As we wrap up another year, the most important thing to look back on, is how much we’ve eaten in the past 365 days (and all the food we didn’t get to eat in 2018). Food is seriously the best way to judge a great year, and 2018 has definitely been a good one. It doesn’t matter what kind of foods you're in to – sweet, savory, spicy, salty, you name it – it's all worth celebrating in our books.
Food trends are a widespread change or alter in food preference, as seen across the globe – from country to country. Some such trends prove to be long-lasting, while others are short-lived and often discussed in the media in magazines devoted to cuisine, and around the Internet. Like we’re doing right here! Meta.
Over the past year, food trends have ranged from things as wild as poop-themed dishes, to foods featuring edible flowers and plants. Now that 2019 is just around the corner, we want to take a look back at all the trends we've eaten ourselves through in 2018. So sit back, relax, grab a fork, and indulge in 20 food trends that are so 2018 they hurt!
20 Edible Flowers
Stop and smell the edible flowers! How do you feel about this food trend? Do you love it? Or love it not? Considering the push for photogenic food, it makes sense that edible flowers are making their way into everyday dishes and drinks. Edible flowers are often used as herbs — think lavender lattes, or rose-flavored foods. Drinks and dishes made with edible flowers, and floral flavors such as rosewater, lavender and elderflower, were everywhere this summer. And we’ll sure be craving these pretty petals again come spring. There’s just something so pretty about garnishing foods with flowers, that we’ll never get over.
19 Poop-Themed Dishes
It all started as an emoji, and it ended as a cuisine. Although this may sound like the furthest thing from a food trend, we say “think again.” Poop-themed foods and desserts have been taking North America by the boxers.
Everything from ice cream “poop” swirls to foods served out of miniature toilet bowls, this is a trend that’s only for those with a strong stomach. The whole goal of this trend was to make poop “cute”, and we’re not sure how successful it was at achieving this, but we’ll let you be the judge of that one.
18 'Grammable Eats
If it wasn’t posted on your insta feed, was it actually eaten? The answer is: probably not. Food doesn’t go viral by accident, it has to be photogenic, mouth-watering and jump out of the screen to get people to pay attention – making people go to great lengths to get their food posts noticed.
"A lot of restaurants are realizing the benefit in facilitating people taking photos of their food” – Chef Levine. Now even high-level chefs pay attention not only to how food looks on the plate but also to how it'll look on a screen. Food styling and photography have been industries that have exploded over the past year, and we can totally see why.
17 Rolled Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ROLLED ICE CREAM! Who’s heard of rolled ice cream? It’s the most delicious dessert fad of the year. Originally from Thailand, this unique style of ice cream has become popular around the world, thanks to the unique method behind its preparation. Liquid ice cream is poured onto a cold slab, which makes it freeze; meanwhile it's chopped and rolled by hand and then served in a cup with various toppings. It’s the cutest food trend of 2018. In fact, it’s actually a trend on the rise. No complaints here!
16 Marvelous Milkshakes
Does your milkshake bring all the boys to the yard? Well these ones will. Extreme milkshakes have gotten bigger and bigger over the past year. And we mean big. Anything that can be added to milkshakes have been this year. Anything from full donuts, to cotton candy, to cake, to pastries, to chocolate bars, you name it! Though not very healthy, extreme milkshakes sure are fun to eat and take photos of. Happy or not, they’re poised to remain Instagram fixtures. You can make your own at home, or try one at your local dessert shop!
15 Burrito Everything
This was the year of seeing absolutely everything made into a burrito. Pho burrito, sushi burrito, candy burrito, and another “perennial favorite” is the breakfast burrito. Like the pizza, the hamburger, and pretty much all of our favorite foods, we did not invent the burrito in our country, but we didn’t let that us stop us.
The moment burritos began to make their way to America, we realized we could put anything we wanted inside of a tortilla, and the possibilities are endless. Why limit yourself to pork, chicken, and beef? And thus here we have the dozens of variations of burritos that range from “delicious” to “different”.
14 Pulled Jackfruit
Pulled pork or a fruit? You tell us! This food trend is one for the vegans. The jackfruit is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family native to South India. It has a vibrant green colour and is rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre – so eat up! Even though it’s a fruit, it’s known for its “meaty” texture that is often used to replace shredded beef or pork. Also called “jack,” it’s typically found in South and Southeast Asia. This tropical beauty has taken the vegan and vegetarian world by the burgers!
13 Street-Food Style Cooking
Nobody’s got time for fine dining these days – making street food the best pick for foodies. Of course, there’s a time and place for fine dining, but in 2018, street food staples such as tempura, kabobs, dumplings, and pupusas came out on top. Nearly a third of self-described foodies say they often buy street food, and have preferred street-food stops in multiple countries around the world. Not only are restaurants rushing to mimic the flavors of street food, but retail is now getting in on the act. This trend will not slow down, and we’re not upset about that either!
We all know this mean green veggie. Kale has been on our minds for the past few years (because you can now even find it at McDonald’s) just like mustard greens and collards. Not only do we love these veggies for their dark green color, but these low-cal leaves are also packed with nutrients like iron and vitamin C. These days, there are kale chips, kale crackers, kale flavored foods and even desserts. The list goes on! People absolutely love this veggie. It went from dish garnish to main ingredient – and we’re so thankful for its drastic glow up.
11 Plant-Based Protein
Vegans and vegetarians unite! With more and more chefs embracing ingredients such as tofu, tempeh and quinoa, these food trends are on the rise.
"No longer the 'weird' dinner mate, vegans and vegetarians have been fully accepted into the food scene, as chefs known for their meat dishes are looking for a new challenge and diving into the world of plant-based dishes and meat alternatives" – Lifesum nutritionist Frida Harju-Westman tells HuffPost Canada. Whether you’ve cut all animal products out of your diet, or are just hoping to eat less over the next year, there are so many meat-free options available to you in North America.
10 Gut-Friendly Foods
Everyone’s into gut health these days. Which is something we can definitely get behind. With fermenting, pickling and preserving reaching the mainstream, gut health was a huge food trend for 2018. This includes probiotics like kimchi, kombucha, miso and kefir and prebiotics such as onions, garlic and other alliums.
Food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers all over the world are developing new products and expanding to create a prebiotic marketplace that has been evolving for the past decade (with this year serving as a big milestone). What was once a category dominated by fibre and probiotic ingredients is now seeing prebiotics and fermented foods taking it by storm.
9 Meal Kits
Everyone loves to eat well without putting in much work. Cooking dinner may just be the 9-5er’s kryptonite, at least for us it is. These days though, It seems like there’s a new meal kit company opening all the time across the country. They’re all unique, but provide the same service: full meal recipe and ingredients sent right to your door. All you have to do is assemble (and maybe a bit of cooking). These kits serve busy families and individuals and aim to be a step up from takeout, with pre-portioned fresh ingredients and chef-inspired meals.
8 Craft Butter
We <3 butter! Butter is no longer evil. It’s the ingredient that everyone loves to hate. And now it’s back from the dark side with this 2018 food trend: craft butter. Healthy fats have been all the talk lately, and we’re already in love with ghee, or clarified butter, which is a great alternative to other cooking oils thanks to its high smoke point.
This is all thanks to Grant Harrington, of Butter Culture, and his research into dairy fermentation. Now, his buttery rich, yellowy fat, with naturally occurring diacetyl acid (the stuff that makes butter buttery) is nowhere to be found.
7 Artisanal Cheese
Cheese please! Our two favorite words. There seriously can never be too much cheese. Whether it’s on a platter, in a sandwich, or shaved over a dish, there’s nothing better than a good hunk of cheese. And because it’s so delicious, we can’t imagine it would ever fall out of fashion. It looks like 2018 favored the ethnic cheeses such as queso fresco, paneer, labne, and halloumi. But all cheeses are cheeses worth celebrating. The artisanal cheese trend appears to still be a hot one coming into next year, so you can still expect to see plenty more artisanal cheese in 2019. We have our fondue forks ready!
6 Veggie Noodles
Have you heard of zoodles? It’s the hottest trend to happen to pasta. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the birth of cauliflower rice, and zoodles (zucchini noodles), and now even more veggie carb substitutes, as this trend is on the rise. Zoodles are made using a spiralizer device, that cuts veggies into thin, curly pieces – perfect for pairing with pasta sauce. And the possibilities are endless!
Non-wheat noodles such as those made of quinoa, rice, and buckwheat (like soba noodles) typically have fewer calories than wheat pasta, so they were a huge trend in 2018 for those looking to eat a little bit better.
5 Avocado Toast
Avocado toast may just be the most famous food trend of all time! And not everybody is happy about it. Being shamed for quite a while, avocado toast is a trend that just will not go away. Millennials, rejoice! We promise, you can both own a house and eat avocado toast – no matter what anybody tells you. The simple combination of avocado on toast is one of the better pleasures in life. Whatever you add to the toast, just makes the spread better. You can add fruit, spices, edible flowers, seeds, and so much more. Get creative with your avocado toast in 2019!
4 Poke Bowls
Everything can be made into a poke bowl – as this year has proved that oh so well. The poke bowl is a raw fish salad typically served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, but the low-carb favourite has now morphed into more of a protein-rich main course. The dish is now served at a number of fast-casual restaurants that allow diners to customize their poke bowls with things like kale noodles, avocado, and seaweed salad. There’s a poke bowl for every body, especially when you get to choose the ingredients yourself. Spicy, savoury, or even sweet, poke bowls are the best treat.
3 Overnight Oats
Now this is a breakfast dish I can see Goldilocks wanting to steal! If you love to plan ahead, you’ll be pleased to know that overnight oats (a healthy breakfast that can be made the night before) is trending all over the world. It’s made by either adding fruit, yogurt, nuts or other tasty ingredients along with your favorite milk and oats in a mason jar. Mix together at night and let sit in the fridge until morning. When you wake up you'll have a delicious breakfast waiting for you. The absolute best way to start the day. Bon appetit!
This may just be the food of the future! It’s extremely healthy for you and comes from the depths of the sea. Algae have been floating around in research and development labs for decades, but, until recently, no one could make it taste good or, really, answer questions of what to do with it. Nowadays, it’s starting to be part of things we eat every day! It’s time to stop overlooking these organisms, because they’re already in baking mixes, cookies, milk, non-dairy creamers, vegan eggs, salad dressing, ice-cream, smoothies, and protein powders, to name a few. Soon, the extract from spirulina (a form of microalgae) will provide the color for blue M&Ms. It can also dye the green ones, too. A food of many functions!
1 Mason-Jar Meals
A meal in a jar. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Layered to your exact specifications. Pretty much perfection! Get ready to embrace your inner hipster, because mason-jar meals are all the rage this year. Only a few years ago, mason jars were pretty much strictly for canning. Now, thanks to social media, they’re as trendy as green juice and coconut oil. They make portable, portion-control meals super accessible – some not even requiring a second of cooking! Options include salad jars, noodle jars, cake jars, the list goes on! Sold yet? Cause we are!