Autumn food trends 2020: our favourites

An inspiring menu is more important than ever as customers look for something different to their lockdown meals at home. Take a look at these autumn food trends to add a bit of spice and home-grown produce to your offering.

Fermented foods

Fermented foods, and especially kimchi, are definitely big 2020 trends – #kimchi has 1.8 million mentions on Instagram and #fermented has 375k! Elsewhere on social media, the YouTube chef, Brad Leone, gets up to six million views for his series It’s Alive where he does experiments with fermenting.

Fermentation is an integral part of Korean cuisine. Look out for these two favourites:

1
Kimchi in jars

Kimchi – what is it and how to make it

Kimchi is perhaps Korea’s best known dish. Traditionally, it is spicy fermented cabbage – and much nicer than it may sound! Serve as a small plate, in a marinade or loaded on fries, topped with spring onion. Kimchi doesn’t just have to be about cabbage though. It’s also a great way to make the most of seasonal autumnal produce such as carrots, turnips or Brussels sprouts.

2
Gochujang in a dish

What is gochujang?

This red chilli paste is a key ingredient in Korean dishes. Gochujang is made from fermented soybeans, red chilli and sticky rice and can be used in marinades, dipping sauces, soups and stews.

Holiday-inspired meals

Thousands of British holidaymakers had to abandon trips this year, missing out on arguably the best part of travelling – the food! Although some of us have managed to get away in the summer, others will be planning a UK-based staycation instead. Craving the punchy flavours of the Mediterranean and beyond, consumers are looking for big, gutsy flavours and excitement in their food: a holiday from home cooking. Think paella, tagines and mezze spreads to bring back the holiday feels.

Tagine

Foraging – what to forage in the autumn in the UK

Elderberries, blackberries, mushrooms, sweet chestnuts and walnuts are just a few examples of wild produce that are in season in autumn. Elderberries and blackberries are easily found in woodland and hedgerows. They’re packed with vitamins and are great in pies, crumbles and jams. Always be wary of mushrooms unless you are an accomplished picker.

Foraging for fresh produce has become so popular, there’s even a festival to celebrate it: the Scottish Wild Food Festival. Seeking out these special ingredients lets you cook more seasonally with local produce, and results in really special, limited run dishes.

Foraging near a lighthouse on the beach

Foraging tips

1 SEEK PERMISSION - If you plan on foraging on private land, seek permission first.
2 STAY LEGAL - Some species are protected by law, so check before you pick.
3 LEAVE PLENTY - Only pick produce where it’s in abundance and leave plenty behind.
4 COASTAL FORAGING - Scallops, cockles, clam and crab as well as kelp and samphire can be harvested with a bit of know-how.
5 BEWARE… Know what you are picking. One mushroom looks very much like another, if you aren’t confident, don’t pick it!
6 PICK YOUR OWN - To ensure you get the biggest juiciest berries, head out into the countryside to Pick Your Own farms.
7 LOCAL PRODUCE - Rather than leaving home to pick fresh food, grow herbs in pots in your venue’s garden or window sills.
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