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Kachapuri & Co: the Food 'Crazes' of 2017

Kachapuri & Co: the Food 'Crazes' of 2017

From Georgian comfort food to Japanese pancakes, new spicy sauces to fruit soups, here are the food crazes to look out for in 2017.

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They are either impossible to pronounce or authentic tongue twisters. Have a go at saying khachapuri. Or gochujang. Did you pronounce it "go-chou-jahng" with the mandatory pause between one syllable and another?

This isn't a phonetics discussion, but those keen to be on top of food trends in 2017 will have to expand their vocabulary.

Or at least, they need to try new (and possibly improbable) combinations. You be the judge.

From Georgia, "cheese-filled bread" with an egg

Name: Khachapuri. Nationality: Georgian. Distinguishing marks: leavened dough formed into a boat shape or disc with a thick crust, filled with a bed of stretchy cheese (fresh or aged: the Georgian tradition calls for sulguni) nestling inside of which an egg and a knob of butter cook in the heat of the filling.

After a somewhat hushed debut in 2014 – the Sochi Winter Olympic Games were decisive – it has gradually gathered momentum and now trend observers of all latitudes are staking everything, or almost, on this typical speciality of Georgian cuisine: from Manhattan through to Washington, D.C. and down to the Southern hemisphere, bloggers and foodies are increasingly lavish in their praise of this speciality, not only as an alternative to pizza (even though some may disagree), but also as a maxi breakfast trend.

The 2017 hot list will be very hot indeed

A superstar of 2016, the extremely hot sauce of Thai chilli peppers, habanero and jalapeño plus garlic, brown sugar and white vinegar, also known as "sriracha" is losing its place in the limelight to harissa (Lybia, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco), gochujang (Korea) or skhug (pronounced without the k, originating from Yemen and subsequently adopted by Israel).

This is what transpires from the most accredited studies in the industry comprising the American Restaurant News via Mintels, Food Navigator, Business Burger, Canadian-based McCormick and Britain’s The Food People in their respective "spice" sections.

What all of these sauces have in common are red or green chilli peppers mixed with various spices (including cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cloves), vegetable aromas (such as garlic), sauces (soy or vinegar), and grains (glutinous rice flour, wheat, barley…).

Japanese “crêpes”

From the variegated world of crêpes, blinis, palaĉinke, pancakes and flapjacks will emerge – according to many observers - a super performer: the Japanese o-konomi-yaki.

Ever since they started to make a name for themselves in 2016 they have become popular in all four corners of the world, inspired by the traditional soul food of Osaka, Kansai and Hiroshima (to find out more). Foodies and bloggers have been busy promoting their infinite number of variants while others, aided by the intrinsic versatility of the recipe, have taken the liberty of creating their own signature versions, comprising followers of the vegan cult.

Alongside, or should we say, opposed to the o-konomi-yaki, we find another huge phenomenon of the pancake world: it comes from South China and is known to most by the name of jianbing (pictured above). Following its huge success in London, it is now literally taking over the States, if we go by the more recent reviews.

In 2017 you can also look forward to...

Dried algae and moringa have both nominated them as the most accredited antagonists of black cabbage or kale (however you prefer to call it), plant waters (already widely anticipated) and, according to the British Waitrose supermarket chain, vegetables with yogurt.

Together with fruit soups (souping is an ever growing trend) especially with a new protagonist of 2017: dragon fruit. Not forgetting Hawaiian poke (but do pronounce it "p-okay") with raw fish and vegetables and, in striking contrast, the sinful and decadent freakshakes, also known as “super contaminated” shakes from Australia, of which a couple of spoonfuls are sufficient to throw the strictest of diets out of the window.

You don’t believe it? Then imagine a vanilla shake – to quote just one example – topped by biscuits, sweet and salty caramel, peanut butter, banana, fruit jelly and marshmallows... We’ll stop there, but there is no limit to where the imagination can take you. Welcome to 2017.

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