We live in a society where cooking and eating function as social activities rather than simple survival techniques. As a result, food trends are being looked at closely. Food trends play into our culture, giving us topics to talk about, recipes to try, and restaurants to visit. They are also the reason that everyone pretends to like kale.
However, these trends can be difficult to keep up with. Exhibit A: the rise and fall of rainbow bagels seemed to happen within 48 hours — are they in? Are they out? Who do we consult?
Luckily, Google has come to the rescue. Think with Google, an online resource that identifies trends and conducts research, published a U.S. Report entitled “Food Trends 2016” to answer all of our burning questions. The document identifies and highlights foods on the rise based on searches.
The Sustained Risers list tells readers which trends experienced “steady growth over the past year.” These 7 foods in particular are at the height of their popularity, possibly making them the trendiest foods at the moment.
According to Google, pasta has been on the rise since 2015. Consumers appear to be interested in making their own noodles and sauces at home more than ever. Many also attempt less traditional approaches, trying new creations like rigatoni pie.
If you’ve never heard of this Korean meal, you’re certainly not alone. The dish, which translates to “mixed rice,” typically contains sautéed vegetables, chili pepper paste, and soy sauce with an egg or meat on a bed of white rice.
Google reports that many Americans are beginning to use unfamiliar foods as a way to experience different cultures. Bibimbap gives consumers a taste of Korea (literally) without leaving home.
Pasta has really taken Google searches by storm. Aside from learning how to cook new dishes, data indicates that many pasta lovers formed an “interest in understanding the differences between certain types of pasta and their accompanying sauces.”
Made from dough stuffed with fruit, cheese, meat, or vegetables, empanadas are perfect for any occasion. This cultural dish may sound slightly more familiar than bibimbap, probably due to the wide range of countries that have adopted the appetizer. Originating in Spain and Portugal, it can now be found in Latin Europe, Latin America, the US, and Southeast Asia.
6. Uncured Bacon
Bacon is a breakfast favorite of many, but what makes uncured bacon specifically so trendy? Cured bacon uses salt and synthetic nitrates in order to preserve the original color and flavor. Uncured bacon uses a more natural mixture of nitrates found in juice, sea salt, and celery powder for a similar taste.
While uncured bacon possesses a shorter shelf life, it’s less likely to increase your risk of cancer than cured. It appears that consumers are becoming more health conscious about their breakfast meats.
7. Bundt Cakes
This trend took me a little by surprise. However, bundt cakes are relatively quick, easy to make, and versatile. This dessert could be the new go-to for cookouts, potlucks, and parties.
The full “Food Trends 2016” document contains much more information on how consumers think about, search for, and consume various foods. Check it out to stay in the know and keep up with the trendy cuisines of this year.