December’s here! Which means we can officially begin looking back on the year that was; celebrating inches lost & fears overcome, mourning one-night-stands & bad haircuts. In this spirit of retrospection, I’ve been thinking about the big food trends of 2014. Just ‘cause I’m an eternal optimist, I’ll leave the nasty ones out of this present discussion. Here are the top five food trends of the year, which I think should stick around in 2015! Hurray for cold pressed juices No pop-up, music event or random gathering of pretty pouty people is complete without cold-pressed juices that promise glowing skin, better immunity and more energy. Plus, what’s even better is that these colourful potions make for great props when taking selfies or those hipster instapics of a workdesk, usually featuring a macbook, notepad, sunglasses & a bottle cold-pressed juice. What? Your desk doesn’t have one? *gasp* It all began with the launch of Raw Pressery. They promised daily delivery of freshly pressed juices, in signature blends that help you trim, build, glow, flush etc. JusDivine and Juicifix came along soon after. I wouldn't mind if things got juicier! Yes, I’ll have some tea please. Remember that time when the helpful office boy asked whether you’d like tea or coffee? The poor chap’s work just got much harder, ‘cause he now needs to memorize a long list of possible hot beverage options – ginger tea, black tea, green tea, oolong tea and if he really wants to do things right, then a couple of fruit infusions. And after all these no-dairy, delicately flavoured options, if you still opt for chai, then even the usually amicable office boy will judge your bourgeois taste. That’s just the way we do things now. For a few years Tea Trunk was pretty much the only company in Mumbai that conducted tea tasting sessions, they sell gourmet teas now. As do Radhika’s Fine Teas, Tea Culture of the World, Gardner Street and more, all of which retail some pretty exotic concoctions. If you want a more complete experience, you can always visit a Tea Trails (BKC) or Tea & Tea (Juhu)! I need a cup of calming chamomile just to get over the options. A nationalist approach to food Somewhere in 2014, we decided to celebrate regional cuisine. We began to care about how Manglorean cuisine is different from Malabari food, which is different from Malvani cuisine. Mumbai’s discerning eaters aren’t just interested in going to a restaurant and eating authentic regional meals. They want to reach for the source as it were; to the old grannies and mum-in-laws who hold the real key to what Indian home cooking is all about. We’ve seen an increasing number of home chefs specializing in the food of their ancestors; the Bohri Kitchen (Bohra), Bawi Bride (Parsi), Poppadum (Kerala) & Gitika’s Pakghor (Assamese) are a few examples. Small Fry Co. capitalised on this trend and started ‘The Secret Ingredient’, a supper club that serves a different regional cuisine each time, in an intimate sit-down setting. This is perhaps my favourite food trend of 2014 & I’d love to explore India a little more, one delicious home cooked meal at a time. Home grown brews Gateway Brewery set the ball rolling by starting Mumbai’s first micro-brewery. When we spoke to them way back in 2012, they’d just set up shop and discussed with us the start of this trend, which really found full expression in 2014. Now Gateway Brewery’s signature Doppelganger, White Zen and West Coast Indian Pale Ale can be chugged at Woodside Inn, Jam Jar Diner, Bonobo, Olive, The Irish House and other cool watering holes. The Barking Deer and The White Owl, both of which launched this year, serve their own home brewed beers! We can’t quite compete with Bangalore where range and number of micro-breweries is concerned, but if the trend continues, we could be catching up! Silver screen porn of the culinary kind Seeing as it is right at the base of Maslow’s hierarchy, food seems to stir emotion within all of us regardless of whether or not our twitter profile categorizes us as a “foodie”. Now with Masterchef Australia replacing saas-bahu serials as evening entertainment, most housewives know what a juicy steak looks like even if they wouldn’t dare eat one, and can tell you the difference between a béchamel and a hollandaise. It is isn’t surprising then, that ‘Chef’ was a huge hit in India, even though Sofia Vergara’s ample bosom stayed hidden from view throughout the film. The porn you see, was provided by those oozing grilled cheese sandwiches and luscious swirls of spaghetti. Then came ‘The Hundred Foot Journey’, which was cheesier than the sandwiches in Chef, but still heart-warming. Now I’m not sure what food movies are set to release in 2015, but I sure hope some do! Do you love these trends like I do? Or can't wait for them to fade away? Leave us a comment and share your views! Have a happy December and remember to laugh at your mistakes, you have yet another year to correct them.