A new report on 2018 trends by Datassential outlines the top 10 flavors which will be on-trend this year, included in a wide assortment of foods, such as ice cream, frozen yogurt or various dishes. Below are the main flavors to watch this year:
Southeast Asia continues to be a source of flavor inspiration and this versatile leaf adds a sweet, grassy, vanilla like flavor to desserts and cocktails, plus many pandan-rich foods have a light green color that recalls other on trend ingredients like match .
Purple may be the “it” hue for foods right now and the star of the trend – ube – has the potential to make its way through the Menu Adoption Cycle. Also known as purple yam, ube is often used in Filipino cuisine and can add a natural color to everything from ice cream to power bowls.
Judging by the popularity of garlic with consumers (it’s the second most-liked flavor overall according to the company’s FLAVOR database), it’s almost surprising that this sweet, caramelized, umami-rich flavor is only just starting to appear more widely on U.S. menus. If you want to be an early adopter, this is where to start.
Persimmons were the fastest-growing fruit on menus in the past year, according to the company’s Menu Trends database. If you are planning next fall’s menu strategy, consider this sweet-and-tangy option in a cake, pudding, or sorbet.
Trends on drink menus continue to move quickly. On beer menus, look for lighter, more refreshing options to take a more prominent place as a reaction to the former dominance of in-your-face, hoppy, bitter brews. The top-fermented German kolsch has grown over 100% on menus in the past four years, according to Menu Trends.
Little Miss Muffet was hip to modern trends when she ate her curds and whey. Consumers continue to seek out protein-packed foods and this cheese byproduct can be added to breakfast foods, smoothies, and grains for a protein infusion. In Chicago, Chef Sarah Grueneberg swaps out pasta water for whey in her Cacio Whey Pepe.
SALT CURING 2.0
Salt-curing is an ancient practice that is trending again as chefs test out new applications. Salt-cured egg yolks, which turn the rich yolks into a firm ingredient that can be grated over pastas and salads, are becoming a fine dining staple now, while salt-cured fruits are showing up in trendy cocktails.
Far from being a simple snack or salad topper, seeds are becoming workhorses in on-trend kitchens, where chefs are creating custom seed blends for an all-purpose textural topper and experimenting with seed-based porridges and seed-rich breads. Look for new heirloom seed varieties to start showing up in the future.
This rich, creamy, strained yogurt is at the intersection of a number of trends – an interest in Middle Eastern cuisine, the search for both the next Greek yogurt and hummus, the proliferation of veggie-based appetizers and over-the-top crudités boards, and the concurrent rise of the spice mix za’atar.
Rose water, commonly found in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Asian dishes, was once common in American desserts and now it’s making a comeback, adding a rich, floral note to cakes, ice creams, and drinks. Use it sparingly – it’s a fine line between “distinctive flavor” and “tastes like perfume.”