Time to celebrate soul-gratifying, ethical food
Fast food with a vegan twist
Pandemic has shifted the focus to heart-and planet-healthy eating. Vegan options are not just healthy but also help in reducing carbon and water footprints. It’s expected that plant based food will rule the industry in 2022 with the availability of vegan options in fast food. The most popular choice will be vegan burgers. There will be plenty of options also such as bean burrito, sweet potato fries, non-dairy chocolate bars, salads, shakes and desserts. Companies that promote vegan fast food have claimed that the trial across countries has gone extremely well and the trend will pick up immensely.
Healthy meat replacements
Known as meat free, meat alternatives or meat replacements, there are plenty of meat substitutes that look and taste like the real thing. Due to awareness towards healthy and eco-friendly food, the market gained momentum in the pandemic stricken world and will become even more popular this year. Sausages, chicken, steaks, mince and fish are substituted with vegetarian and vegan food that resemble and taste like original. Low in fat, sugar and high in protein the alternatives are healthy. Tofu, Tempeh, vital wheat gluten, lentils, soy, chickpea, beans, mushrooms, quinoa based alternatives are considered some of the best choice.
Replacing plastic, paper and wooden cutlery, 2022 will see a rise in the trend of edible cutlery. Edible cutlery can be eaten after you have finished the meal. Some of them can last up to 18 months. If not eaten, they can be composted, thus reduce waste. Made of wheat flour, corn flour, soybean flour, edible cutlery has sometimes health benefits to it. Some edible cutleries can be used to consume varieties of food, such as salads, soup and pudding. According to a report by Grand View Research called “Edible Cutlery Market Size, Share, Trends Industry Report 2019-2025,” India will be a key market in this sector.
NFT in food
From making big in fashion and art, NFT (non-fungible token) will enter the food industry with a bang in 2022. Many food companies are already experimenting with this new technology. They were digital collectibles or NFT artworks, none of these products were edible or even real. One of the Indian start-ups is building the food metaverse, involving elements of food, gaming and NFTs on blockchain. A restaurant in Delhi also came up with Digital Thali. Several brands from outside the country had created quite a buzz with limited edition flavours called CryptoCrisp and Spicy Potato Soft Tacos.
Apart from sweet, salty, bitter and sour, there is an addition of one more taste in the list, called Umami. Umami signifies ‘essence of deliciousness’ in Japanese, It’s the taste of glutamate, an amino acid that occurs naturally in the human body. It has an inherent taste that is universally enjoyed. Discovered around a century back in Japan, the taste will rule 2022. It is found in everyday food we eat such as aged cheeses, cured meats, tomatoes, mushrooms, salmon, steak, green tea and much more. There will be food menus and dishes based on this flavour in 2022.
Dishes served with an innovative twist have gained popularity recently. Next in the league is well thought interpretation of desserts with beautiful plating. Plated desserts have several components such as mousses, ice creams and sorbets, cookies, pastry cream, and dessert sauces, all prepared well in advance. They are assembled at the last minute of serving and come out as stunning desserts. This year bakers will shift their focus to plated desserts. Not just classic desserts like a tiramisu, brownie or an apple pie will be reimagined with embellishments, your favourite halwa can also be given a new avatar.
Zero waste delivery
What started as zero waste kitchens when leftover veggies and peels of fruits and vegetables are cooked and served in the previous year, 2022 will be about food deliveries adopting methods to reduce the waste. The idea is to reuse and stop pilling up trash to be sent to landfills. Recently a food aggregator app has included an option of a reusable box for delivering the food. The box is picked later by the delivery partners. Decomposable microwave friendly boxes are another option.
What experts has to say?
Smaller seasonal menus that change many times a year made with hyper local ingredients will become more popular. The restaurants will celebrate local flavours like never before: Zorawar Kalra, restrauntier
High quality comfort flavours are back with a bang, and will continue to find favour with diners in India. People want freshness, both in terms of cooking and ideas: Anoothi Vishal, author and food critic
Food will break the cuisine barrier and will be enjoyed across sections of the society. I also believe that fusion food will gradually fade away this year: Tarun Sibal, chef
Health oriented food will be popular like never before. Acceptance of experimental dishes will continue to rise. Foods from Middle East and Mediterranean countries will gain popularity: Sanjeev Kapoor
We will make serious efforts to go back to our roots. We will be reviving and celebrating age old culinary traditions. The chefs will play an important in healing the world through soul gratifying comfort food: Vikas Khanna