Every year, just like in fashion, trends appear in the kitchens of restaurants and families across Australia. 2017 was the year of the taco, 2016 saw the rise of cauliflower and 2019 is apparently set to bring about a whole new menu of meat substitutions. But let’s pause for a minute to look back on 2018 (and taste what was on offer)

From the revival of the rainbow and the delicate natural beauty of edible flowers, to the bold colours lining our pantries in DIY preserves and pickles, 2018 was full of bright delights.

But just because it was a trend doesn’t mean it’s fleeting. Here in the NEFF kitchen, some of these popular dishes are here to stay. We’ve put together the top 5 food trends of the last year, with a few tips and tricks to bring them to life in your own home kitchen:

Rainbow desserts

Inspired in no small part by Australia’s Yes Vote celebrations, rainbow-coloured desserts saw a resurgence in 2018. Made with layers of brightly coloured ingredients stacked on top of each other, these colourful sweets made dessert tables exciting and offered a bold surprise upon first bite. From white-iced cakes filled with every colour of the rainbow, to dessert tables lined with bite-sized multi-coloured delicacies, 2018 was seen in technicolour. Touch up on your cake baking and macaron making skills, get the food colouring out, and paint the dinner table in all the colours of the rainbow.

Edible flowers

In 2018, not all that glittered was gold, and not all that grew was edible. But a small selection of beautiful blooms found their place onto our tables, incorporated into desserts and summer dishes. Why not brighten up your pavlova or top your cheesecake with a crystallised bouquet? You can even add them to salads to give them an elegant edge.

Fermented fever

From kombucha and homemade pickles to preserves, sauerkraut and kimchi, 2018 was the year of fermented food. With health trends on the rise, the nutritious, probiotic-rich foods are full of goodness, flavour and colour. Why not experiment with preserving your own chillies before the summer is out?

Sustainable seafood

This year, even the most avid foodies began taking more care with their food choices to help the planet out – and the world of seafood was a key where sustainability was served up on everyone’s menus. Picking carefully-fished species became a big sway in chef decisions across the country, and home cooks quickly followed suit. And it’s safe to say this trend is here to stay – we can’t go past a lime and ginger glazed salmon, a kaffir lime trout or a chorizo and capsicum snapper this summer.

Comfort food

We’re not sure it ever really went out of style, but 2018 was certainly the year of the home-cooked, sentimental meal. From creamy cheesy bakes to your grandmother’s signature Aussie lamington recipe, the past year was filled with the smells and tastes of home. But it wasn’t all stodgy, rich foods for winter – decadent desserts and the humble toasted sandwich also had a resurgence and gave comfort food a year-round edge. While home-cooked ruled with this trend, if you’re keen on a night out instead, here’s where to find the best comfort foods in Australia.

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