oddest trends, says Kim Severson in The New York Times. Expect to see more and more edible cutlery and tableware, made from ingredients such as wheat bran and pasta. You eat with them, and then you eat them.

6

Home baking

Tessa Bunney/In Pictures via Getty Images

Experimental home baking

People say the pandemic has created a “homebody economy” in which people go out less, says Sophie Morris on iNews. One sign of this is that the lockdown trend for home baking is likely to carry on – while becoming more experimental: the new craze will be “outlandish mega bakes” that include “gravity-defying” and “3D” cakes. The trend seems to be “especially popular among millennials, Gen X and boomers”.

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