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From ube to black garlic – 9 food trends to watch out for in 2020

In 2019 we’ve scoffed cauliflower and fried chicken in extremes, bought sourdough to mash our avocado into (still), and thought more carefully than ever before about our meat consumption.

So what will 2020 bring for our diets? These are the food trends and ingredients to look out for as the new decade begins…

1. Sandwiches
We’re talking katsu sandos (fried meat squished between slices of Japanese milk bread), and towers of salt beef and pastrami with pickles on the side – not limp cheese and tomato triangles wrapped in plastic from the supermarket.

2. Black garlic
These umami babies are the result of fermenting and ageing standard garlic bulbs, until treacly in colour and tasting of aniseed and balsamic. Chefs can’t get enough of them.

3. Zero-alcohol spirits
Seedlip was a pioneer in the world of alcohol-free spirits, but it was never destined to stand alone for long. Prepare for the likes of Strykk, Three Spirit and Everleaf and their botanical mixes to become staples.

4. Jackfruit
Caribbean cuisines have long used jackfruit, and the vegan community has caught on (the tinned stuff is currently most accessible and makes for a great meat alternative). Next, it’s likely to go mainstream.

5. Zero-waste and refill
The Blue Planet II effect is only going to continue into 2020, meaning more loose fruit and veg (fingers crossed), managing your food waste at home better (leftovers are almost always more delicious anyway) and a move towards relying on refill stores for topping up on dry goods.

6. Butters
According to Whole Foods, we’ll be spreading our toast with a host of ‘new’ butters, free from dairy. Expect macadamia nut butter (surely more luxurious than the peanut variety?), pumpkin butter and even watermelon seed butter to hit the breakfast table.

7. More sustainable seafood
We need to eat more in line with the seasons – for the sake of the planet and our resources. Often we’re quite good with this on the fruit and veg front, but not so much on the seafood side of things. Get to know your fishmonger (whether at an independent store or at the supermarket) now, so when you’re hankering for prawns but know they’re not native and not in season, they can tell you what is most sustainable to eat instead.

8. End of the kids’ menu as we know it
Many children, once they hit a certain age, are no longer satisfied with just fish fingers and chips, or a burger. Expect restaurants to start offering smaller versions of adult mains, as well as healthier and much more ambitious kids’ options.

9. Ube
Purple ube ice cream is already quite popular on Instagram, but the purple yam from the Philippines is set to be rolled out across desserts and savoury items in the coming months.

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