In 2018, there will be more ready-to-eat meal options for busy people, big and bold food combinations and flavors highlighting African, Moroccan and Indian influences, and artisanal sweet confections, while many Filipino dishes will go back to locally grown and indigenous ingredients.
These are some of the food trend predictions by San Miguel Pure Foods Culinary Center (SMPFCC), based on its research and collaboration with noted culinary chef-partners, among them Heny Sison, Emelita Galang, Rosemarie Lim, Sylvia and Ernest Reynoso-Gala and Gene Gonzalez.
“If there’s Fashion Week, there should also be a food trend forecast,” said Llena Tan-Arcenas, SMPFCC culinary services manager. “Of course, there are too many global trends to consider, but we filtered them for the local scene by consulting with our culinary partners.”
With the help of its partner chefs, SMPFCC identified five emerging food trends for the year and, for each category, San Miguel created sample dishes to give homemakers and foodies a peek at what’s coming to tables this 2018.
“Whether traditional, trendy or innovative dishes, San Miguel products will always be there,” said Tan-Arcenas. “We are always trying to stay ahead so that consumers will always have the convenience with regard to eating and dining.”
This trend, present as early as 2016, involves extravagant, extraordinary food flavors and taste combinations.
As an example, SMPFCC prepared the 12-inch Monster Burger and Sliders brimming with bacon and veggies. To introduce bold and unique flavor combinations, Chili-Infused Honey Glaze Chicken Lollipops was served with sweet potato and green peas tater tots. The earthy flavor of green peas and the tinge of sweetness from the potatoes melded well with the sweet-spicy-savory flavor of the chicken lollipops.
Ready to eat
Ready-to-eat dishes or food on the move are items that are easily consumed. These convenient meal packs are usually for the consumption of dashboard diners—those who eat inside their cars or public transport.
“Chef Heny Sison observes that traffic conditions in the metro will lead to ready-to-eat food being patronized more. As more time is being spent on the road, there’s less time for food preparation,” said Tan-Arcenas.
The grab-and-go convenience food consisted of Grilled Cheese and Truffled Caramel Bacon in Charcoal Foccacia, Spicy Korean Pulled Pork Noodles, and Roasted Pimiento Mac and Cheese with Truffle Butter and Candied Bacon. The dishes were served in convenient containers as a nod to chef Emelita Galang’s prediction of a rise in popularity for meal plans and meal kits.
Also served was Honey Chili Habanero Chicken in cones, based on the chefs’ prediction of a higher appetite for spicy food-on-the-go.
Three varieties of salads were also prepared: Indian Curry, Asian Chicken and Mediterranean. These were stored in mason jars and takeout cups.
Salads, the SMPFCC chefs explained, are a perfect convenient food item as they can be prepared the night before, stored in the refrigerator, and grabbed the following morning.
With more people traveling to different parts of the world, ethnic flavors, as well as exotic fruits and vegetables, will become even more popular this year, said Gonzalez.
Global cooking techniques will also become influential, as more methods that heighten the dining experience cross over from one culture to another. “One example is the process of sous vide that involves low-temperature cooking in water in order to preserve more flavor,” said Tan-Arcenas.
San Miguel featured Magnolia Chicken Station Free Range Chicken rubbed in African spice, and Moroccan Pork Belly using Monterey Pork Liempo, both cooked in a sous vide machine. Infused oils were also presented, as these are typically used for short cooking or to finish fried and roasted dishes.
Heritage Filipino cuisine
Mother-and-son chefs Sylvia and Ernest Reynoso-Gala, for their part, said that Filipino cuisine will gain even more prominence this year. More restaurants will offer their own renditions of traditional Filipino cuisine and combine these with modern techniques.
To illustrate, San Miguel prepared traditional recipes with an innovative twist: Lechon Kawali Paella (using Monterey Lechon Kawali), Boneless Crispy Pata (the newest offering from Purefoods) and, to celebrate heritage, three sauces that represented Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao: Kare-Kare, Humba and Piyanggang.
Sinigang sa Suha at Kalamansi was also presented. It had the perfect level of sourness and pulpiness from fresh pomelo and calamansi, while the meat, slow-cooked Monterey Beef Shanks, was tender.
Artisanal breads, hybrid desserts
French pastries with Asian influences like Korean and Japanese will be the in thing—think Hokkaido bread, matcha croissants, doughnuts or conchas—along with healthy smoothie bowls.
Gin cocktails, DIY and local ingredients
Ginebra San Miguel (GSM) is also looking at bright things in 2018.
“This year we are seeing two main trends—the use of locally sourced ingredients that add new flavor and dimension to juniper-based alcohol, and more drinkers experimenting and creating their own simple cocktails at home,” said GSM Premium Gin brand manager Giselle Villanueva.
New York-based Filipino bartender and mixologist Enzo Lim presented two novel cocktail drinks. The Pinoy Para-sol cocktail used GSM Premium Gin mixed with lemongrass-pandan concentrate, lemon juice, mango nectar and guyabano juice, while the Samal Beach cocktail had GSM Premium Gin blended with dalandan/orange liqueur, lemon juice and pomelo juice.
Sinigang sa Suha at Calamansi
3 (100 g each) pc white onions, each piece sliced in half
6 (50 g each) pc tomatoes, sliced in half
4 liter water (braising liquid)
2 (600 g) pc Monterey beef shanks
½ c fish sauce (to taste)
½ c calamansi juice
½ tsp pepper
1 (400 g) pc fresh pomelo, peeled and cleaned
1 (100 g) pc white radish, sliced
1 (50 g) pc eggplant, sliced
1 (200 g) bundle sitaw, sliced 2 inches long
1 (100 g) bundle kangkong, use tender leaves and stalks
Combine onions, tomatoes, water, beef and fish sauce in a pot. Cook covered using low heat until beef is tender for about 1.5 to 2 hours.
Add calamansi juice, pepper and pomelo pulp. Simmer for another 20 minutes covered.
Add radish, eggplant, sitaw, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add kangkong leaves and stalks and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and serve piping hot.
Makes 6 servings.
In a mixing vessel, combine (in order):
15 ml lemongrass-pandan concentrate
15 ml lemon juice
15 ml mango nectar
30 ml guyabano juice
45 ml GSM Premium Gin
Add ice (5-7 cubes) and then shake about 15-20 seconds so that drink is properly diluted, chilled and blended. Strain over new ice in a rocks glass.
Then add 1 spray Angostura bitters on top of drink. Garnish with a lemon wheel or a lemongrass stalk or pandan leaf.