Food predictions: what's cooking for 2013

pouring tea

Top 10 best new cookbooks
100s of chocolate recipes
Great British food ideas

Move over coffee, it’s time for tea
Dust off your teapot and hunt out your tea-strainer because this year leaf tea will take centre stage. We're talking white, green, Oolong, black, Pu-erh, single estate, aged, first flush, second flush and more - if these words mean nothing to you now, they may well mean more by the end of the year. Championed by importers and retailers such as Postcard Teas, the Rare Tea Company and Teasmith, more and more of us will delve into the possibilities this drink offers. And with tea comes tea time, for which the British are famous. Start cutting those sandwich crusts off now!

Bye bye whoopies, hello scones
We're moving away from American-inspired bakes, such as whoopie pies, towards British ones. Maids of Honour, Bath buns, parkin, pikelets, Singing hinnies, Staffordshire oatcakes . . . there’s a rich national heritage to be explored.

Going 'local'
In other areas of food as well as baking, our gastro-patriotism will become increasingly regionalised – with a new interest in local dishes and delicacies rather than simply national ones. Regionalism won’t just be rural - urban food production will increase, with innovative and inventive ideas of how to make our towns and cities places where food is produced, not just consumed, flourishing.

Staying international
As well as celebrating Britishness, we’ll continue to get excited about other cuisines.  Posh burgers, gourmet hot dogs and upmarket fried chicken are now mainstream, but our fascination with American food still has lots of scope. Just as our restaurateurs discovered regional Italian and Indian cooking, so regional American food will have its day. Look out for Cajun cuisine – jambalaya, gumbo, dirty rice – and the wonderfully-named oyster po’ boy. As Brazil’s economy grows, I predict we’ll see more Brazilian food on offer, from street food stalls selling coxinha (chicken croquettes) to smart restaurants. The range of Chinese food on offer will grow -watch out for Chinese buns – savoury and sweet – arriving somewhere near you soon. South East Asian flavours will still appeal, but alongside Thai green curries and Vietnamese pho, will come Malaysian hawker dishes such as mee goreng (fried noodles) or char kway teow (fried rice noodles). With street food dining enjoying such a boom and given the infamous British weather, surely it can’t be long before someone sets up a foodcourt offering street food under cover?

Bring on the veg!
Our carnivorous tendencies have been unleashed with a vengeance in recent years but with even real meat champion Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall producing a vegetable cookbook, now it’s the turn for vegetables, grains and pulses to shine. And veg heroes like Yotam Ottolenghi will continue to grow in popularity.

Shopping gets big, and small!
When it comes to how we buy our food, online grocery shopping is implacably set to grow, with the rise of the smartphone contributing to this. Self-service tills in supermarkets are another factor in the de-personalisation of food shopping. In reaction to this, however, new food markets will continue to spring up showcasing small producers and offering the opportunity for chat and human interaction as well as the chance to buy some great food.

Food craft fun
Smoking, curing, preserving, baking – these are the new food skills that are coming into vogue. If you can’t face making your own marmalade, creating your own elderflower cordial, curing your own gravlax or baking your own sour dough, then never fear, one of your friends is bound to proudly present you with the fruits of their labours. Just be sure to be suitably appreciative.

Keeping it casual
Informality in dining – from long tables and sharing plates to friends cooking together – is set to continue. Supper clubs and pop-up restaurants have demonstrated the power of food to bring people together socially. With total strangers enjoying conversations across the table at such events, it’s hard to believe that the British were once notoriously formal and repressed. Witty and creative food events – from street picnics to awareness-raising feasts – will abound, aided by social media’s ability to spread the word remarkably efficiently.

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Top 10 best new cookbooks
100's of chocolate recipes
Great British food ideas

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