As part of the Butter Stories Middle East campaign, the EU and French Dairy Board have revealed the latest trends impacting the F&B industry and cooking at home in 2024.
The five key areas of focus are vegetables, flavored butter, comfort food, zero waste and creating a culinary community. Furthermore, the trends are set to change the region’s food landscape in the coming year.
Vegetables on the rise
Clients in restaurants are increasingly consuming greater quantities of vegetables. Notably, chefs are coming up with increasingly innovative and tasty plant-based dishes. Furthermore, a larger number of consumers are seeking restaurants serving a vast array of vegetable dishes. Consequently, they are not only being healthy but also reducing their carbon footprint and food waste. Vegetables, stems and stalks included are now being served as part of the dish.
For instance, Michelin-star chef Eric Guérin cooks with his own freshly made butter. “We use butter with all kinds of vegetables from the garden here at La Mare Aux Oiseaux. As the maestro of the dish, butter brings all the ingredients together, helping to create the explosive flavors,” he says.
Flavored butter in demand
Flavored butter, either sweet or savory, is the perfect accompaniment. It’s used as a spread on bread, bagels and dinner rolls or when added to pasta, curries or desserts. Furthermore, professional and home kitchens are increasingly experimenting with butter flavors, particularly when it comes to vegetables.
The beauty of working with vegetable-flavored butter recipes lies in their adaptability. Moreover, restaurants and home kitchens now feature butter variations like jalapeño and honey, lemon miso, and scallion dill, showcasing diverse creativity. Additionally, the butter recipes also utilize seasonal produce and are often created with the help of local suppliers, such as the creation of the Roscoff onion from Brittany and organic buckwheat butter.
Comfort food with a modern twist
New cooking techniques modernize comfort foods by blending classical concepts or adding alternate ingredients, revitalizing traditional dishes for contemporary palates. Despite this, bread and butter remain a classic way of starting the day for many. Nevertheless, the same taste and dish could be upgraded to a bread pudding with toffee sauce using similar ingredients.
Zero waste yet maximum flavor
A greater number of chefs around the world are focusing on minimizing waste. Furthermore, this is a trend that is set to intensify, creating enhanced flavors and lowering the cost in the kitchen. Furthermore, soup and vegetable stocks are just two ways people utilize every part of a vegetable. Utilizing broccoli stems, potato peel, cauliflower leaves and carrot tops in a pot enhances flavor.
Creating a culinary community
Science suggests that sharing food with those who matter relieves stress and results in an amplification of sensations. Interestingly and predictably, breaking bread and sharing butter with loved ones is now a global language.
Inviting friends and family over to enjoy a butter board is a great example – spread a thick layer of softened butter on the wooden board. Additionally, add a mix of herbs, fruits and edible flowers, as well as chopped, diced, mashed and julienned vegetables. This includes everything from winter squash to sun-dried tomatoes.
Make it not only delicious but also visually appealing. Additionally, create a spread that is pretty, colorful and full of nutrition.
Finally, serve it with sliced French bread or crackers for a delightful culinary experience.