07 Jan How Will We Eat in 2021?
Here in the Bay Area, our conversations always seem to get around to a discussion of food. What we’ve been eating, what we’re cooking. With the pandemic, it’s about what we’re picking up or taking out. This is our annual review of food trends for the year, based on A New York Timesarticle, How Will We Eat in 2021? Expect these trends to continue into the new year.
A sad consequence of Covid is the demise of our favorite restaurants
This is a heartbreaker. Restaurant owners have been nimble and creative, erecting outdoor seating areas in the summer, plastic pavilions when the weather cooled. When those were closed down, they whipped up takeout meals. But there’s only so much sleight of hand they can manage. A shocking number of restaurants have closed. A neighborhood restaurant, coffee shop or bar is more than just a place to have a drink or a snack. It’s community. It’s millions of jobs and livelihoods, and it’s painful on every level.
The triumph of home cooking
Home cooking experienced a renaissance in 2020. People stayed home and learned to cook or got serious about cooking. My brother is a fabulous cook, and he began focusing on elaborate, time-consuming rituals like roasting bones to make stock, roasting his own coffee beans and creating elaborate Phyllo delicacies and baking bread. There was something about these processes that he found comforting.
Meal kits are back
Diners wearied of the ordinary and were hungry for dishes from their favorite restaurants. Some of these meal kits were elaborate–think a $475 roast-duck package, a $159 mail-order goat shoulder for six and double-stack burgers for $25. On the other hand, fast food thrived. Go figure.
Drinks from cans
It’s not your imagination. Craft brewers have increasingly been putting their beer into aluminum cans. They’re better for the environment than bottles and better for the beer. This trend revved up in 2020 when breweries could no longer sell kegs to restaurants.
You are what you eat
Retailers are reporting a whopping 30% increase in the sale of vegetables. This is, of course, related to the spike in home cooking. Expect to see little-known varieties. There’s some good news here: kale has fallen from favor.
New flavor explosion
Sour and funky, with shades of heat. This is what happens when the fermentation movement unites with the millennial palate, with Hispanic overtones.
Cheese tea, Taiwan inspiration
Cheese tea started in Taiwan and apparently hit the American mainstream. Green or black tea is sipped through a cap of cream cheese blended with cream or condensed milk, which can be either sweet or slightly salty. In San Francisco, they make it with Meyer lemon and mascarpone.
Health craze 2021: Gut flora
Expect more ways to ingest probiotics and prebiotics–foods designed to improve the bacterial health of your intestinal tract. As the obsession with digestive health dovetails with the fascination for fermenting, kimchi, sauerkraut and pickled things will work their way into new territory. Beware! Kefir and kombucha will show up in unexpected places, and kimchi has gone mainstream.
How we’ll diet: Look for “pegan”
Diets emphasizing fat over carbohydrates will dominate. Look for “pegan” — a cross between a paleo and a vegan diet.
Celebrating the new sheet-pan supper!
For someone who doesn’t cook, it’s about time for this trend to resurface! Who remembers camping trips where you tucked these little packets into the coals to cook, or generally overcook? According to Pinterest, searches for “foil-pack dinners” have jumped nearly eightfold in the past six months. Sign me up!
Are Americans sobering up?
Lighter wines, natural wines and drinks with less or no alcohol have become popular. Americans 18 to 34 are more interested in spirit-free cocktails. For those who live in the Napa Valley, this is very bad news, indeed. Vintners with their $100 bottles of cabernet are facing a difficult period as the baby-boomer market fades.
Embracing plant-based meals
Substantial vegetable entrees have become a fixture on restaurant menus. Many diners are now eating less red meat or abandon animal protein altogether, whether for health, economic, environmental or ethical reasons.
Is there hope for dope?
Major food and beverage companies are researching ways to get THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, and cannabidiol, the part of the plant that has therapeutic properties, into more food and drinks.
We’ve continued to work safely with our clients throughout the pandemic
We can’t wait to put the pandemic behind us and reclaim our lives. Yet the vaccine is still months away and we’re left with anxiety and uncertainty. Many of our clients are creating some peace of mind by updating or creating their Living Trusts.
Naming your heirs and identifying how you want your estate to be distributed ensures that your family will avoid the Probate process if something happens to you. Our Trust package includes a Power of Attorney and an Advance Healthcare Directive. It also includes a Pour Over Will, and for those families with children under 18, this means that they can name a Guardian rather than having the court appoint one for them.
Best of all, we guide you through it and we prepare the legal documents. For most of our services, we charge one flat fee. Safety is important to us, so we work virtually via Zoom or phone. Schedule an appointment today.
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