Natural food – Part 1

April 8th, 2019 | Food & Wine

As a follow up to my ramblings about natural wine, I thought that I should write a little about food trends too. After all, food and wine are very closely related and both subject to innovation and fashion.

Admittedly, I am a little cut off from the main centres of food fashion, being out here on a limb, virtually in the middle of nowhere, but I will have a go regardless.

Whilst ‘painting pictures’ on a plate might seem a bit outdated, presentation of food is still important, and dishes must still have eye appeal, one way or another. One slightly strange trend is that some chefs are not only desperate to discover new ingredients to cook, and different styles to incorporate, but they are also taking the presentation of their dishes to the extreme, using all sorts of odd receptacles on (and in) which to serve their food.

Meanwhile, ingredients themselves are changing, as we are now being encouraged to eat odd cuts of meat and fish, that we perhaps haven’t tried before. Bellies, brains, cheeks, combs, ears, gizzards, hearts, hocks, kidneys, lungs, marrow, necks, shanks, spleens, tongues, trotters, and even testicles are all appearing with much greater frequency on our restaurant menus. Not to mention a whole range of edible plants that can be added to the list.

Sourcing of ingredients is also more important than ever. We are now finding a multitude of naturally grown and sustainable products, together with meat and fish sourced either from the wild or from naturally reared livestock. Organic, grass fed, sustainable and fair trade are just a few of the words now appearing regularly on our food labelling. (Not even taking into account the more specialised categories such as vegan and gluten free etc.,)

Experimentation in food is spreading like wildfire, fuelled by a whole army of celebrity chefs, cookery programmes and TV competitions. Meanwhile, on the internet, the competition for likes and clicks is fierce – and so, in may ways, the more outlandish and unique your dish, the better. We are very rapidly adapting, modifying and re-defining the way we cook and eat, and often in a very positive way.

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