Food trends, old and new

I was looking for inspiration the other day. This time it wasn’t about something to write, but something to cook. I ran across an article about the newest food trends in 2021 and you’ll never believe what I found. Everything old is new again!

Did you know that Pantry Meals are one of the hottest food trends out there? What? You don’t know what Pantry Meals are? They are simply meals you put together out of whatever you find in your pantry. No running to the store allowed, you just make do with what’s there, kind of like the olden days when people had to walk fifty miles to go to a store, so they didn’t. 

When I was a kid, they called it “Chef’s Surprise.” Back then we all thought it was because chefs liked to surprise unsuspecting kids. Sometimes it was a nice surprise, sometimes it was…not. As adults, we all know that “Chef’s Surprise” simply means they don’t have a clue what it’s going to be, it all depends on what’s in the pantry.

Another food trend is “Elevated Desserts.” This is when a cook gets so creative with dessert that it elevates it to an art form. Now this sounds quite intimidating. When you think of desserts in an art form, you think of fruit sculptures or flaming cherries jubilee. But most people are quite impressed with good old, whipped cream. Get a can of the spray on type and cover your dessert with it! Put a cherry on top and voila! You have elevated pretty much any dessert to an art form! 

One of the most popular food trends after everyone was locked down was Mental Health Cooking. These are “foods that boost mood, soothe anxiety, combat depression and support mental health.” At least that’s what they call it nowadays. They used to call them Comfort Food, and they included things like meatloaf and mashed potatoes and chicken soup. Desserts, even if they are not elevated, are also comfort food. Chocolate is a comfort food group of its own. They don’t need to tell us which foods are for good mental health, it’s the food that makes you feel good. 

One more food trend is Fusion Cuisine. That’s just a fancy name for when they take a traditional ethnic food and combine it with another traditional ethnic food, like Korean Burritos or Sushi Corn Dogs (yes, that’s a real thing). But again, we’ve had that kind of stuff for years! Think of fish tacos, Mexican lasagna, or Pineapple Pizza. Fusion Cuisine is like America. You take all kinds of countries, throw them together and see what comes out.

So, it was kind of fun to see that I already knew about several of the “newest food trends.” So now, when I throw together whatever’s in the pantry, I am on the cutting edge of food evolution! 

But what do you do with two cans of green chiles and a box of oatmeal?



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