We often go to a restaurant and come back obsessing over the food. Seldom do we talk about the ingredients used, let alone celebrate them. This decade, however, was slightly different. We saw a number of food trends, some likeable, some utterly bizarre; but thanks to the Internet and social media, many ingredients managed to steal their share of limelight too. Here are 13 ingredients that happened to make us sit up and take notice.
13 Ingredients That Took The Culinary World By Storm Last Decade
Remember when a coffee giant introduced 'turmeric latte' in its menu? How Indians across the world found the spiced latte preparation to be an uncanny cousin of our good ol' Haldi doodh. But such has been the western fascination with the Indian spice off late. Turmeric one of India's ancient spices used in daily preparations, Ayurvedic medicines and beauty rituals for its rich nutritive profile became a global sensation. The golden spice may help ease digestion, boost immunity, prevent ageing and even delay onset of Alzheimer's disease, according to multiple recent studies.
2. Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Ghee, or clarified butter, came back in vogue and we cannot be happier. Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan went on record to say that eating ghee, in fact, helped her with a smooth pregnancy in 2016. Many nutritionists across the globe are dubbing ghee as the desi superfood we all need. It helps increase digestibility of food, increases energy, induce satiety and it is rich in anti-inflammatory properties too.
Let's admit it, nothing was spared by the trend of activated charcoal. Our Instagram was raided by this black beauty about three years back and the trend refuses to die down. The gothic food trend was popularised by a famous Italian chef who chose to bake a black pizza base using activated charcoal in 2014. The trend really picked up around 2017 and 2018 with charcoal ice cream, burger, and charcoal latte becoming the talk of town. In addition to the beautiful black colour it imparts on to the food, activated charcoal is also associated with a number of health benefits, especially how well it helps in detoxifying the system.
4. Gold Leaf
The prices of gold may be touching the roof, but that didn't deter people to use a bit of the precious metal in their ice cream, doughnuts and over their pizza! Last year, the ice-cream parlour Huber and Holly in Mumbai, trended on Instagram for their 'Mighty Midas', a dessert which is made from 17 delicious ingredients and is topped with a 24K edible gold leaf. You can get it for a cool 1000 rupees. A few months ago Bollywood sensation Shilpa Shetty also created a stir on the internet for her gold-plated ice-cream that she relished in Hong Kong.
When Prince Harry and Megan Markle cut their dreamy lemon and elderflower cake for their wedding reception in 2018, the demand of elderflower skyrocketed. This English edible flower screams spring and it lends such a delicious freshness to everything that it is added to. Off late, it can be seen sitting pretty on our cocktails and desserts. And honestly, we are totally rooting for the trend.
Matcha, a fine green tea powder, has earned scores of fans across the globe recently. Until last few years, it was Japan's well-kept secret, but now its popularity has travelled boundaries. With ten times the antioxidants as regular tea, matcha-flavoured desserts and snacks have become a rage on Instagram. The bright green colour of matcha does make for a picture-perfect treat after all. Matcha ice-cream, matcha mousse cake, matcha-flavoured yogurt, matcha is everywhere now — how many of these delicacies have you tried?
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil managed to grab quite a few eyeballs in recent years. The dense oil retrieved from coconut is one of India's most beloved oils, especially down south. However, when in July 2017, the American Heart Association (AHA) published an advisory in the online journal Circulation claiming that coconut oil may increase cholesterol, the world was left shook. Afterall, it has been linked with a bevy of health benefits. Many nutritionists questioned the validity of the animal study and went on to say that the oil is an excellent superfood for heart and overall health. It is loaded with medium-chain fatty acids that prevent heart troubles, A recent study also claimed that consumption of coconut oil has been associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's .
Long before we as a nation got obsessed with wheat, many parts of India consumed millets and grains like Ragi. The coarse grain is replete with health benefits, it is also known to facilitate weight loss. Since it is gluten-free, it has made its mark among people who are increasingly looking for gluten-free options around them. Ragi cookies, Ragi chips registered themselves in the list of 'healthy yet yummy snacks'. Ragi cakes also grew wildly popular among those looking for something diet-friendly to appease their sweet cravings.
(Also Read: 6 Health Benefits Of Ragi: A Wonder Grain)
If you are into fitness you must have heard about Quinoa, but how many of us had heard about the superfood, say ten years ago? Quinoa is one of the rare plant-based sources of protein that is deemed complete. In other words, it has all essential amino acids. While it makes for a nice addition to your diet, many five-star properties have also starting using the pseudo-cereal in their desserts and main course. India, especially, has been very welcoming of Quinoa. Do not be surprised if you stumble upon dishes like quinoa pyasam, and quinoa biryani in your favourite restaurant soon.
This decade, the versatility of avocado was truly put to test. One of the most sought-after fruits among people who follow Mediterranean diet and Ketogenic diet, avocado is a treasure of health benefits. Many recent studies have linked the 'fatty fruit' with lowered risk of diabetes and hypertension. People are not only using avocado in their salads, but across the menu. Avocado toasts became a preferred breakfast among fitness lovers. Toasts laced with mashed avocado and herbs may help you cut many carbs. The decade also saw the peculiar trend of avocado proposals, where-in people hid their wedding rings inside the fruit to propose their significant others.
It's true, broccoli continued to rule our hearts and healthy meals this decade as well, but another cruciferous superfood that slowly crawled its way to global stardom this decade was kale. Kale is one of the many cultivars of cabbage, grown primarily for its leaves. You can use the greens to make salads, soups and stews. Kale chips became a sensation in last few years, for being a low-cal and low-carb snack alternative.
(Also Read: The King of Greens: The Story Behind Kale)
12. Nut Milk
As the number of vegans increased, many vegan alternatives also came into the picture. While the world has known about almond milk, cashew milk and likes since long, the decade witnessed an interesting jump in the demand of these milk alternatives. Other milk alternatives that also rose to prominence among vegan and health enthusiasts were soy milk and oat milk.
One of the key highlights of the decade was the discourse around gut health. Kombucha is a probiotic drink that has also found a celebrity fan-following of its own in the likes of Lady Gaga, Malaika Arora and Kourtney Kardashian. Loaded vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, Kombucha is a sweet fermented drink from East Asia that could do wonders for your gut health and digestion.
The list is no particular order of preference, neither is it an exhaustive compilation of all the ingredients that made news. In addition to these, there were plenty of other ingredients like jackfruit, kefir, mock meat and brussel sprouts that made occasional cameos on our plates and social media feed. It has been a pretty loaded decade in terms of food trends, it would be interesting to see what the next decade has to offer.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.