Columns, Opinion

SARNA: Exploring food trends of 2015

We live in the age where everything seems better manipulated to our customized benefits. Food no longer serves the purpose of just nourishment or appetite-fulfillment — now, it needs to be trending. Take the shift in the consumption of orange juice, for instance. Once a readily accepted “healthy” breakfast component in American households, Americans have reduced devouring this old-staple in their homes since the masses have become wiser about free sugar and concentrate. Besides, orange juice is so 2000s.

We know the craze for fad foods has reached an all-time high when food-trend predictors (yes, that is a profession) claim to have a busy time concluding the top fashions for the year. 2015 has been the year of the “brinner” or breakfast for dinner, where popular breakfast foods such as pancakes, waffles, deviled eggs and more have been happily consumed for dinner. What a time to be alive! It has also been the year of kale-power, chia seeds and other short-lived yet impactful super-foods. Let’s not forget the gluten-frees. Many restaurants, airlines and supermarkets devote special sections to this category. Gluten-free is to America what vegetarianism is to India: every second person is following the trend religiously and swearing it’ll make you a better person.

Since 2014 and even before, Mexico dominated the food market with the taco and burrito trend. People love them so much that even petitions were made to add the taco emoji to the collection of emojis on Apple iPhones. Good news: this request has been approved and the iOS 9.1 upgrade saw this emoji added to the large emoji family. Asia, too, made its share of contributions to the food furor. Before mochi became a thing, America had only heard of mocha. Bubble tea also swept the food market.

Eating fads aren’t just restricted to the physical consumption of food. The process associated with dining has also undergone a makeover. The entire procedure of eating out at a restaurant has gone through a 360-degree flip. From the point of researching on a restaurant, reading its reviews, checking out the menu online and reserving a table, to mapping the route to the restaurant, ordering food and drinks and finally paying the bill, the entire operation is dominantly dependent on technology. In fact, it is rare now to hear of people going out to eat without using any form of app to help them in their process. Be it OpenTable, Yelp or simply Google Maps, the gist of the matter is that food fashion has come a long way since the traditional days of going out to eat at tried and tested restaurants.

This brings us to the trend of experimenting. With increased awareness and exposure comes an increased interest to try new things. As the world keeps progressing, the globe shrinks and cultures collide. Neighborhoods, which were initially homogenously lined with similar cuisines, are now seeing a variety of cultures splashed across them. Cuisines such as Middle Eastern, Greek and Japanese are raging with popularity among Americans, so much so that hummus and sushi is a staple in the diet of most college students. Rewind 20 years and hummus would probably not even be a common household name. This is the magic of time and fashion. What’s in today might not be around tomorrow.

The highlight of all things food remains the newly popular fashion of food festivals. Spotted across the globe, be it the Pizzafest in Italy, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in Australia, La Tomatina in Spain or the Oktoberfest in Germany, food festivals are trending, and not only on large scales. These activities are also making the rounds on smaller levels, such as New York’s street fairs with food stalls from around the world and New Delhi’s street food festival.

So whether you’re a dedicated foodie who is willing to travel miles to get the taste of different cuisines, or simply an interested passerby, a plethora of the food world is at your disposal almost every day, in one city or the other. People often say they live to eat instead of eat to live, and this huge phenomenon of making a celebration of something as simple and necessary as food only goes on to prove that.

More Articles

Comments are closed.