Top Summer Trends Foodies are Raving About
Summer is finally here and that doesn’t just mean more sunshine and higher temperatures, it means new culinary trends to try! Some of these trends aren’t new phenomenons, but you will be seeing more of them in the coming months, and others have only started to emerge. Although these aren’t the only trends you can expect in summer 2016, these are a few our team is looking forward to the most.
1. Minimal Processing and Natural Ingredients
This trend is geared toward making smarter, healthier choices. Instead of cooking food at high temperatures and using chemically enhanced ingredients, this trend is about making sure each meal is filled with a higher volume of vitamins and minerals. It’s all about making the most out of each of your meals. Expect food cooked at a low temperature or raw dishes to emerge this summer.
2. Artisan and Non-Alcoholic Beverages
The focus on health doesn’t just apply to your food, it’s also made its way to the beverage segment. Instead of opting for sugar-heavy drinks like soda, consumers are seeking out teas, waters and artisan soft drinks. Many of these beverages feature natural ingredients and flavorings. Beverage makers are aiming to restore the flavors of decades past. This summer you’ll see expanded non-alcoholic drink menus featuring so much more than Coke and Pepsi. A few beverages you may want to try this season include infused waters, flavored lemonades (e.g. ginger, lavender rosemary, thyme, etc.), new takes on sweet tea (added citrus and natural flavorings) and homemade sodas.
3.Locally Sourced Items
The movement toward locally-sourced entrees is nothing new, but it will continue to grow and thrive this summer. According to the National Restaurant Association, it’s the No. 1 food trend in 2016. In years prior, this trend has primarily changed the produce selected by restaurants, but the National Restaurant Association sees this trend now impacting meat and seafood, and it will likely infiltrate all aspects of restaurant menu options. Some restaurants may even take this a step further and grow their own produce, whether on the property itself or at a nearby location.
4. High-End Spam
If you haven’t heard about the Spam trend, you will soon. Currently popping up in restaurants throughout the country, Spam is finally making a comeback. Although first popularized during the Great Depression, Spam has remained a staple in Hawaiian cuisine. It returns stateside in many Hawaiian-inspired dishes at high-end restaurants. One of the most popular dishes is Spam Musubi, a popular Hawaiian snack. It’s like sushi, but with cooked Spam instead of fish.
The Hawaiian culinary inspiration doesn’t stop at Spam. Poke, a raw tuna salad, seems to be popping up everywhere. The word poke means “chunk” in Hawaiian and the dish began as any meat or seafood cut up into small chunks and marinated. However, these days poke typically refers to a seafood and most often tuna. You can find poke in high-end settings as well as fast-casual dining.
6. Waste-Based Cooking
Global Food Forums states that 70 billion pounds of food go to waste each year. Food professionals around the world have been working to lower this number and prevent such a high waste volume. One of the most popular trends right now is cooking with scraps. But, the ingenuity doesn’t just stop at food. Some restaurants are even incorporating scraps into their cocktails. Keep an eye out for restaurants aiming to use what they have left over.
What food trends are you most excited to try this summer? Let us know in a comment below!