Seaweed is a key component of sushi and is predicted to be popular in 2023. Photo: Onder Ortel

What food trends will we see emerge in 2023?

At the start of every year, experts predict how, what and why we eat in the coming months.

Many times they are wrong (insects have it yet to make it into mainstream dining) but many times they also have been correct. So, what are the experts forecasting for 2023?

Dining in or dining out? According to experts, our behaviour for dining has changed during the pandemic. People post-children are still going out and enjoying a nice meal and are not too bothered about the costs of it. On the other side, people in their 30s and early 40s prefer to dine at home with friends rather than going out. Both groups of diners offer great opportunities for chefs as ‘cook at home’ offers can increase their clientele.

Bolder flavours anyone? Umami is making waves with Asian chefs raising the bar on the good ol’ chop suey with seaweed being smuggled in in all forms to increase the savoury undertone of dishes. I discovered recently Seaveg Crispies in the Quay Coop – I learned that seaweed crisps are a snack in Japan and I have to admit if you get over the initial fishyness of the snack, it is actually tasty. The pack contains only 23 calories and you would need to eat the lot in one go as the crisp of the nori thins only lasts a short time before it becomes soft. With a price tag of €4.15, it is not something I would buy regularly.

Sustainability is still on the agenda but I suspect that costs will play a huge role in how successful it will be this year. It is easy to preach about it but when you can’t afford the added cost factor, concerns where your food comes from and how it has been produced is of less importance than to feed your family.

I hope the Government can support Irish producers in cutting down rates etc to enable farmers to produce sustainably without having to charge top dollar for the produce.

According to the UK based New Food Magazine, the trend for vegan food is on the way down – I find it hard to believe with many new eateries being vegan-based. Also Veganuary trends every year highly on search engines.

Based on my observation amongst my friends, people eat less meat – they might not look for vegan food but definitely for different options to replace heavy meats.

I personally despise meat replacements (don’t call it chicken if it ain’t a chicken please) as most of these items are highly processed and can be as bad as intense farming. If you like to embrace the vegan lifestyle, please cook from scratch and avoid ‘meat-options’.

There are great cookbooks out there that will teach delicious vegan dishes without fake bacon.

I heard recently that the US Food & Drug Administration has given the go-ahead for cultivated ‘meat’. This is a lab-produced food that chemists have created.

Everything in my brain is screaming just thinking about it – I can see a horror movie in the making - ‘The Rise of the Cultured Meat’!