These New Food Trends Are A Feast For The Tummy... And The Eyes | CoolJapan

Move over fashion and beauty! Today, Instagrammable food trends are taking centre stage. These days, food not only has to taste good but also look good — not that we're complaining, of course. But while we love a feast for the eyes that can easily earn us some likes on the 'Gram, we're definitely still big on taste. After sifting through the budding food trends this year, we found the best ones that guarantee a feast for both your eyes and your tummy. 

Curious? Here's a cheat sheet on the latest Instagrammable food trends that won't disappoint your tastebuds. But be warned — an empty stomach while reading this would do you no good.

Wanpaku sando

Sandos  (short for the foreign term sandwiches) in Japan are common food items created by the locals for daily bento boxes or during hanami (cherry blossom viewing). Following their flair for anything cute and eye-catching, Japanese sandos are usually filled with delicious yet colourful ingredients in between two thick yet soft half-slices of bread. While a normal sando is already filling and appealing, the Wanpaku Sando kicks things a notch higher. 

According to some research, Wanpaku is derived from a term often used to describe cheeky and mischevious children. This serves as an explanation for its colourful and energetic aesthetic. It succeeds another sando trend called Numasan, which is made popular by a couple who is said to be the creators of these trending thick and hearty sandwiches. Beating your ordinary BLT or clubhouse sandwich, this packs on at least seven or more layers of filling, from meats to eggs and cheese to veggies and more. 

Tin can cakes

Preserved fruits, cookies, and even sausages are just some of the things that we expect to come in tin cans — that is until cakes came into the picture. Boasting a crisp texture on the outside and some delicious gooeyness on the inside, it grew popular in the Philippines with chocolate as the main flavour.

The appeal comes with the fact that tin can cakes are easier to deliver without worrying about wrecking the cake. Plus, because the tin is made of aluminium, it helps preserve the heat or chillness of the cake while in transit. Now, because of the high demand, it has expanded into different flavours, from red velvet to birthday cake to localised flavours like lime and ube. Sellers have also elevated the aesthetic of the cake's surface with varied toppings and piping. 

Boba milk tea

If we're talking about the biggest resurgence in food trends, the boba milk tea is the greatest success story of all. Booming in Taiwan in the '80s and gaining international traction during the '90s to the early 2000s, milk tea has gone in and out of the limelight. But it never completely faded out among foodies. 

Then, around late 2017 to early 2018, boba milk tea suddenly came back into the game like a hurricane. A big obsession with matcha around the time can be correlated to this, as well as the big Taiwanese milk tea shops that have started to branch out offshore. The boba milk tea has now evolved with the times, too, offering a lot more flavours and varieties fit for today's 'for the 'Gram' culture. 

Tahini desserts

There's no denying that peanut butter is heavenly. However, its fat and oil content is not exactly the best for one's health. Good thing an alternative is making its rounds in today's food trends scene — say hello to tahini.

A condiment made from toasted ground sesame, this ingredient common in Mediterranean cuisine has finally made its way into the mainstream food scene. It started popping up in the ingredients list of 'healthier recipes' back in 2018, but has become its own star ingredient this year. This may be due to it being a source for 'good fat' (non-artery clogging fats that the body needs for energy) rich with vitamins B and E, as well as calcium, iron, and more. A great alternative to peanut butter and other oil-rich ingredients, its creamy and flavourful nature, as well as non-allergenic properties, make it a sure winner in any dessert lover's book.  

Faux meat in fast food

Gone are the days when vegan food are shunned by meat lovers. Now, even fast food restaurants are elevating their vegan menu, where both looks and flavour would entice even the stubbornest meat stans — and we're not just dealing with tofu here.

Utilising the power of beans, mushrooms, and other veggies, faux meat also attributes its growing success to today's more health-conscious culture. It's not really a battle between meat-eaters and non-meat eaters, but more so of which one is the healthier choice and if the food packs on flavour. With fast foods coming onboard with this food trend, we're definitely counting on faux meat becoming next to normal as a menu item in years to come. 

(Cover photo from: @dreamersloft17; @nutrizonia)

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