As far as food goes, 2017 was good to us. It gifted us with Bloody Mary-inspired chips, a mac n’ cheese bar at Whole Foods and Moscow Mule gummy bears. OK. We were healthy, too, and ate a lot of Brussels sprouts. (If you’re still unsure about them, here are five ways to make them taste better). We also had a full-on obsession with pickles, as evidenced by the arrival of dill pickle-flavored vodka, pickle cupcakes and a pickle restaurant.
So what’s on the menu for 2018?
Here’s what the culinary experts predict will be trending on our taste buds.
1. Floral Flavors
Whole Foods experts predict edible petals will go beyond pretty garnishes and will be used to infuse drinks and snacks with a subtly sweet botanical flavor. You can expect to see lavender lattes, hibiscus teas and elderflower starring in lots of cocktails. Whole Foods even sells Jacobs Farm Organic Edible Flowers.
Move over, bone broth. Mushroom broth is a new trend that’s about to take over, Whole Foods predicts. But mushrooms are also proving their versatility. Since they’re earthy and creamy, they’re being paired with lots of cocoa and coffee flavors. (You might also spot the mushroom trend in the beauty realm, showing up in soaps and hair care products.) Some varieties to watch out for include reishi, chaga, cordyceps and lion’s mane, according to Whole Foods.
3. New Fizzy Drinks
We’re not saying LaCroix has fizzled out, but it’s got some competition. Flavored sparkling waters will be big in 2018, Whole Foods predicts. The makers of these drinks are getting creative. As an example, Sap! has a plant-based sweetener, and is made with maple and birch.
4. Fermented Foods
Registered dietitians predict that fermented foods—like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, some pickles, kimchi and miso —will stage a superfood takeover in 2018. These foods ousted seeds as the top superfood, according to the 2,050 registered dietitian nutritionists who responded to the Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian’s “What’s Trending in Nutrition” national survey. The takeaway? Consumers will be “going with their gut” by seeking out foods that improve their gut health.
5. Beer Cocktails
Gavin Berry, a Level 1 Sommelier and General Manager at Del Frisco’s Grille in Colorado, predicts that more cocktails will contain beer as an ingredient. “Some of my favorites in this trend have been margaritas with Corona, some great brunch-style beermosas and beer Bloody Mary’s,” he says.
Fizzy and fruity drinks eschewing alcohol may be the next big beverage trend, predicts BBC’s Good Food. With botanical flavors, these booze-free drinks are proving they’re not just for kids.
7. Plant-Based Proteins
Veganism is growing in popularity. But you can still be a carnivore and embrace this trend. Good Food points to Indian food that’s rich with pulses as a rising trend. Plus, more people are cooking with tempeh, tofu and quinoa. If you want to give the trend a test run, check out these 11 vegetarian recipes that are easy on the budget.
8. Doughnuts With Nontraditional Filling
Doughnuts will make their way onto restaurant dessert menus in 2018, but they’ll be a bit fancier than the ones you’d find at the local doughnut shop. In its annual “what’s hot” predictions, the National Restaurant Association predicts that doughnut fillings will be nontraditional. Think: liqueur or Earl Grey cream.
9. House-Made Pickles
Fret not, pickle lovers. The National Restaurant Association predicts that more restaurants will have artisan pickle products, and that pickles will be a big trend in 2018. Meanwhile, the association predicts that in-house charcuterie programs are cooling down.
10. Vegetable Carb Substitutes
Cauliflower rice. Spaghetti squash. Zucchini noodles. These vegetable-based carb substitutes have been mounting a takeover, and the National Restaurant Association expects they’ll be even bigger in the new year. Getting ahead of the trend, Green Giant launched veggie-based spiral pastas.