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Try a taste of the future: Here are some of the food trends we expect for 2021

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From slow cooking to making our own condiments. This year looks to be promising if you’re a fan of food.

Food took on a different kind of power last year.

It became relentless, in that we were forced to cook more than ever before; it became a source of joy, togetherness and learning as we attempted sourdough and tried out restaurant kits at home; and it became a cause for incredible financial concern, for chefs, restaurateurs and families struggling to make ends meet due to the pandemic.

But what will the world of food look like this year?

Here are a few ideas we can expect…

Even more fermentation and pickling

Lockdown triggered a pronounced revival in traditional preservation techniques.

Be it kombucha bubbling away in the airing cupboard, jam made with windowsill-grown chillies, or jarred homemade kimchi and sushi ginger; sour, sharp and spicy ferments have become something of an addiction for many.

One we won’t be giving up any time soon.

Slow cooking

We may never return to workplaces full-time again, and so, with more time at home, the age of the slow cooker has really begun.

Making our own condiments

There’s been many a day when we’ve become fed up with our own cooking, until we slapped on an interesting condiment or two, or three.

It seems inevitable that we’d begin to slide into experimenting with making our own, and not just your standard ketchups and mayos, but miso and gochujang (Korean red pepper paste), doubanjiang (Chinese broad bean paste) and XO (spicy seafood) sauce.

Having dinner parties again

Never again will we baulk at the stress of hosting dinner.

The moment restrictions lift (they surely will sometime), we’ll be cramming chairs round dining tables and laying on feasts – or just bowls of pasta and supermarket garlic bread – and eating it shoulder to shoulder, because nothing is more comforting.

There will be red wine glass stains, tonnes of washing up and it will feel so, so good.

Getting better at alfresco dining

We’ve long nailed picnics and wet British barbecues, but social distancing and enforced outdoor dining have pushed us towards more exciting forms of alfresco eating. Expect to see more Korean-style barbecuing, elaborate pizza ovens and wild cooking over firepits.

Embrace your inner caveperson.

Virtual cook-a-longs

Surprisingly soothing, and offering access to actual celeb food personalities, as well as a gateway into advanced kitchen skills, virtual cook-a-longs have somehow defied the drudgery of Zoom meetings, and proved genuinely fun.

They’re set to live on beyond pandemic life – which is ideal if you’ve always wanted to attend a cookery course but haven’t had the money or ability to travel to one.

Fancy coffee

Having switched to eco refillable coffee cups, we all got stuck at home, where the idea of having a decadent coffee machine seemed to increasingly make sense…

2021 might just be the year you understand each of its many functions, and sign up to complex and experimental coffee-bean subscriptions.

Eco kitchen tech

Between beeswax wraps and recycled sandwich bags, our kitchens are only going to get more eco-conscious as tech and brands race to be more climate friendly.

Lakeland’s new Compostable Cling Film is top of our 2021 “to buy” list.

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