Our multi-cultural heritage propels our palates into adventurous lands. We’re delving into areas of the unknown, like hybrids, savoury sweets, sweet vegetables, natural highs, evolved superfoods, and the elusive Fifth Flavor – the one that is in addition to sweet, sour, bitter and salty. As the minute hand ticks past 2015, MyCityLife looks at what’s cooking in our kitchens and restaurants.
|FLAVOURS & SEASONING|
We’re bringing things right to the edge of the palate with flavours:
Savoury Sweet, Sweet Vegetables, Smoky, Burnt and Roasted.
Unami has emerged across the century as the fifth flavour, translated from its Japanese origins as a ‘pleasant savoury taste’. As a glutatmate, it’s found in ripe tomatoes, cured meats, parmesan cheese, mushrooms, soy sauce, vegemite and green tea. In 2014, it was all about gourmet burgers as the ultimate unami rich meal with tomato sauce, melted cheese and pickles. In 2015, unami will keep a firm hold in our everyday foods.
Broths will also heat things up this year – particularly bone broths and miso soups.
Smoked flavours and techniques will smoulder, from meats to cheeses, vegetables, cocktails and lagars.
In 2014, black garlic, squid ink, salsa, sake and soys flavoured our butters, jus and aiolis – and will keep doing so.
In 2015, truffle oil has extended beyond potatoes to flavour gnocchi, popcorn and Mac & Cheese. Duck fat chips are still popular, but expect the ascencion of goose fat.
Locally crafted beer, spirits, wine, liqueurs and coffee define who we are as a city. Coffee continues to power on as locally-roasted, boutique, organic, free-trade beans, cold press and sparkling espresso.
In 2014, soda stream, Capi Sparkling and coconut water hit the spot and will stay strong in 2015. This year however, finely powdered matcha green tea, the organic, fermented probiotic tea of kombucha and maple water will also be wetting our whistles.
Since 2013, craft beer has pioneered the boutique artisan movement, with the microbrewery particularly remaining significant.
2014 was the year of whiskey, bloody mary, negroni and aged liquors. Mixology is definitely out. No bartender wants to be known as a mixologist – just ask them.
In 2015, sherry, rye, bourbon, vermouth and gin are back with a vengeance, with aged and Georgian wines on the upswing. Vodka remains for the uninitiated – unless you are Belvedere Black or Red. Infused vodka or gin tea continues to refresh in 2015, with house-made mulled wines sure to keep us warm in the winter months.
You’re not a dairy company anymore without a lactose-free product in your range. Lactose-free is so “in” right now that even Coca Cola has sexified it with FairLife. While soy initiated the lactose alternative charge, rice, oat, coconut and almond milksshimmered in 2014. But in 2015, the newest kid on the block will be hemp milk.
Maleny Dairies was so hot in 2014 and shows no signs of cooling down thanks to Coles. In 2015, Scenic Rim’s 4Real Milk is sure to find its ways into our cafes and kitchen, particularly after taking out Australia’s Dairy Farmer of the Year. Kefir yoghurt and milk will emerge as greater bacterias and cultures for our systems while house-made ricotta and yoghurts continue to grow, with home churned and flavoured butters shining from menus in 2015.
In this day and age, we have many natural energy-boosters to choose from. In 2015, think potassium-enriched apricots, bananas, rock melon, and kiwi fruit, as well as oats, Omega 3 eggs, noodles, seaweed crackers and crisps and tree nuts like walnuts, pecans and cashews along with pistachios.
Kale, chia seeds and quinoa were the superheroes of 2014, but watch out for flax, hemp, peas and kaniwa (quinoa’s sibling) adding to the superpowers arsenal this year.
In 2014, artisan breads and toast were on fire. But in 2015, the brioche continues to have its day with pretzel buns now on the rise. Flour used from micro algae is a healthier starch and will find its way into our baked goods, though wholemeal breads, pasta and whole grains and seeds will keep root this year.
|FRUIT & VEGETABLES|
Larissa Dubecki and Janne Apelgren from The Age Good Food Guide write “greens are the new black.” We agree: it’s all about vegetables taking centre stage, with the benefits of fasting and no-meat days favourably stacking up.
In the instance of vegetables, hybrids haven’t done our palate any favours for heirloom vegetables to stand out in 2014 as quite the taste adventure and nutritious treasures. Heirloom potatoes, beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, beans, silverbeet and corn will remain stars in 2015. Pickled vegetables stay the pride of kitchens, with indigenous produce also being integrated more into fine dining dishes.
In 2014, we loved our sweet potato chips, as the omnivore and herbivore diets made veganism and vegetarianism so much more interesting. In 2015, weeds like seaweed and nettles will make their way onto our plates, as lentils, cauliflowers and broccoli leaves or ‘broccoleaves’ sprout forth.
In 2014, meats were getting the pulled, aged, smoked or carpaccio treatment. This year, bresaola will have its time.
While we love our sirloin, rump, T-bone and eye-fillets, 2014 saw us appreciate the other cuts like cheeks, tongue and brisket. This won’t change in 2015 though nuts, grains, oats and spices will dominate burgers and meatballs, as wild salmon, mackerel and herring offset protein components in menus.
Bacon has always made everything better, but in 2015, expect bacon flavours to dominate, from infusing whiskey to bourbon, vodka, bloody marys and beer, peanuts, pancakes, cupcakes and ice cream.
In 2014, we were looking for alternatives to processed white sugar with Natvia and natural sugars. In 2015, expect coconut sugar to climb the ladder, with maple flavouring everything and anything, from water to bacon and whisky.
In 2014, salted caramel dominated while desserts had never been sweeter. Dessert bars flourished across The City as Bacchus South Bank introduced their eminent Dessert Degustation.
In 2015, it will still be about desserts and matched wines, with doughnuts and ice cream sandwiches also stepping up to the plate.
From the archives: This is from our original site, MyCityLife, posted back on 6 January 2015