Let’s go back to proper food in 2018
PUBLISHED: 09:08 09 January 2018
Richard Hughes gives a sigh about the latest ‘food trends’ and wnders when we’ll return to proper food...
There was a time - though I can’t remember when - I might look at each year’s food trends with a level of mild interest.
Every year they become more and more divorced from reality and tend to be rehashes from what’s been predicted over the past decade - occasionally the crystal ball/navel gazing might come true: the latest figures show there are now more than half a million vegans in the UK, making veganism one of the fastest-growing lifestyle movements of 2017.
This trend has been mooted for more than 25 years: 2017 was the year it finally happened
“Hyper-local” is the latest big thing – that’s food SO local that you source it from within walking distance of your kitchen.
Does that mean no more tea? Come to think of it, the only salt we can use will be distilled from our tears as we sadly reflect on the guilt of eating something from Suffolk.
This is beyond tiresome. I’m all for supporting local, but - I’m sorry to be the one to break the news - nice food grows in other parts of the country and even other parts of the world. As in many areas of life we’ve worked so hard to broaden our horizons, it now seems the thing to be insular and bring up the drawbridge on so many of the goods things that life can offer.
Fantastically, the same people who predict we’ll all be eating from our windowboxes are also predicting edible gold will be appearing on many of our mainstream dishes. Now, if gold was hyper-local, I’d be first in the queue to be converted.
Edible flowers (so 1990s), insects (again), gut-friendly foods (fermenting, pickling, preserving, the stuff our Nans did in the war) are other ‘big ideas’ listed as things to look forward to in 2018. As they were in 2000, 2005, 2010… you get the picture.
My predictions and earnest hopes are, as ever, that we will see a return to ‘proper’ food: traditional cooking methods, classic pieces of kit and that the smoke guns, water baths and ‘anti griddles’ will all be consigned to the skip. Old-school patisserie will see a return and baking bread will continue to be elevated to an art form.
Deconstructing dishes, taking great ingredients and turning them into something unrecognisable are all passé. For me, Delia was bang on the money for me when she came out and decried ‘poncey cheffy food’.
Norwich and Norfolk has certainly had a spectacular year food-wise with GBBO’s Nadia picking a Cromer Crab as her most memorable meal of 2017, St Benedict’s Street continuing to be the food mecca of the city centre adding the wonderful Farmyard to its ever-growing family, the wonderful team from the Duck at Stanhoe adding the Hunworth Bell to their stable, Richard and Lucy Golding doing remarkable things in King’s Lynn at Market Bistro and their new venture. There are many others – I’m sure you’ll have your favourites.
What I’m most excited about for 2018 is literally on my doorstep: the continued resurgence of Norwich Market as a food destination with a range of remarkable pop-ups and stalls showcasing food from across the globe: the whole world is hyper-local under those striped awnings.
And my favourite of all? The Lasagneria on Norwich market, provider of staff meals for most of The Assembly House! Bellissimo!