Savory Soda and Spicy Doughnuts: 2018 Food Trends That Will Make You Drool All Year
- Jacqueline Raposo
- 3 Min Read
2017 gave eaters delicious food trends to savor. You devoured innovative takes on classic American pie and donut flavors. Specialty Food Association notes that global food trends like Thai rolled ice cream, Caribbean moringa, and Asian fermented vegetables are only just taking off. But as soon as the ball dropped on 2018, chefs around the country have been itching to present exciting new options on their menus.
According to a poll by the National Restaurant Association, you can expect an increase of exciting seasonings like harissa, ras al hanout, and peri peri. Across the board, more international flavors are coming your way. And on menus you’ll soon see more sustainable seafood and new cuts of meat. (Oyster steak, anyone?) The subtlety of fresh chervil, lovage, and lemon balm will grace fancy plates everywhere.
This is already shaping up to be an amazing year for eating, so check out these 2018 food trends to keep an eye on, from coast to coast.
Housemade Condiments and Beverages
Allowing chefs to eliminate food waste and how customers unique cooking chops, housemade condiments and beverages are one of the top 2018 food trends.
For condiments, look for fermented chillies in hot sauce, and herbs, oil, and eggs whisked into mayonnaise and aioli. Simmered tomatoes become ketchup. And pickles and kimchi are fermented on-site. But the biggest change will be how the condiments are crossed into all sorts of cuisines. Korean or Thai hot sauce made locally will be served and delivered with American burgers or German brats. Classic Italian pizzas and pastas will get dished up with flavors from Mexico or Portugal. When condiments are made in-house, anything goes.
On the beverage side, you’ll soon be drinking non-alcoholic drinks with healthier, more natural ingredients made in-house. Sweet teas, sodas with housemade syrups, gourmet lemonade, and kombucha will dominate. Check out savory variations of soda and mocktails with vegetable and herbal infusions, too.
Regional Cuisine: Locally and Internationally
The last decade introduced eaters to both delicious local ingredients and international cuisines never explored before. 2018 food trends predict a move ahead in both directions.
Internationally, menus will include more countries and specific cuisines. From Asia, look for the complex bitter and sour notes of Filipino cuisine. Middle Eastern hummus and falafel will take on the subtle differences of their Lebanese, Moroccan, Israeli, Persian, and Syrian origins. And in South America, Peruvian and regional Mexican cuisines will take even more shape.
Nationally, Forbes notes the World’s 50 Best Restaurants “boast a strong loyalty to showcasing regional food in a very distinct way.” This contributes to hyper-local ingredients dominating 2018 food trends overall. Whether you’re eating at Eleven Madison Park in New York City or ordering comfort food in Portland, 2018 means local eggs, produce, meat, and love.
Vegetable Carb Substitutes
Trends show that customers want delicious, filling food that’s also healthier. So 2018 food trends show an increase in replacing carbohydrate-rich dishes with comparable vegetable substitutes. For potatoes, think riced cauliflower or pureed parsnips. For pasta, spiralized zucchini and squash transcend from the home kitchen to restaurant plates. Already popular among the gluten-free crowd, you’ll see these healthier carb options, making vegetable substitutes a trend still on the rise.
Even Better Breakfasts
Growing breakfast trends show Middle Eastern flavors, globally inspired breakfast bowls, and early-morning tacos (because who doesn’t want early morning tacos?). 2018 food trends show restaurant menus continuing to have fun with the first meal of the day, too.
While you’re not expected to drop your love for a Boston cream, it’s time to try doughnuts filled with savory and spicy ethnic condiments like fiery Sriracha, gochujang, and Chimichurri. Omelets will be made with chorizo, and coconut milk replaces the dairy in pancakes. A Japanese-style breakfast spread of mixed rice, roe, pickled vegetables, egg, and grilled fish makes for a cleansing start to the day, according to Bon Appetit. And while gluten-free options continue to grow nationwide, those local grains and artisanal recipes are coming back in the form of good old bread. That means you can expect better bagels, rolls, and toast on morning menus nationwide.
Are you looking for more trends in food? We’ve got them.