A new year has just started and all the experts in gastronomy are trying to predict what the culinary trends for 2017 will be. Whilst it is true that trends appear every year that end up short-lived, in 2017 we can also observe certain currents which have been coming to the fore for a number of years, such as the healthy food trend, and which are proving to be more than a passing fad. These are some of the gastronomic trends that we can expect for 2017… and beyond.
One unstoppable trend is healthy cooking. The most award-winning chefs have been showing for some time that health and taste are not incompatible, by using their imagination to create new combinations of delicious healthy foods. This trend comes hand-in-hand with a greater awareness of the harmful effects of excess fat and sugar in the diet and the battle to reduce the sugar content of soft drinks.
The greater concern for a healthy diet translates into an ever-growing presence of organic food. These ingredients are already essential in the best restaurants and have an ever-growing presence in smaller and family establishments.
The global trend towards healthy gastronomy and lifestyles comes with the greater prominence of fruit and vegetables, both in home cookery and in restaurants. Eating vegetables has never been so fashionable and chefs from all over the world are striving to reinvent greens and vegetables with creative and tasty ideas.
Less conventional flours
The growing number of people with allergies and intolerance to wheat and other common cereals has led experts in gastronomy to explore the options offered by unconventional flours such as those made from nuts and pulses and cereals such as buckwheat, teff and amaranth.
The growth of trashcooking, or the art of “nothing gets thrown away” has been unstoppable over recent years. This trend sets out to make the most of foodstuffs and reduce losses. Fruit and vegetable stalks and peelings and pieces of meat previously shunned now serve as complements or even the bases of new creations. One extreme example of this trend are the restaurants with menus composed solely of salvaged food, which can already be found in many of Europe’s capital cities.
Although a good bottle of wine is an important part of the gastronomic experience in Spanish culture, more and more people are deciding to choose a healthier option and go without alcohol, especially at lunchtime. Bars and restaurants are quickly catching on and are using their imagination to design ever more creative alcohol-free cocktails and apéritifs.
Meat aged for longer
This trend, which is a point of contention for professionals and gourmets all over the world, consists in the controlled ageing of large pieces of meat for periods of up to six months. Those in favour say that meat aged in this way provides an exquisite flavour which cannot be found in pieces aged for shorter periods. Many restaurants already give their customers the chance to taste the exceptional flavour of these pieces, although there are still those who state that a shorter ageing period is sufficient to extract all the flavour from the meat.
Greater presence of vegetarianism
Vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians (vegetarians who eat meat occasionally) are encountering more and more options when they eat out. Many restaurants already offer solutions to this ever larger group of customers, creating balanced dishes without animal ingredients and using an ever-growing number of butcher’s and delicatessen products of vegetable origin.
In terms of food presentation, 2017 looks like it is going to be the year of bowls, a presentation that makes it possible to offer fast food by combining ingredients to the consumer’s taste. This informal option offered by many fashionable restaurants is changing the classic model of “first course, second course and dessert” to target a young clientele looking for healthy, light food at a good price for their midday meal.
Among the many gastronomic trends predicted for 2017, and we have aimed to give you a selection of those we thought likely to be most prevalent over the year ahead. Many of them have already been present for some time and are enjoying a favourable reception from the public, which is why we believe they will continue over the coming months. Tell us about your experience with these trends and the changes you observe in your customers. We look forward to seeing your comments on the social media!