With the kind of year that 2020 was, it's no surprise that foodie trends this year screamed “comfort food”.
After all, most of them originated from our own homes instead of high-end restaurants or new eateries; the world changed, our eating habits definitely couldn't remain the same.
Here are 8 grub trends we witnessed, participated in and maybe even sighed at a few from a quiet distance:
Trend 1: Banana bread
The fact that people chose banana breads to seek comfort in is quite shocking because you know, bananas are not mangoes. People seem to be quite divided on the appeal of the fruit itself and yet, every “quarantine chef” turned to making banana bread - with as many flavour combinations as possible.
Even I tried my hand at it and came up with a recipe for peanut butter banana bread that I might not ever look at again, but yes, it exists.
Would you like to know some of our favourite places that made a really good banana bread? Sugar Drizzle and a home-based business called That Banana Bread definitely stuck out.
Trend 2: Dalgona coffee
If you look up the origin of a dalgona coffee, it might take you to a map of South Korea and yet we know that we've been making our “phenti hui” coffee like this since ages.
This year saw bloggers, instagrammers and TikTokers turn towards making a dalgona coffee with such zeal, one would think that whipping coffee by hand was one of the ways you could directly transport yourself to 2021.
It was definitely everywhere though for a few months. The frothy coffee cream on top sure made it look good on the gram and kept the trend from dying out. Did you also make one?
Trend 3: Tres Leches
Trust us to take a simple dessert and replicate it so many times and in so many ways that it basically gets reduced to being a punchline. This year we saw a rose-flavoured tres leches, a tiramisu one, a coffee one, a lotus one, a chocolate one, one with seasonal fruits, a mini-sized one, a full-sized one and one that wasn’t a tres leches at all but a chocolate malt cake but who are we to call it out?
Basically, almost every home-based bakery did a variant and we found ourselves surrounded with more options than we could possibly handle.
Some of our favourite places that made a really good tres leches include Imperial Cakes and Loaf Out Loud, and don’t worry, we ain’t forgetting the OG Auntie Munaver’s anytime soon either.
Trend 4: DIY Kits
DIY Kits were what many restaurants turned to when the lockdown restrictions meant that people wouldn’t be able to dine out. We saw a taco DIY Kit, a brownie DIY kit, a burrito DIY kit and a pasta one too!
One of the more popular DIY kits was by 2 Guys 1 Grll, who put together a kit for their donut burgers with their respective ingredients labelled out and a step-by-step instruction manual on how to assemble the burger.
“I think a lot of young couples, who don’t live with their parents, struggle with their meals. Most can’t afford domestic help if they are also busy with their work schedules, this is where the DIY food kits steps in,” says Asim Siddiqui, co-founder of 2G1G.
He says the demand for the kit still exists, even though not with the same intensity as before - when the lockdown was imposed.
Trend 5: Platters and baskets
What happens if you want to stay connected with friends and family, celebrate their birthdays, milestones or maybe even just cheer them up while also social distancing? You send them food, of course.
Quite a number of restaurants and home-based businesses rose to the occasion of putting together that perfect dessert platter, cheese board or a bread basket that would do just that.
Some of the more popular ones were: Test Kitchen by Okra (a bread basket), Karacheese (a cheese basket) and Hot Oven By C (dessert platters and cheese boards).
Did you receive any from a friend? We are still waiting for ours to send one!
Trend 6: Lotus on just about everything
Lotus Biscoff desserts were popular way before 2020 and yet, something happened this year that really took the biscoff craze to the next level. We saw it being poured over cheesecake, cookies, pancakes, french toasts, tres leches and even on kulfis!
All we are waiting to see now is a Lotus paratha and then hopefully we should be ready to move on to the next trend.
Trend 7: Hot chocolate bombs
Hot chocolate bombs are the newest food trend to hit the interwebs; these are chocolate shells that are filled with marshmallows and cocoa and when milk is poured on them, they dissolve to become hot chocolate.
Hudeiba Ali, who is a home-based baker behind A Sugar Affair, says: “I tried the hot chocolate bombs a couple of years ago which were made by Kate Weise and I brought the concept to Karachi in 2019.”
She says even if the concept is a little kitschy, we can use a little magic and dark chocolate in our cups right now, especially in this weather.
Trend 8: Asian fusion cooking
If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, we would have seen this trend properly blow up but even with lockdown restrictions, we saw quite a few restaurants and home-based chefs attempt asian fusion cooking. We're talking kimchi, dumplings, Pho, Biang Biang Noodles, the works. Would this continue over 2021? We sure hope so!
Was there a food trend that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!