Top Food Trends for 2016

2015 saw the birth of freakshakes and cronuts, what’s next?

As 2015 comes to a close, let’s reflect back on the year that was and take a moment to look towards the New Year and all the tantalisingly spectacular food trends 2016 will bring.

1. Dessert

One key word that has come to the fore with dessert is “customisation”. We humans love options. We love picking and choosing and calling something our own. Restauranteurs have caught onto this and as a result, dessert bars were all about “customisable” toppings from the Make My Magnum to Create-your-own Kit Kat where we embellished our dessert with everything from popping candy to rose petals and popcorn.

More permanent fixtures such as Gelato Messina and Aqua S have taken ice-cream to the next level with new and creative flavours every week to keep us guessing and coming back for more. From caramel cheesecake to tofu, we’ve seen pretty much every flavour emerge this year.

Photo Credit: Time Out Sydney
Photo Credit: Chocolate Suze

2015 also saw the rise of a much more dangerous word, “extreme”. It was all about the most outrageous and decadent desserts to grab people’s attention on social media. We saw the birth of the “Freakshake” — an over-the-top milkshake loaded with Nutella, waffle cones, pretzels, fairy floss with a donut on top.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Pâtissez

What will be the next big thing in dessert for 2016?

Rolled ice-cream? It’s all the craze right now in New York with stores like 10Below Ice Cream where they make a show of creating a uniquely rolled icecream with your choice of unlimited toppings.

Photo Credit: Vogue.com

Customisable waffles?

New flavours? Perhaps something more exotic such as Japanese matcha and adzuki or South-East Asian flavours such as pandan and durian?

2. Street Food

The Night Noodle Markets have always been a hit in Sydney and with thousands flocking to Hyde Park in October. Food trucks such as Mister Gee Burger Truck and Tsuru have been travelling all over Sydney and updating their locations to loyal fans over Facebook.

2016 will see a new trend towards more permanent street food joints. Hawker Lane, which opened by in Chatswood Westfield only a couple of months ago, has the look and feel of a traditional Asian Street Market. No need to wait till October for your favourite Ramen Burger. Greek and Italian Street food joints are sure to start popping up in 2016.

3. Burgers

The Fatties Burger Appreciation Society Facebook group has been a huge driving force in popularising outrageous burgers. These burgers are stacked with everything you can imagine — thick and chunky wagyu beef patties, Southern Fried Chicken, Mac & Cheese, lasagne, soft shell crab. The messier the better.

Photo Credit: Fatties Burger Appreciation Society Facebook Group

Even Neil Perry has jumped on the burger bandwagon and started his own quick service outlet specialising in burgers aptly named the Burger Project.

Will the burger craze survive into 2016?

Yes and it will be bigger, better and more inventive! There’s always something new to bring to the burger scene and I’m excited to sink my teeth into another one of those outrageous but ridiculously delicious burgers.

4. Wholesome Foods

Again, the magic word “customisable” keeps creeping up. 2016 will see a trend towards customisable salads and rice bowls. This is already a popular trend in the USA with chains such as Roast Kitchen and Sweetgreen popping up everywhere. You can make your own bowl using the choice of your own protein + grain + dressing + salad. We’re already beginning to see this new trend with Sumo Salad and The Corner by McCafe in Sydney.

Photo Credit: Her Campus

6. Molecular gastronomy

Inspired by celebrity chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, 2016 will see more new and experimental cooking techniques introduced into restaurants. Places like N2 Extreme Gelato who make gelato using liquid nitrogen and One Tea Lounge and Grill who serve cocktails in test-tubes surrounded by a mist of dry ice are adding an element of theatre and excitement to the presentation of food.

Photo Credit: Eat Drink Play & Drool Worthy World

7. The next hybrid food?

2014 saw the cronut, a cross between a croissant and a donut, shortly followed by the cruffin, a cross between a croissant and a muffin. What will be the next dessert hybrid? Perhaps an ice-cream macaron? I’m as excited as you are to find out. Bring on 2016!


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