Fri | Oct 30, 2020

Trending tastes of 2020

Published:Thursday | February 6, 2020 | 12:11 AMKrysta Anderson /Gleaner Writer

For many, the year started on a high. Let’s ride that train one-way to the kitchen. Piquing palates by telling a unique story of herbs, spices and flavour to a hungry man is no easy mission. And with taste evolving over the last couple of years, chefs and other agents, better known as foodies, are getting creative, finding that balance between ideally savoury or sweet with healthy and satisfying.

Chef Noel Cunningham knows all too well about achieving this gastronomic greatness. Born and raised in Jamaica, and now residing in Canada, the culinary specialist marries these two cultures daily to provide a refreshing experience with each bite. With his expertise, Food shares a few food trends that have emerged since the start of the decade.

Heighten your senses with infused ‘sensimilla’

Foodies are looking for that high and now we know why. According to Chef Cunningham, cannabidiol (CBD)-infused drinks has been gaining traction in beverages like sparkling water, energy drinks, wines, beers, teas, coffees and other mixed libations. Similar to the drinks, this elevated effect can be found in scrumptious dishes prepared with this signature cooking ingredient: CBD oil.

Power plant: eat what you grow

People are making the switch and running into a healthy lifestyle. A plant-based ecosystem and plant-based food, Cunningham explained, are growing replacements for meats and dairy. So meat and dairy flavours are evolving from non-meat and non-dairy products like almonds, cashews, soy and peas.

Chewing with a crunch

As previously mentioned, the healthy meal substitute continues its way into the snack aisle with crunchy chips boasting flavours such as chickpeas, beets, quinoa and kale. You might have a cheesy, salty or sweet craving, but these palate players are doing a good job at sufficiently satisfying snack cravings.

Jackfruit as a meat? Sweet!

Don’t knock it until you have taken a taste of this delicious offering. An excellent source of iron, calcium and B vitamins, you can now indulge in jackfruit as a fruit or a meat. When cooked, its texture is akin to pulled pork.

Fruits for flavour

Who needs sugar when you can sweeten your drink with fruit? Some have taken a step further to create green juices fused with leafy and fruity varieties to make smoothies and shakes. These turn out to be filling meals or booster drinking snacks for persons on the go, or those looking to maximise on ‘team healthy’.

Bold is beautiful with food

No need to consume unattractive food because it tastes good. Persons are pursuing vibrancy in their dishes to reflect or match their upbeat outlook on life. You can’t get more colourful than vegetables, and foodies are having the most fun with them – salads, salad bowls, fruit bowls, and more.

Got plant-based milk?

Who doesn’t love milk? It is typically consumed with cookies or cereal. But a few have been seriously looking into removing cow’s milk from their diet and tapping into other options like oat milk (a hit in 2019), and seed milk.

Let’s sparkle

Sugary and sweet drinks like sodas have this uncanny way of hitting the right spot, especially when accompanying snacks or fast food. Some, however, are reserving their right to sweetness with dazzling, yet delicious, choices of sparkling water.

The right package

The world is going green, so we have no choice but to jump on. With climate change, pervading plastics waste, and forest life dying, people are moving away from styrofoam and plastic as the ultimate trend for 2020 and are using paper for containers – reusable containers – and bamboo for utensils.

Culinary fusion

Variety is the spice of life, so let’s kick those taste buds into a delightful overdrive with cultural fusions. Since out of many people, we are one, our dishes tend to entertain that meal mantra now more than ever. Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Greek, Mexican, French, African, and then some, have gotten even nicer with the integration of local ingredients, and we are here to savour the flavours.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com