There's no doubt that 2020 and the pandemic changed our relationship with food.
This year is all about looking after our health, supporting local Irish businesses and re-creating dining experiences in our own home with both familiar and new flavours.
How many Irish food trends will you try this year?
1. BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY
2021 means we are all looking for ways to take better care of ourselves and our body. However, this does not mean we need to deny ourselves half the food pyramid or switch to a diet of exclusively green sludge smoothies.
For many of us, we can boost our immune system by adding quick and simple ingredients into our daily routine. In 2021, we will see a spotlight on foods full of probiotics and antioxidants. Examples of such foods include kombucha drinks, raw honey and fermented foods such as wild pickled mushrooms.
2. BE YOUR OWN BARTENDER
It will be a while before we are again at a cocktail bar, elbowing up the bar and battling for the bartender’s attention. So there is no time like the present to stock up your own personal bar and enjoy the best service at home. Add Irish drinks to the inventory that will make a unique addition to your home bar! Of course, there are the gins and whiskeys that we all know and love. However, 2021 will focus on a growing industry on the island: wines and meads.
Ireland is not known for its wines, but at Foodeezz HQ, we hope to change that. There are exciting new wines that put a uniquely Irish twist on the wines we’ve all tried before. Think berry wines and bubbly with indigenous fruits.
3. GO FORAGING
2021 is a year we will celebrate the best that Ireland’s wilderness has to offer and support our community (and environment) by shopping locally. There are few better ways to do this than to lean into the 2021 trend of all things foraged. Ireland’s unique climate and eco-system make our hedgerows unparalled. There is a treasure-trove of berries, fungi, fruits and edible flowers that we can explore this year and add to our recipes for an Irish twist.
Think raspberry vinegars, elderflower cordial, gooseberry marmalade, nettle cheeses, dandelion teas, wild-flower honey and pickled mushrooms. These ingredients offer a unique spin on familiar products and can offer new taste experiences. And if rifling through the undergrowth is not something that fills you with a great deal of enthusiasm, you can always investigate some of the great local producers doing the foraging for you and creating some interesting products into the bargain!
4. GO CRAZY FOR SEAWEED
Here is another trend that will also be beneficial to our immune systems in 2021. Sweet and spicy flavours are being pushed out of the way to make room for umami, which roughly translates to “deliciousness” in Japanese. Specifically, it refers to the savoury taste at the back of the tongue that we feel when we eat mouth-watering foods ranging from Parmesan cheese to anchovies, soy sauce to mushrooms, for example. Irish Seaweed offers that rich umami flavour while also packing a punch with nutrients and antioxidants.
As an island out in the Atlantic, seaweed is one of Ireland’s premium products. Unfortunately it does not get the recognition it deserves at home. However, creative new seaweed products mean it is now easier than ever to add this superfood into our daily cooking. Seaweed pestos and tapenades are one such example. Adding one spoonful as a spread on bread, sauce in rice or marinade on meat can elevate a dish to a very special one that ticks off many 2021 trends in one.
5. INDULGE IN INDIVIDUAL TREATS
2021 ends the trend of ultra-saccharine desserts. One of the key food trends this year will be the rise of ‘sophisticated’ desserts that offer more bitter or salty notes to add to the sweetness. Think green tea or ginger ice cream flavours, dark bitter chocolate and salted caramel treats to satisfy our cravings.
No longer do we share large, supermarket-bought sucrose-riddled cakes in the office to celebrate birthdays or parties. 2020 and 2021 found many people working from home. This means our special treats should focus on indulgence and quality over quantity! For zoom celebrations, choose a decadent cupcake that you can savour every mouthful of.