That means that some things stay classic, while others are new and different all the time. As chefs learn more about cooking and techniques, they often develop exciting trends that you may love. The trick is getting yourself to try them in the first place. Here are some of the strangest food trends so far this year.
1. MATCHA TEA IS SHOWING UP IN EVERYTHING
Tea flavored cupcakes, anyone? That’s right. Matcha, a type of green tea that is typically found in ground form, is taking the food world by storm. The best chefs all over the world are using it to add color and flavor to foods you’d never think to try it in. Besides cupcakes, you might see matcha noodles, rice, cookies and smoothies. Give it a try – you will be pleasantly surprised at how great it tastes.
2. MARIJUANA INFUSED FOODS
I live in Colorado and have yet to see this trend hit restaurants, but I can’t imagine it will be long until I do. Apparently, some places are infusing their meals with cannabis. I’m not talking about the pot brownies you’ve probably heard of. I’m talking gourmet things like fancy cocktails, coffee and even fancy desserts. Would you try it?
3. GRILLING WITH FANCY CHARCOAL
Up until recently, I thought charcoal was just charcoal. How wrong I was! It seems that some of the best chefs out there are using charcoal made from things you would be surprised to see. How about Thai coconut charcoal or Meyer lemon charcoal? You get a heightened flavor when you use these types of charcoal to cook meats and veggies.
4. PROTEIN BARS PACKED WITH INSECTS
Yes, you totally read that right! Some protein bar manufacturers are adding actual insects to their products. Why? I guess it’s because they are a prime source of protein. I’m not sure I would opt for insect protein over other sources, but I guess if you can’t taste it, it won’t be that much different. Would you eat an insect protein bar? I bet you’re going to be reading labels more closely now, aren’t you?
5. GET READY TO FIND SOME BITTER THINGS ON MENUS ALL OVER THE PLACE
Weird, right? Who would want to eat bitter foods by choice? Some people have a natural preference for the bitter flavor and chefs are banking on more people jumping on the bandwagon. The thing about bitter is that it pairs with sweet and savory things so you can use it in many places. Look for cocktails with bitters, salads that incorporate dandelion greens and panna cotta with tobacco.
6. FREEKEH IS THE NEW QUINOA
Quinoa had its fifteen minutes of fame, but now it seems that it’s being replaced by another grain called freekeh. This is a toasted green wheat that is eaten commonly in the Middle East. It has a smoky flavor and a chewy consistency, making it something you’re likely to see in any recipe that traditionally calls for rice.
7. FAT HAS A PLACE IN THE AVERAGE DIET AGAIN
Fat has gotten a bad rap lately, but you may be astonished to find out that fat isn’t quite the bad guy it once was. Now, diet experts are more aware of how important some amount of fat is in your diet. Look for new recipes and restaurant meals that use cultured butter, yogurt and (gasp!) full-fat cheeses.
Which one of these surprises you? Is there one that you can get on board with?