There were plenty of Food Trends That I Got Massively Addicted To in 2016 that seriously PISSED me off at the same time, well kinda 😉
As much as I don’t follow “food fads”, as a chef you can’t help but notice what’s trending in the kitchen and have a go, so I thought I may as well share my thoughts with you!
1. Mason Jars
These jars are high fashion to kitchen people, and are “the phenomenon” associated with fermentation. This all-rounder jar has become more than just a vessel for “kraut” (you know, sauerkraut). I remember I always admired this simple practical jar when coming to Australia as a kid and seeing my grandmother’s pantry and storeroom filled with them.
I have very clear memories of the Mason jars lined up and filled with dried herbs pickles, noodles in a jar, spices, nuts and bolts, and the odd oil paint filled jar and paint brushers filled with coloured water (she was a bit of an artist). The memories flood back to me as I write this story of my Grandmothers kitchen and storeroom and the many different sizes of mason jars filled and abundant with isms.
In my opinion, these jars are the new top trend, of all the trends, of 2016. Yep, the simple glass jar with a screw-on metal top called a Mason jar was in EVERY home that I visited in 2016.
And I saw them used for SO many things, from flowers, dry goods, pickles, cocktails, smoothies, breakfast porridge, kefir, jam, kombucha, beer, root beer, ginger beer, chia seeds, dried snacks, fruit, juices, overnight oats, milkshakes, the salad in a jar, drinking water jars and even an ashtray. Oh yes dirty BUTTS!!
Sent straight from the fifties, to us, the food hipsters of now, everything and anything can be stored in this glass jar with its tightly fitted lid. You can jam pack any size mason jar with dry goods, wet goods and they’ve even gone as far as a salad in a jar… with a small mini mason jar of dressing on the side… BOOM!
You know what gets me though? I served EVERYTHING in those bloody jars, and all I can think about is “How did I not come up with the idea of a mason jar being on trend…”, dam it Chef, I could have been rich!!
2. Wooden Cutting Boards As Serving Plates
In the past, a wooden cutting board never really left the kitchen bench. I think the only time, was when it went to the dining room table on that odd occasion where it was needed assist a hot pot from scorching the table.
In 2016 boy did that change. The cutting board is now the STAR of many cafes, home kitchens and photo shoots around the world…. AHHHHH yes the good old cutting board.
I “boarded” nearly everything up on a cutting board in 2016. I even went as far as serving a board of food on a board as a place mat…#TOOMUCHBOARD
Ohhhh yeah fuck I got addicted to that trend. I even served up my desserts and slices on old bits of wood I found on the side of the road, (polished up of course) and now I see cups of tea, lattes, juicers, steak, to french fries… you name it, it’s on a board.
The humble cutting board is now the “Board of glory”! LOL
3. Zucchini Noodles (Courgettes for you English guys!)
What can I say about this, I HAVE seriously eaten kilos of raw zucchini over the last 12 months. I mean how genius is it to take a raw zucchini put it through a spiralizer and BOOM it looks like pasta!! Then cover it in whatever you want, and apparently eaten with no guilt while you slurp down your fake (but not fake) fake spag bowl?! It’s fucken genius really.
But hey 2016 is done and I can’t see myself eating a tarted up in the RAW shredded zucchini EVER again.
The affair is OVER…pasta here I come!!! Fuck the guilt, I don’t have time to think about guilt. I AM ALIVE!!!!
4. Cauliflower pizza bases
WTF …the gluten-free contributors have gone next level, and to be honest, it kinda freaked me out at first. To be truthful I felt a little intimidated when I was shown a gluten-free cauliflower pizza base. Time went on, many Insta and Pinterest photos later, and I found myself in a mindset of the cauliflower, gluten free, egg free, soy free, dairy free, vegan pizza bases. It’s FREE ya all!!! LOL
I got lots of messages from home cooks around the world asking for the recipe, or for a better recipe to what they had already had made.
So to all the AMAZING home cooks around the world here is my confession – I didn’t make the cauliflower pizza base. Shit I didn’t even try to make them! It just was not on my list of goals for the year 2016. But I have heard the stories …oh yes the stories from the epic fails, to the master show off’s that plastered their cauliflower wares all over Instagram…I am calling it now, as … #BULLSHIT
5. Matcha flavoured EVERYTHING…
I don’t even know what the green stuff is. Yes i am ignorant… “INVEST Cynthia. INVEST in the natural food color trends”, I tell myself while scrolling though the tops eats in Melbourne and all I can see is green EVERYTHING….I still have not invested? When it comes to my philosophy on green and brown powders you may wanna read this article I wrote on them.
6. Activated Charcoal
Yeah I totally got into the activated charcoal trend. From the bathroom to kitchen. I cleaned my teeth with it, and my goddaughter’s teeth. I made a MASSIVE mess in the bathroom! I used it as a face mask, and to heal mozzie bites. Oh yes, yes, YES people! I got smacked up on that shit! To the point I was making pancakes black, black bread rolls, black banana cake, black sour cream, black pizza and the list went on.
I got right down and dirty with that one black trend and still am, that black stuff is staying in my kitchen (and bathroom) for a while I reckon. I am hooked!
7. Artisan Pickles
AKA sauerkraut!! I making friends with fermented foods in a big way. I made a LOT of “kraut” in 2016. You name the color of kraut I made it. And guess what comes with Kraut… wind, AKA, farts!!….
Yep the wellness industry and their trends make it all soooooo glam hip and healthy to us, the home cooks, the mummas and puppas out there. But no one, Yes, NO ONE tells you what happens when you eat a lot of ferments….#GAS
Then there’s the undiscovered kraut consumers that are sitting right now at breakfast, eating some eggs on sprouted toast, with a topping of kraut, eating, chewing away with a mantra playing in their minds “this is good for me, the smell is ok, I am healthy”.
There is an encouraging soft whisper of a close vegan friend (eating a vegan egg) saying, “this is the best Breakfast EVA”. I LOVE FERMENTS…….
And you’re like trying not to GAG…and wait for it, oh yes wait for it, as hours pass and your in your recycled BPH free yoga pants in a quiet yoga studio and a sound then smell happens..charming , and there we have the affects of the Artisan pickles – AKA kraut.
8. Smoothie Bowls
This trend got me born again.
Backstory is – I FUCKEN hate smoothies. I don’t make ‘em any time of the day or night. I am not a fan of blended liquid food, with handfuls of fruit and a splash of some blue-green algae named “p232 something, something whatever”. Nope, I don’t drink smoothies.
But the smoothie bowl, for me was like eating ice cream covered in my chocolate granola and soaked with some coconut syrup or maple and I am one with the bowl. That’s my new mantra, I am one with the BOWL!
9. Smashed Avo
The one thing I only EVER make at home as a snack or for lunch.
Now the next generation is all over it like a rash.
I was told once that smashed avo was the go-to hipster superfood for those wanting to appear to be venturing into the world of clean-eating, plant-based etc.
This is undoubtedly the least cost-effective way to purchase and consume an avocado, or portion thereof. But, if you still live with your parents, and you have a gloriously manicured beard, and you’re trying to impress the softer sex, or the masculine…smashed avo is the go-to meal of 2016.
Well, I enjoyed writing the Food Trends That I Got Massively Addicted To post, It certainly made me laugh, and that’s always a good thing!
Let’s revisit this at the end of the year, to see what comes through in 2017! Smashed charcoal avo anyone?? LOL