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The most provocative food trends of 2017

Thomas Griffiths, Campbell Soup Co. master chef and vice president of culinary.-(CAMPBELL SOUP CO.)

Hoping to impress your clients with a home-cooked meal or an introduction to an exciting new restaurant?Make sure to check with the chefs and baking professionals over at Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute prior to selecting a menu.

Campbell Soup Co., the global food manufacturer headquartered in Camden, recently released its fourth annual Culinary TrendScape report.

The report compiles the most significant and creative emerging food trends in which Campbell’s chefs have deemed highly influential and ahead of the curve.

Each trend is then categorized into stages of advancement in the culinary world: ‘discovery,’ or trends which have emerged within limited but influential groups; ‘introduction,’ or trends which have reached culinary-minded audiences; ‘adoption,’ or trends which have gained traction with larger audiences; ‘mainstream,’ or trends which are currently well-accepted in many households; ‘established,’ or trends which have reached mass audiences; and ‘expanded,’ or trends which have reached global audiences.

Here are the most provocative food trends of 2017 according to the Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute in Camden:

1. Marine Greens (Discovery): Chefs and manufacturers are beginning to explore the use of underwater super foods such as dulse, a pan-fried seaweed with the flavor profile of bacon, or the use of spirulina, a detoxifying blue-green algae, in smoothies.

2. Advanced Japanese (Introduction): Now that the world has graduated from Ramen 101, chefs are beginning to explore lesser known regional and home-style Japanese dishes such as yakitori skewers, or bite-sized pieces of meat grilled over charcoal, and savory okonomiyaki pancakes, typically comprised of meat and vegetables. 

3. Chefs on a Mission (Introduction): In an effort to drive social change, top chefs are increasingly dedicating their time to purpose-driven projects such as food waste soup kitchens and affordable, high-quality restaurants for low-income areas.

4. Food as Medicine (Adoption): Unique diets continue to be peppered with the use of therapeutic ingredients such as turmeric, ginger, vinegar and bone broth. Such foods with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties continue to be prescribed along with home remedies.

5. Modern Middle Eastern (Adoption): Now that most consumers have been introduced to the vibrant street foods of the Middle East by means of falafel, hummus and shwarma, chefs and quick service restaurants are increasingly looking at selections such as labneh (mild and tangy cheese), kofta (spiced meatballs) and shakshuka (poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce).

6. Condiment Craze (Adoption): In addition to the current obsession with sriracha and homemade ketchups, chefs and consumers alike continue to look for flavorful sauces and spices that will enliven all-natural and farm-focused dishes. Try a recipe for spicy piri-piri sauce, originally made in Portugal from crushes chiles, citrus, onion and spieces, or a sweet, shallot jam.

7. Curry Culture (Mainstream): Often marketed as a comfort food, consumers everywhere can now find curry dishes in restaurants and at the market. Fragrant, simmered curry stews also often appeal to busy cooks.

8. Great Grains (Established): In addition to the health benefits of gluten-free and ancient grains, restaurants and consumers will focus this year on texture and temperature, seeking out sprouted grains and savory porridges. 

9. Southern Comforts (Established): Can you name someone who does not love biscuits? Southern cooking will continue to dominate with inspired variations on dishes such as fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and mac and cheese.

10. Coconut (Expanded): Now widely used in Starbucks’ coffees and Whole Foods’ cooking oils, the wellness ingredient will continue its rise by solidifying its place in specialty beverages and snacks.

And, don’t forget last year’s top trends, as many of them are still as fresh as ever: Cooking with Fire; Authentic Thai; French Revival; Inspired Ice Cream; Traditional Fats; Veg 2.0; Asian Noodle Soups; Haute Dogs; Simple and Real; and Caramel!

Meg Fry

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