Food trends—Hits and misses

Published January 13, 2022, 12:00 PM

by Sol Vanzi

Which of these recent hot items made it to your table over the holidays?

The pandemic restricted movement and affected every facet of our lives. Confined to quarters, many tired of the usual homecooked menu and used their time to experiment in the kitchen. The less adventurous simply used their cell phones and ordered dishes they read about on social media. And that’s how food trends began, caught on, or died.


Sourdough has been around for as long as man has been baking bread. Brought over to America by European immigrants, sourdough bread sustained miners during the California Gold Rush and became identified with the city of San Francisco.

Nothing is more comforting than the scent of sourdough bread wafting from the oven. It is now so popular that sourdough starters, the natural yeast used for leavening, sells on the internet for almost ₱900 a pack. Highway robbery, considering that it can be easily made at home by anyone who can stir flour into water.


Brewed coffee

Could be that many are missing hanging out and not the brew, but with coffee places closed, many had to find ways to get caffeine fix at home, buying an espresso machine or discovering a delivery service for the brew. Having great coffee at home is the new normal.

Brewed coffee is no longer exclusively for gourmets, gourmands, and pseudo intellectuals or hippieng kulelat.


Everything ube

Ube Cheese Pandesal

The popularity of ube began before the lockdown, spurred by international publicity about Purple Yam, a Filipino restaurant in the US. The violet tuber, traditionally used only in ice cream, suman, kalamay, and ginatang bilo-bilo began appearing in savory dishes. Then came the ube and the ube cheese pandesal before the lockdown.

Many first-time or casual bakers made it at home, successfully starting new careers. But with ube appearing in many unexpected forms and disguises, an ube overdose was inevitable. Ube-flavored dishes were not popular requests on the internet during the holidays.


Confined to quarters, many tired of the usual homecooked menu and used their time to experiment in the kitchen.


Sushi bake

An oxymoron. Oven-baked layers of sushi rice, Japanese mayonnaise, cheese, nori seaweed, seafood, and Japanese seasoning. A flash-in-the-pan trend, which was no longer popular during the last holidays.


Burnt cheesecake

Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Who does not like cheesecake? Fully viral during the lockdown is the burnt basque cheesecake, which is almost similar to the Portuguese egg tart in Macau and the Hong Kong egg tart I first tasted at the Imperial Hotel on Nathan Road in the 1960s. The only difference is: Basque is partly scorched with a butane torch.

Today, chefs and home bakers continue to make this cheesy melty treat that one could call cheesecake brûlée.


Dalgona coffee

Iced Dalgona Coffee, a trendy fluffy creamy whipped coffee

Inspired by Korean candy, it is easy to make at home but takes too much trouble considering the end product, which is tepid sweet coffee with cream. Makes for good photos though.


Grazing board

A mini smorgasbord on a tray or wood chopping board displaying an assortment of cheeses, cold cuts, nuts, fruits, breads, pickles, and fresh vegetables. Always a crowd-pleaser, great with wine or beer.