What’s trending – The food & drink to keep an eye on in February
Nick Baines keeps you up to date with the newest dishes, flavours and innovations in food & drink
Everything’s for sale: Merging the dining and retail experience is something delis and farm shops have been doing for some time. However, this concept is being taken to a much grander stage at London’s Coal Office, a restaurant where everything from the light fittings to the crockery is available to purchase. Ottolenghi is also onto this experiential merchandising method at his new site Rovi. Together they demonstrate an extra revenue stream for restaurants. In an era where everyone’s selling a lifestyle, not just product, it’s a tactic to take note of.
Seed butters: Alternative nut butters have grown in popularity, with almond and cashew varieties having graduated from hipster brunch spots to supermarket aisles. Right now though, butters made from pumpkin, sunflower and even hemp seeds are attracting serious attention. This comes at a time when tahini, the sesame seed paste and cornerstone of hummus, is being used in more leftfield ways such as in cookies and ice creams. Expect to see a lot more seed butters weaving their way through trendy café menus throughout 2019.
Wax wrap: In the continued fight against plastic, consumers are now looking beyond the reusable coffee cup in search of new ways to reduce their plastic footprint. Waxed cotton wraps are reusable kitchen accessories that replace cling film and save money. By infusing organic cotton cloth with wax, tree resin and jojoba oil, Abeego has created a pliable and easy-to-use product for wrapping sandwiches, fruit and food in the same way you would with cling film. Varieties made with vegan-friendly soy wax are also available from producers and, what’s more, the cloth designs brighten up lunchboxes and fridge shelves too.
This column appeared in the January/February issue of Fine Food Digest. You can read more on the digital edition here.