We use cookies in order to be able to offer you a better online experience. By using our website, you agree that we may place cookies on your device. Data Protection Declaration hide hint

Trends with a future

What does Europe put on its plate?

“Mainstream” is yesterday’s news, perfect-looking fruit and vegetables also. “Clean eating” is gaining in popularity, as are chocolate-coated grasshoppers. Diet trends without limits.

There is a big variety of food trends. One important trend is towards “clean eating”, eating fresh natural ingredients and avoiding artificially manufactured ready-made products. Synthetic additives, flavourings, sweeteners and colourings are increasingly disappearing from the menu. Clean Eating is also a favourite method of dieting and is also becoming the healthy alternative to fast-food as a snack.

Misshapen fruit and vegetables

One third of all food worldwide is wasted every year, according to estimates by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). European consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the sustainable handling of food, which also means that, for instance, misshapen fruit and vegetables are standing more chance in the marketplace – apples with blemishes, misshapen tomatoes, three-legged carrots and heart-shaped potatoes. This is how the REWE-Group introduced its “little marvels”.

“Many aware consumers try to buy seasonal products in local markets, or obtain local fruit and vegetables directly from the growers in community-supported agriculture projects, where the emphasis is on nutritional value and taste, rather than uniformity in taste and appearance,” says Sharon Sheets, Press spokeswoman for Slow Food International. This non-profit organisation with its headquarters in Italy campaigns for threatened seed varieties, amongst other things, and a diversity in food.

New from old

Chefs regularly re-invent themselves, restaurants change their concepts. But experience shows: the old tried and trusted recipes sooner or later find their way back onto the plate. Varieties or fruit and vegetables which for years have no longer been available in normal shops, or are threatened with extinction are rediscovered.

Look at Tigeralla, for instance, an old variety of tomato which lay forgotten for years. The unusual Tigerella is grown from old seeds. It is a variety of tomato which, with its yellowy-red grain looks less like a tomato than an apple, and has a very individual, fruity taste.

Crawling suppliers of protein

For many people unusual is another eating trend in Europe: cooking with insects. The Asian nations in particular having been showing us the way for years: at weekly markets in Bangkok or Shanghai, for instance, deep-fried insects on skewers are at least as popular as sugar-coated strawberries.

“Insects, with their very good environmental footprint could in future contribute a supply of protein to a continuously growing population. They utilise feed very well, hardly consume any drinking water and breeding them makes good use of space. This makes insets the perfect suppliers of protein, and they also taste very nice,” says Folke Dammann, Managing Director of Snack Insects in Germany.

Another food trend: cooking with insects. Photo: © kwanchaichaiudom - Fotolia.com

Insects for beginners

It is European sportsmen and women in particular who have so far recognised the potential of insects. And some restaurants now offer mealworms, crickets, buffalo worms and grasshoppers. Whether coated in chocolate or crisply roasted in salad – there are no limits to their imaginative use. “I always recommend that beginners start with the chocolate options: chocolate icing with roasted mealworms or chocolate-coated grasshopper. On the one hand, people usually find it easier to try a chocolate option for the first time, and also the chocolate coating covers the unusual sight of an insect for novices,” says Dammann.

Header: © TomFreeze - Fotolia.com

Recommended by the editors