Food Forward: A taste of 2018’s food trends
MANILA, Philippines — On January 9 at A Space Makati, The San Miguel Pure Foods Culinary Center (SMPFCC) embarked on a gastronomic trek through the expected foodscape of 2018.
In the way of worldwide food trends, not a lot comes new to the Filipino market. It’s no surprise that Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern flavors have slowly taken over the Western food scene, with flavors and twists that we all know and love winning over hearts and palettes.
Yet SMPFCC, along with its partners and some of the country’s most renowned chefs – Heny Sison, Emelita Galang, Rosemarie Lim, Sylvia and Ernest Reynosos-Gala and Gene Gonzales – excite and entice appetites with a breakdown of the predicted trends for the year.
Bigger is best
Bold flavors and extreme indulgence are clearly the names of the game when a 12-inch burger laden with a foodie’s most outrageous dreams comes into play.
Colorful angus sliders take centerstage for the devout carnivore, while innovative flavor combinations take the sweet, spicy, and savory to whole new levels and put a much-needed spin on the classic chicken lollipop.
Take-away takes over
Millennial or not, the Filipino is always on the move. With people across every age demographic growing into a more educated, health-conscious consumer base, it’s easy to understand the rise of pre-packaged and calorie counted meal delivery services, the popularity of food that’s easy to grab and eat on the move.
Healthy options are prioritized, along with a healthy dose of spicy flavors, as seen with the packaged salads, perfect for storing in the refrigerator or prepared the night before, and with honey chili habanero chicken poppers served in convenient sugar cones, ready to grab and go.
According to Chef Heny Sison, it’s about “reviving old recipes and elevating them” while still adapting to new technologies; food that offers comfort and convenience with the thrill of the delightfully unexpected.
Chef Gene Gonzales cites travel as a large factor in 2018’s coming food trends. He predicts the rise of “borderless, global cuisine,” what with rising exposure to new and exotic flavors. The culinary year is slated to experience a crossover between cultures: European techniques with Asian and Middle Eastern ingredients, as with the flavors like African Harissa and Morroccan spices preserved through the low-temperature sous vide cooking method.
Tradition with a twist
The millennial penchant for all things nostalgic is also slated as a driving force on the Philippine food scene, according to Chef Ernest Reynoso-Gala. Younger chefs abroad are becoming more daring, and while the rest of the world is being introduced to the flavors of our culture, local chefs and restaurants are forging ahead by putting modern spins on heritage Filipino cuisine.
Along with the classic lechon kawali served in a mouth-watering paella, San Miguel Pure Foods introduces their new Heat & Eat line of products with bone-in and boneless crispy pata served with 3 sauces that represent Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao – kare-kare, humba, and piyanggang. The standard sinigang was also reincarnated to perfection with a fresh pomelo twist.
Bread on the rise
These days it’s possible to eat for wellness and beauty, but look forward to doing so and indulging at the same time. While Japanese breads lead the way into organic and artisanal desserts like the savory Hokkaido, the more colorful but no less delicious sweet end of the spectrum takes inspiration from Mexican conchas.
Infused croissants and donuts take on a new spin with flavors like matcha and ube, providing a less-guilty dessert experience, and smoothie bowls are expected to be the new poke by marrying the desire for a healthy meal and the necessity for convenience.
Crafted cocktails at home
Loud and proud in the way the Filipino does best, gin cocktails and local ingredients set the trend when it comes to drinks for any occasion. Ginebra San Miguel, which is a juniper-based alcohol, is perfectly paired with a wide variety of flavors, especially local ones like calamansi, dalandan, guyabano, lemongrass, mango and pomelo. The possibilities are endless for do-it-yourself home mixologists. – Rappler.com