Trends in Food
Some food trends catch fire and become part of our culture, while other fads fizzle after short-lived notoriety (remember unicorn frappuccinos and charcoal ice cream?). The following are some trends that are hot right now.
A French term meaning “under vacuum,” this is a method of cooking food in a vacuum-sealed bag under a precisely heated water bath. Once limited to restaurants, new manufacturers have developed affordable models for home kitchens. While similar to poaching, cooking sous-vide in a sturdy plastic bag keeps juices in that would otherwise be lost (making for a more flavorful meat).
You’ve probably seen artisanal doughnuts dominating your Instagram feed (and perhaps your dreams), pushing the boundaries of traditional flavors and toppings. Area pop-ups and brick-and-mortar shops are creatively incorporating local ingredients to put a regional spin on this tasty trend.
While sorghum has been a staple in the South for hundreds of years, it has gained renewed interest recently for its versatility. It can be used as a grain, popped like popcorn or turned into molasses for a sweetener. As a crop, it’s grown locally and is extremely durable, able to handle harsh conditions.
The tea with a surprise inside. Boba tea made its debut in Taiwan during the 1980s and has become popular here in the U.S. over the past decade, reaching Northeast Florida with a bang. The combination of milk and flavored tea make this drink a sweet treat, but it’s the tapioca pearls that have made it a sensation. Tapioca pearls are sucked in through a large straw and then chewed, with a texture similar to a gummy candy.
A fresh cup of Joe in the morning is a popular pick-me-up, but did you know that when used with meat it tenderizes and adds flavor? When the muscle fibers of meat are relaxed for cooking, more flavor gets in. Coffee contains natural acids, which help in the fiber-relaxing process while intensifying the flavor of the meat. Coffee grounds make for a great rub to add earthy flavor.
Kombucha is a fermented beverage made with brewed black tea and sugar that has been around for many centuries. Flavored varieties have recently become popular, and enthusiasts believe kombucha is loaded with benefits, including energy boosts, detoxification, increased digestive health and a strengthening of the immune system. You can make your own at home or look for local varieties around town on tap.