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Natural, Detox, Plant-Based: The Top Food Trends of 2019

What gastronomic trends will characterise 2019? Which foods will we find splashed across Instagram? What recipes, combinations and flavours will emerge from trendy restaurants? Well, a new year has arrived and with it, the top food trends of 2019 including new entries, proof and firm classics are declared as real trends in their own right.

Natural and Alcohol-Free: Keeping it Light

Let’s begin with the well-established natural trend which over time has developed in both the food and beverage industries. Think of the so-called ‘natural’ wines, those that, unlike organic or biodynamic wines, have as little contact as possible in the vineyard and cellar. These are products made without chemical additives, manipulations or additions on our part which have rapidly spread in recent years. But the natural food and beverage sector is destined to expand and to be organised in increasingly more detailed product categories.

Then, there are the non-alcoholic drinks, the food trend of 2019 that, over time, has developed on the fine dining bar cart as well as in the most advanced mixology. Remember the success of the fermentations that, from vegetable-based to kombucha (sweetened and fermented tea) have characterised the past few years? This will return even in 2019 in the form of alternative drinks that can be mixed with trendy tonic waters.

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Acids and Probiotics: The Secret to Staying Healthy

Speaking of mixology, the most popular flavours for this year will most likely be acidic. Citrus, in particular citron, lime, orange and bergamot, will be the undisputed stars of 2019’s cocktails next to the now ubiquitous yuzu, a Japanese mandarin which is used in many famous dishes.

Certainly, the high level of probiotics (good bacteria) helps to make fermented foods a major trend. Health, especially intestinal, will play a huge role in our diet so, prepare to hear all about Greek yogurt, organic vinegar and long leavening.

After all, health and taste have ceased to be an oxymoron for quite some time and the benefits of fermented foods do not sound contradictory at all thanks to good food. We just have to think of the rise of products like kefir, a fermented milk drink which is very popular in organic food stores, al tempeh, which is made from yellow soya beans and otherwise known as ‘soy meat’, and kimchi, a Korean dish prepared with spicy fermented vegetables and seafood.

We also have to think about sauerkraut which has always been common in German food and yeast, which is the basis of contemporary baking as well as an essential ingredient of traditional festive leavened products.

Fermentation with Enogastronomic Traditions (in Italy and beyond)

The topic of fermentation will be back in vogue in all its forms: from homemade beer to cider, from home-made bread to vinegar, which, after all, is the product obtained from alcoholic and acetic fermentation. We distinguish between "common" and "quality" vinegar precisely based on the fermentation time, longer in the second case, which also requires aging in a cask.

Even miso, which is fermented, is destined to become a trend, not only among foodies, but even in the most popular and widespread food culture. The fermented soybean paste will have more shelf space in the supermarket, due to its ability to enhance flavours, its exquisite marriage to sauces and the way it completes even simple vegetables.

The Strangest Food Trends of 2019

Among the other food trends of 2019, we find cannabis which is also rapidly growing in the food industry. With its harsh and spicy notes, it lends itself to many foods, thanks to the many varieties that characterize it. Then we can, of course, use it for smoking foods. This method is perfect to flavour meats, beetroot and raw fish.

And how could we forget the insects? Feared in the past few years, 2019 finally brought insects into the limelight as a common ingredient. While the European Union still does not have clear ideas about the marketing of this ingredient, in the United Kingdom, there are already snack bars dedicated to what could be the protein of the future.

And speaking of proteins, nowadays, the vegetable ones are "alternative", they are obtained mainly from legumes and are the solution not only for vegetarians and vegans, but also for those who want to alternate their "flexitarian" diet, in favour of a lower consumption of meat, without ethical radicalism or definitive choices.

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