Top ten UK food trends for 2013

My Secret Kitchen, the UK’s first food and drink tasting company has put together their list of the top ten food and drink trends for the coming year and beyond.

1.Not just Chilli – Increased heat has been happening over the last few years in the UK but increasing curiosity on the differences between types of chilli will mean more named varieties coming into fashion. It’s already happening with chipotle but look out for more dishes naming the chillies such as Pasilla, Poblano,  Guajillo and Ancho.

2. Popcorn to explode – More companies are experimenting with some wonderful variations of flavours to move popcorn into a real gourmet treat.  Blue cheese and Walnut, Strawberry cheesecake and Madras are already out there and will be more mainstream through the year. And they’re good! How about getting that popcorn maker out from the back of the cupboard and do some seasoning sprinkling yourself?

3.Free (from) – Awareness of allergies has been ever increasing but the quality of the foods now being offered as “free from” is right up there. We expect to see these foods moving to the mainstream aisles rather than the specialist niche area they currently hold and improving even further.

4.Creative cocktails – The big new trends in bars across the pond are incredibly creative cocktails using some quite bizarre ingredients such as smoked ice cubes, cardamom syrups and yuzu bitters. We don’t think these will be coming into the UK home too soon yet but the idea of blending certain alcohols with new and varied syrups is not in the too distant future.

5.Fair game- We predicted an increase in foraged ingredients for 2012 and we were right on this. The next step is an increase in popularity in local meats; so you rabbits, pheasants and deer reading this – start running….

6.Be Brazilliant – We will be awash with all things Brazil as we gear up for
the world cup and the Olympics over the next few years, and why not? Brazil
has a wealth of wonderful dishes such as Feijoada and Moqueca and is the
home of the Caipirinha cocktail. Watch these influences infiltrate our
plates this year.

7.Naturally Novel – Here in the UK we’re still looking for the more unusual
ingredients we can get from nature and we’re looking for something good for
you as well. We’re going to stick our necks out and go for two that may well
be hitting our stores this year – purple tea is high in anthocyanin and an
excellent source of antioxidant whilst bee pollen is known as “the fountain
of youth” and is high in protein.

8.Pickling – Many of you I’m sure were watching Masterchef the
professionals before Christmas and the amount of pickling going on was very
interesting to see. Will this see a rise in another way of getting a new
flavour from some common ingredients? (As long as Sauerkraut is bypassed
we’re happy.)

9.Sweet n Savoury – So common to see in the USA and becoming more popular here too; unusual combinations challenging your taste buds – we’re still not sure about chocolate and bacon but brie and fig, salted caramel,
pretzels and chocolate – bring it on!

10.Hot but not  – Heat comes from chills right? But there’s more out there
that will give you a tasty burn – Varieties of pepper like Telecherry, an
increase in the use of Szechuan (a delightful numbing sensation!) will
become more prevalent in 2013

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