Now that 2020 is nearing its end, it’s a good time to look back at a decade of food trends to see just how much our culinary tastes have changed over the years. A decade is a pretty long time and, considering how many food trends we saw in 2020, you can expect that a lot of people tried some pretty wild stuff back in 2010. However, we’ve managed to narrow it down to just a few incredibly popular food trends and culinary shifts that have truly transformed the way we think about food.

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The Rise of Social Media + Food

Social media has always been a great place to share food pictures. As of the past few years, it’s quickly turning into an advertising platform for restaurants and stores. This means that more and more people are starting to create ridiculous foods to wow their social media follows, go viral and boost their business. But it’s not just for businesses either. Influencers are starting to think more carefully about how they position the food on their plate so they can snap up a perfect shot. Thanks to smartphone technology getting better every year, they’re always carrying a capable camera in their pocket to take breathtaking pictures of their food.

But this has also paved the way for chefs to get creative (and a little crazy) with their foods. There are countless Instagram food crazes that we could have mentioned in this post, but there would be far too many things to go through. Whether it’s adding rainbows to everything or throwing gold and caviar into the mix, there are lots of crazy ways to spice up your foods and make them worthy to post on social media.

But not everyone is a fan of this trend. Some people dislike the idea of cooking just for views and for Instagram because it’s focusing more on the presentation of the food than the taste. While all aspects of food should be considered, placing a high value on the presentation and outrageousness is something that many people dislike. However, it’s not a trend that will go away anytime soon given the power of social media and how influential it can be.

Instant pots

The Instant Pot brand actually debuted in 2010, exactly one decade ago. The multicooker was designed to be an all-in-one cooking device that could be used for lots of different things. There are countless Instant Pot recipes to try and it really makes things easy for busy families or when you want to cook something with the least amount of effort. They’re quite spacious and they’re extremely easy to use, making them a must-have tool for anyone that spends a lot of time in the kitchen.

Instant Pot cookers can be used for everything from cooking ribs to even just rice. With so much choice, you’ll find it hard to run out of ideas on how to use your Instant Pot. If you haven’t bought one yet, then we highly suggest looking into getting yourself one to make dinner nights a lot less stressful.

Vegetable noodles

Vegetable noodles have become incredibly popular thanks to spiralizers being incredibly affordable. The noodles themselves are certainly an acquired taste if you’re used to instant ramen or even quality Asian noodles and spaghetti. However, it’s certainly a great way to add more vegetables to your diet and it’s also a fantastic low-carb option to replace your regular noodles with. You can top them with the same kinds of sauces that you would for regular noodles and pasta, and it’s surprisingly filling and easy to make.

There are lots of ways to try the vegetable noodle trend. You can substitute regular pasta for vegetable noodles, or you can use them as a filling for sandwiches and rolls. You can even cut the vegetable noodles a little thicker and use them for soup noodles as a replacement for udon. They can get surprisingly chewy and soft much like regular soup noodles, and it makes for a fantastic hearty heal for lunch or dinner.

Just make sure you get your hands on a quality spiralizer. A dull blade is going to make it very difficult to cut certain types of vegetables, and you also need to ensure you buy vegetables that are as straight as possible so they’re easier to turn into noodles. Make sure you don’t waste the core either. You can chop it up and use it as a topping or even cut it up for a salad later.

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Back to retro sweets and snacks

Nostalgia is an incredible thing. Simply thinking about old sweets and cakes that our parents or grandparents used to make can encourage us to try and relive those memories by making it ourselves. A trend that is still popular today is to revisit those old sweets and snacks by either making it or actually looking for them in retro sweet stores. Many old brands have started to resurface and you can now buy special gift hampers and boxes with retro snacks in them. While there are some classics like Taz bars that you can no longer find (likely due to licensing issues!) there are always replacements that look and taste very similar.

So if you’re looking to revisit the old days, why not use food to get that hit of nostalgia that you’re looking for? Retro sweets and snacks are perfect for reminiscing about the old days with some friends and family members. It’s certainly a trend that will never go away and has even prompted many of us to try and pick up cooking and baking to relive some classic recipes.

The Air fryer trend

Healthy home cooking is a trend that will continue to live on regardless of the decade or century we’re in. However, the technology we use will certainly change and evolve to fit our needs. Frying is a great example of a cooking technique that many of us are scared to do at home. It requires a large pot of hot oil and it’s pretty messy at times. It’s also incredibly dangerous and you need to be extremely careful with how you lower ingredients into the oil. Enter the air fryer; a healthier way to cook fried foods without the need for scalding hot oil.

But did it really deliver on its promise? There aren’t many people that still use an air fryer. After all, an air fryer is essentially just a supercharged convection oven. It uses a heating mechanism and a fan to cook foods in a fryer-like basket. It’s perfect for things like french fries and chicken wings, but it’s not a complete replacement for deep frying. After all, it’s not going to do much for a liquid batter and air fryers are usually quite small. This requires you to cook things in multiple batches, making it a little cumbersome if you’re cooking for a family or multiple guests.

However, that’s not to say that the technology isn’t convenient. Air frying will have a place in many kitchens across the world, but it’s certainly not a replacement for deep frying. While it can do a good job of replicating certain types of foods like fried chicken, it’s not going to give you the same type of crispy crunch that you get from proper frying. Perhaps it’s better to just accept that fried foods are unhealthy and it’s perfectly fine to indulge now and then.