What’s a new year without a slew of resolutions and a listing of up-and-coming trends? Here are a few of the tastes, treats, and toys that await in 2018.
Flour power: First we embraced a wider range of grains beyond just wheat, such as spelt, farro, and amaranth. Now we’re taking the next step and turning all of those grains into flour, and doing it at home no less. KitchenAid sells an attachment for its mixers that costs about $100; simple manual grinders can be found for under $50, while the top-of-the-line Royal Lee Household flour mill is $800. Freshness counts when grinding coffee beans and spices, right? Why not with flour, too?
Say aloha to poke: Poke [poh-KEH] is a cold, raw fish preparation and a smoking hot trend. Toss cubes of tuna — quite often, though not exclusively — with sea salt, sesame oil, and green onions for a simple version; add Japanese seasonings, chilies, ginger, avocado, or other personalized ingredients for more contemporary versions. If you love sushi — and, given the number of establishments serving it, it’s pretty popular in the Toledo area — then you need to try this.
Keys to the Keto diet: The Paleo, clean eating, gluten-free, and other dietary regimens have had their 15 minutes of fame. Now, the Ketogenic Diet (known familiarly by its nickname, Keto) is ready for its close-up. High-protein and low-carbohydrate, it’s a kissing cousin to the famed Atkins protocol that forces the state of ketosis, causing the body to burn fat. On the nice list are meat, fish, dairy, nuts, and green vegetables; the naughty list includes sugars, grains, beans, fruits, and alcohol. This is contra-indicated for kidney patients, but it can benefit those who have diabetes, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease. Quick weight loss is promoted as another perk. Remember not to undertake any drastic changes in diet without medical consultation.
Flavor faves: Pumpkin spice is feeling the heat from maple, which hatched its own plot for world domination this fall. Additionally, a Swiss company — Firmenich SA, which specializes in fragrances and flavors — has declared 2018 the year of the fig. If you haven’t given a fig about this fruit beyond the beloved Newton cookies, now is the time to explore its culinary possibilities.
To a tea: Teas, florals, and botanicals are bringing their delicate perfumes to more than just hot water and sweets. Bergamot, rose, orange blossom, elderflower, lavender, and other lovely scent-sations are finding their way into mocktails, making these booze-free beverages as complex and creative as their alcoholic counterparts.
Identity crisis no more: The generic terms “Middle Eastern” and “Mediterranean” are going locavore as Persian, Turkish, Moroccan, Spanish, Israeli, Lebanese, and other cuisines are reclaiming their individual identities. Diners are going on culinary adventures to these distant lands by venturing beyond the familiar hummus and pita and finding polow, borekas, ras el hanout, and other exotic taste treats.
Tech savvy: Alexa, Google Home, Innit, smart appliances, and other innovations can help your culinary endeavors with everything from maintaining shopping lists to turning on appliances and starting to cook dinner before you even leave the office. Personalized meal plans, suggested wine pairings, cooking tutorials, and remotely being able to view whether you’re out of eggs are just a very few of the potential applications and services available. About the only things these HAL-like devices can’t do is load the dishwasher for you or replicate your tea, Earl Grey, hot.
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