In the next 12 months, here’s what and how we would be able to cook and eat.
In 2020, food acquired another form of strength.
It became relentless as we were forced to cook more than ever before; as we dabbled in sourdough and tried restaurant kits at home, it became a source of excitement, solidarity and learning; and it became a source of incredible financial anxiety for cooks, restaurateurs and families struggling to make ends meet due to the pandemic.
But in 2021, what will the food world look like? Here are a few thoughts that we can hope to see….
Further fermentation and pickling
This year, we’ve had a taste of it. A powerful revival of traditional preservation strategies ignited a lockdown. Jam made from chilies growing on the windowsill, or homemade kimchi and sushi ginger from a container, sour, hot and spicy ferments have become something of an addiction for many, whether it’s kombucha bubbling away in the cupboard. One that we’re not going to give up anytime soon.
We can never return to work full-time, but the era of slow cooking has truly started with more time at home.
Manufacture your own spices
The compulsion to cook on a loop forced us to cook our own food for days after we got sick – before we added an interesting spice or two or three. It seemed unavoidable that, not only the normal ketchups and mayos, but also miso and gochujang (Korean red bell pepper paste), doubanjiang (Chinese bean paste) and XO (spicy seafood) sauce, we will begin experimenting with homemade condiments.
Get dinner parties once more
We would never shy away from the stress of having a dinner party ever again. As soon as the constraints are removed (which they will definitely be at some point), we’re going to crowd chairs around the dining tables and serve up feasts, or just pasta and garlic bread bowls from the supermarket, and eat them shoulder to shoulder, because nothing’s cozier. There’ll be stains of red wine bottle, lots of washing up and it’s going to feel so, so good.
Get great at eating al fresco
Picnics and soggy British barbecues have long been our go-to, but we were guided to more exciting ways of outdoor dining by social distance and the compulsion to eat al fresco. Expect more grilling, intricate pizza ovens and wild cooking over fire pits in Korean-style. Embrace the caveman inside.
Nights of Virtual Cooking
Digital cooking sessions, providing access to celebrity chefs and advanced kitchen expertise, are unexpectedly soothing. They defy the drudgery of Zoom meetings somehow and are really fun. If you have always wanted to take a cooking class but have not had the resources or opportunity to travel to one, this is perfect.
We all got stuck at home after moving to eco reusable coffee cups, where the concept of a decadent coffee maker seemed to be making more and more sense…. 2021 may be the year you grasp each of its many roles and sign up for a coffee bean subscription that is complex and experimental.
Technology for Eco Kitchens
Our kitchens are only becoming more eco-conscious between beeswax packaging and recycled sandwich bags, while technology and brands are rushing to become more climate-friendly. At the top of our 2021 shopping list is Lakeland’s latest compostable cling film.