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The need to ground ourselves, as an antidote to the increasing urban pressure, takes us back to basics. We continue to grow our own, buy directly from growers or farmers markets and become more resourceful. Off-grid-living, outdoor cooking, wild camping and notions of anti-urban become even more popular in all aspects of daily life, holidays and lifestyle trends.
In line with the idea of earthiness, the practice of eating dirt, also known as geophagy or pica, provides the true taste of terroir, the flavour of which varies from place to place. Mineral-rich soil has been praised for its umami flavour and important microbial system. Its increased acceptance and use will continue to expand flavour profiles. Earth and dirt, now an indicator of realness, will be more acceptable on shop-bought vegetables. Created edible soil representations will be used in both savoury and sweet dishes to reference growing, freshness and the ground.
Smoked foods, or desserts like S’mores which evolved from cooking around the campfire, will be developed and conveniently packaged enabling customers to feel that re-connection with nature. Smoke flavours will come to prominence. Prolific, cheap and under-used, seaweed is starting to be recognised as a sustainable and versatile product. New possibilities and creativity around product development will advance over the next few years. Seaweeds have high levels of minerals, such as calcium, and are high in both soluble and insoluble dietary fibres all of which are essential for addressing the current health trend. However, it’s the high protein content (up to 47%) that will make the umami-tasting superfood even more popular. Its versatility will be explored by numerous food categories from chocolate to water and alcohol.