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During the rush hours of college, all of us grab that one snack from a vendor which we will eat in the class without the teacher noticing. The anticipation of eating those piping hot Mendu Vadas with cold coconut and tomato chutney, that spicy Vadapav with all spiced tea, Chinese corner of the canteen selling quick Paneer Chilli races through our minds. Street food courses through the veins of Mumbai, it is the very essence, the trends that we all have been following since the beginning of time.
The trends of 2019 opened up many palettes, taking us around the world with exquisite cuisine provided by talented chefs. Brunch plans to hangover meals, Mumbai did not shy away from comforting us through thick and thin. It was a great year of innovation and exclusivity which opened a new door to flavour city.
While making poor jokes about “Hope to meet you next year” on 31st December 2019, we really did not know understand the gravity of “hope” we will cling to this year. Our connection to food after pandemic felt disconnected and we were left yearning for our previous lives. What are the Food trends that can thrive amongst the masses now? What is the scope for Indian gastronomy today?
The Trends of Health
Health has always been an important aspect of our lives though the trends of being healthy has gone up drastically due to the contagious nature of the virus. Not only being physically healthy but also mentally and emotionally has taken over the world. Food is now dissected to every molecule and separated into varying levels of “being healthy”.
Today, the consumer wants safety,healthy and tasty wrapped up into a neat and attractive parcel. Restaurants, eateries and the delivery organisations have made it their utmost priority to focus on the Big Three factors dishes today.
Because of the situation, people would generally prefer consuming food from a restaurant that is 100% safe and hygienic. The goodwill of a restaurant holds higher value as one bad review from a food blogger or a customer might reduce the clientele of the restaurant and risk their business in jeopardy. Regular temperature checks of the chefs, staff, delivery staff, sanitising the kitchen and the vehicles every two hours, organic and fresh produce utilisation are now some of the rules that people in the food industry have to follow.
Long gone are those days where we showcase our bravery by eating roadside pani puri and sev puri, think about the questionable things used in that sandwich chutney we all love, those spicy manchurians which spilled everywhere #itscoronatime.
The Trend of Veganism
Plant-based, dairy-free, organic or whole foods have spiked up on the trends chart and dried fruits and vegetables have become healthier alternatives for normal snacks that we all like to binge on. Animal products consumption is going on a steady decline as animals can be the host of the virus or distrust in the handling quality of the meat. There are many other risk factors that come with having not balanced meat-based that have proven to be fatal due to the lack of physical activity most of us have this quarantine. Many plant-based alternatives of meat are hence now considered for a typical Sunday barbecue afternoon.
When Mom gives a glass of hot milk in the morning before school some of us would have a little tummy ache which was just an “excuse” to our Indian parents and we would forcefully drink the glass. With more dietary awareness spread throughout the years, some of us realised our little tummy ache was a signal of being “lactose intolerant”.
Due to the rise of awareness, many people have shifted to more vegan cheese, different kinds of nutmilks, vegan yogurt, and so on. Transparency Market Research notes, “Global Vegan Cheese Market will chart a Compound Annual Growth Rate of about 10% from 2020 to 2030. This will drive the market worth up to USD 7 billion (approximately) by the end of the stated period.
Many restaurants and eateries have noticed the spike of the plant-based and dairy-free trends creating many innovative dishes which would make you forget the existence of meat!
The Trend of Home cooked food
The extra chapati that your mother serves, the extra ghee she forcefully spreads on the chapati, the extra sweet she lets you steal from the Aarti Thali is the extra love she adds that make the food much more delicious. With people stuck across borders due to the unexpected pandemic, many long for the home-cooked flavour and nostalgia the food provides.
Home cooked food has an underlying sense of trust because one would prepare the food with utmost hygiene and on the plus side it is mouthwatering. The trends of home cooked food have provided a lot of new businesses an opportunity to shine and contribute to the economy. Every grandmother and mother are giving their pride and love to a student, employee, worker and many more who are missing home.
To replicate that flavor, that exact measurement of spices, the aroma summons everyone to try it on their own and many are taking on the role of being a chef this quarantine taking on the food trends of 2020.
The “Ready to Eat” trends
Everyone has different passions that guide their journeys in life and following our passions takes up most of the time in our lives. To cope up with this never resting life we need to live and thrive in. We sometimes forget to eat, sleep, rest or even breathe. Hence there are “ready to eat” meals available today and in the ongoing pandemic, the requirement has shot up.
From Maharashtra’s favourite Misal Pav to Italy’s authentic Neapolitan Pizza, everything is now freeze-dried and sold into ready to make packets. Just stick it in the oven or toss it over a flame for a few minutes and it’s ready to eat!
These Ready to Eat trends have also taken a top spot in the Food trends post Covid-19 because they last for a longer time, are easy to prepare, do not take much time which is ideal for someone who does not have the time to spare. Due to the freeze-drying technique, the contents of ready to eat packages are much more hygienic and safe than normal street food vendors or restaurants.
Gourmet At Home experience
Wearing your best dress and makeup, accessorising from head to toe you walk out the door for a nice dinner date at a fancy restaurant. It is never only about the food, the ambience, the garnishing, the conversation, the experience made the food taste a hundred times better.
It is not much of a shock to know that our impromptu lunch dates between classes or #LitSaturday scenes will get cancelled due to the social distancing rule imposed. Hence many establishments in the food industry will be taking a hit. Though what if there is a way to bring those same experiences, at home? Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Many Chefs have ventured outside the restaurant business, trying to replicate the same gourmet experience at the consumer’s doorstep. A form of catering business has sprung up where chefs cook up a delicious meal with all of the extravagant things to spice up this dull quarantine life. A party of minimum 4 to a maximum of 20 can enjoy these services with all sanitising requirements needed.
Even though the world is currently at a halt right now, the food industry never stops hustling. Because of the sheer passion of some people, today we get to live our best foodie dreams even during such trying times. No matter what taste, the food industry of 2020 has got it all. By following these trends, our subtle quarantine food experience will turn into a roller coaster of flavours. Buckle up for the Profound Gastronomy trends of 2020!