As life continues in this bizarre new normal in lockdown, one of the things keeping us busy is home cooking and experimenting with new ingredients.
There are tons of exciting new food trends for 2021 – from old-school dishes and drinks getting a new lease of life to completely new foodstuffs. Intrigued to know more? Read on…
MORE: Lisa Faulkner and John Torode share super-easy baked soup recipe - with garlic bread!
WATCH: The royal family's favourite snacks
The top 10 food trends of 2021
Waitrose recently released its food fashion predictions for this year and one cuisine leading the way is Asian flavours.
The store has seen sales of Chinese Rice Vinegar up 194%, Mirin Rice Wine up 188% and Japanese Rice Vinegar up 180%!
One particular Asian dish that is rising in popularity – and made famous on TikTok – is the traditional Tornado Omelette from Korea. The dish is created by using chopsticks to whisk eggs in a hot pan. Eggs also saw a sales increase of 22% in 2020.
The Tornado Omelette
MORE: 46 best meal delivery services in the UK: Mindful Chef, Gousto & more
With Brexit signed and sealed, there's even more interest in sourcing food from our own shores – and British seafood is big news right now.
Waitrose reveals sales of clams, cockles, mussels and oysters have tripled over the last six months, so prepare to cook a few more seafood dishes over the coming months.
Mussels are a British favourite right now
The nation appears to have gone a little fermenting crazy when it comes to preserving our favourite foods.
As well as fermenting at home, Waitrose reports a rise in sales of fermented favourites such as sourdough, kombucha and kimchi - the classic Korean dish made by fermenting cabbage and carrots in a flavoursome, spicy sauce.
Have you tried making kimchi yet?
MORE: Doing Dry January? 11 of the best alcohol-free and low alcohol drinks to get you through lockdown 3
Global luxury boutique brand, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, has also shared their predictions on what we'll eat and drink in 2021.
The natural sweetener, carob, is expected to be huge – it's plant-based, low in sugar and antioxidant-rich.
Carob pods and beans
"If there’s one trend from 2020 that we know will continue it’s that we’ll continue to give a lot of attention to health-conscious and plant-based cuisine, so 2021 will be a carob-covered year indeed,” says Justin Dunne, General Manager of Restaurants & Bars at Kimpton® Maa-Lai Bangkok.
Homemade pesto and grilled cactus
Yes, that's grilled cactus. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants predicts people will get into making their own foods from their home fruit, vegetable and herb gardens.
Homemade oat milk, pesto, jam and pickled everything are on the cards, with amateur home chefs busy dehydrating, canning, fermenting and pickling more than ever before.
Mexican grilled cactus
"People are also starting to grow and eat some cacti species, adding unique flavours and health benefits to an array of dishes,” said Justin Dunne. Grilled cactus can be part of a flavourful fajita dish or add texture to a salad.
Delish.com predicts we'll all be making our own gnocchi this year.
Try your hand at making gnocchi
"In 2021, your feed will be full of people taking the time to make and cut delicious gnocchi from scratch, hanging their homemade bucatini all over their kitchen, and even labouring over a big pot of Sunday Gravy," they write.
"Even if you resisted the urge to get in on trends like banana bread and Dalgona coffee, it's going to be hard not to Google pasta attachments for your KitchenAid next year."
Kelp takes over from kale
We're used to eating seaweed in our sushi and now fresh seaweed is set to be big in home cooking.
Today.com report that 2021 will see us eating 'Sea-chi' (kimchi made with kelp) or adding kelp into our smoothies or soups. The ingredient contains calcium and B vitamins so it's good for us too.
Kelp is the new kale
As many of us look to reduce the amount of sugar in our diets, a new alternative is popping up on the foodie scene.
Maple sugar is big for 2021
Chef Simone, founder of Art Delectables in Los Angeles, told foodandwine.com that new granulated and liquid form alternative sugars are huge right now.
"A favourite of mine is maple sugar. It's an excellent alternative to regular sugar with a low glycemic index, so it's great for diabetics and it doesn't taste too much like maple but still offers a full body of flavour." Coconut sugar is another product to watch out for.
We've ALL the flavours of gin so not it's vodka's moment in the limelight.
According to Waitrose, flavoured vodka is our friend in 2021: "Without the heady botanicals of gin, it is amazingly versatile in a wide range of homemade cocktails and with so many fun flavours to choose from - such as rhubarb and marmalade - the possibilities are endless." Yum!
We're totally on board with the flavoured vodka trend
If like me, you have never got into sherry, this is mighty interesting.
Straight from the Med, sherry or white port spritzers are going to be BIG this year – served in a highball glass with tonic and ice, they make the perfect refreshing, long drink.
Sherry spritzer anyone?
Waitrose reports sherry sales up 18% so the trend has definitely arrived. You can also add a twist to the beverage with a fruity soda or tonic. The store's most popular sherry brands are Manzanilla, Palo Cortado, Fino and Amontillado.