Bites: Where to find 2018’s food trends in NoVA

Functional mushrooms, upcycled products, and black-colored foods are expected to be this year’s most sought-after items.

Photo courtesy of Sense of Place
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Some people find food trends silly and trivial. I find them fascinating. I love eating something new-to-me, like the recent poke trend spreading across the mainland (and was especially excited to try it on my trip to Hawaii last spring). But as a grown woman, there are some fads—looking at you unicorn toast, lattes, noodles, bagels—that I just don’t have time for.

With each New Year comes a new set of predictions. Gathered from lists around the web, here’s what we’ll be eating in 2018 and where to find it in Northern Virginia. (And if you’re a real trend hound, check out this exhaustive trend roundup from Eater.)

Trend: Functional Mushrooms
“Shoppers are buzzing about functional mushrooms, which are traditionally used to support wellness as an ingredient in dietary supplements … The rich flavors also lend themselves to mushroom broths, while the earthy, creamy notes pair well with cocoa, chocolate or coffee flavors.”
Find it: The husband of one of the owners of Arlington’s Sense of Place Cafe is an acupuncturist and his mushroom tincture can be added to coffee, with no apparent mushroom taste. [Whole Foods Market]

Trend: Naan
“This fluffy Indian flatbread, traditionally baked in a tandoor, is the fastest-growing bread on menus.”
Find it: Naan, of course, is nothing new, but there is a new way to watch it being made. From behind a glass wall, watch the kitchen staff slap dough around an oven at the new-to-NoVA Indian chain Choolaah, with locations in Sterling’s Cascade Overlook and Merrifield’s Mosaic. [Nation’s Restaurant News]

Trend: Filipino food
“Although many Americans are familiar with a variety of Asian cuisines, Filipino cuisine remains a mystery to many. Its complex flavors and sour notes may have scared off consumers in the past, but changing attitudes have stimulated interest.”
Find it: There’s been a local burst of Filipino restaurants in the DMV, including Bistro 1521 in Arlington, though most eateries are still inside markets. []

Trend: Upcycled products
“As consumers become more aware of how much food is wasted in the U.S., upcycled products made of ingredients and scraps that would have otherwise been discarded, will hold bigger appeal.”
Find it: A number of companies tapped into the “eat ugly” movement, including FruitCycle. [The Specialty Food Association]

Trend: Black-colored foods
“Black foods will be to 2018 what rainbows and unicorns—think Starbucks’ faddy Unicorn Frappuccino—were in 2017. Denise Purcell, head of content for the Specialty Food Association, expects foods made with activated charcoal to be all the rage in 2018, both for their striking appearances and charcoal’s reported association with cleansing and healthy digestion.”
Find it: Inside The Block, find Munch’s charcoal-activated ice cream cone. It’s a sight. [QRS Magazine]