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UAE’s Food Trends 2017: Hot or Not?

Have you ever stopped to think about how much fashion affects everything? It’s not just clothes and hairstyles but holiday destinations, the arts and of course the culinary world. Does that really make sense though? Isn’t something tasty just as tasty whether it’s considered fashionable or unfashionable? Isn’t a delicious dish always delicious, regardless of the trends? We investigate current fashion in food in UAE and see exactly what’s what….

One of the most obvious trends right now is street food. Of course it all kicked off a few years ago but it’s still going strong, with some exciting new items such as cookie dough desserts coming to the fore, along with some really traditional Chinese dishes such as Baozi that have had a revival. (There’s an interesting Chinese street food bucket list here if you’re appetized!) Now this is the kind of foodie fashion that makes a lot of sense as it’s a trend that fits in with modern society. People have less time these days and a typical office job doesn’t involve a long lunch anymore. There isn’t the time built into the working day to go to a restaurant and linger over that midday meal. This doesn’t mean that everyone wants plain sandwiches and pasta salads everyday though. Street food (whether it’s actually eaten on the street or at a desk) is the perfect solution as it offers a huge variety of dishes that can be eaten quickly and don’t even require cutlery to devour.

Then there’s something like rainbow food. You must have seen these multi-coloured cakes and bagels around and you’ve probably tried them too. This is an example of the sort of trend that is frankly rather silly. Of course there’s no harm in enhancing food to make it more visually appealing, but this rainbow effect doesn’t change the flavour and isn’t aesthetically appealing either. It looks like Play-Doh and is just plain juvenile. Whilst the foodie world has undoubtedly been too pompous in previous decades, with francophilia, nouvelle cuisine and culinary snobbery turning dining out into a pretentious affair, it now seems to have gone too far in the other direction, with all attempts at sophisticated cooking and presentation being abandoned and replaced with a childish mess.

A final trend that’s very much on the increase at the moment is for food delivery, with companies offering an insane range of cuisines and styles delivered right to your door. It’s revolutionised the takeaway experience and allows you to steer a considered path through the other trends as well. A top notch pizza takeaway for instance means you can opt in for trendy vegan and healthy toppings or opt out and hold firmly onto the timeless options such as the simple, rustic but perfectly balanced Margherita.

As with all fashions, food trends must be judged carefully. It’s all too easy to become a fashion victim and end up eating unappetising or pretentious food instead of just enjoying a good meal (check this out for a run-down of the top food fads of all time). Then again there are innovations and revivals that really add something to the dining scene. UAE has more than its fair share of both, but the trick is to balance an open mind with a discerning palate. Bon appetite….!

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