Words: Shamim de Brún
Trends are wild beasts that come out of seemingly nowhere and take over. They can be a force for good. Or as evil as the skinny eyebrow, but for better or worse, they come and go as they please. *Cough butter boards cough*
I’ve Mystic Meg’d my predictions for trends to look forward to in this year of our lives, 2023.
This is the year it happens. I have seen it cropping up in the niche corners of TikTok and Instagram, where all micro trends go to gestate. Of course, porridge has always been an affordable food. However, it got a facelift in recent years, transforming it from please-sir-can-I-have-some-more gruel into an Instagram must-have. I predict porridge will continue on this upward trajectory in a much more savoury fashion.
It will start with butter. As many good things often do. Butter Porridge is a traditional Irish delicacy that will somehow get ‘rediscovered’ and popularised. Then there’ll be eggs added on the side, maybe some kale or spinach combo. No matter what way it happens, savoury porridge is coming for us. Best be prepared.
Tasting Menus can go die. While in a time of staff shortages, tasting menus make it easier for kitchens to manage even the battle-hardened Dubliners who lived through the 80s and the Celtic Tiger have never experienced prices like these. There is no way that even the devout culinary cohort of the city will be able to continue to pay a hundred quid a head minimum without even a glass of wine as the cost of living crisis continues.
Natural wine has had its moment in the sun. It has now become enough of a part of the vernacular that its lost its cool edge. But, like all good trends with solid products behind them, they eventually become par for the course. This is the unfortunate truth for natty wine. It has become just an option on a well-curated wine list. And it is an expensive option.
People will start leaning into reliable wines that are tried and tested in ways natural wines aren’t. Especially the people who are sick of mousy barnyard flavours being passed off as palatable when they are evidently faulty.
I see people going all in on more affordable regions like Portugal, Germany and Austria as classic regions get more and more expensive as the climate crisis worsens. So be prepared to see a lot of Gruner Veltliner and Dao on menus throughout the city and on the tables at dinner parties.
While natty wine is dwindling, pet nat-style cider is here, fierce and ready to make a name for itself. While this style of cider is commonly consumed on the continent, it has yet to really make a reverberation in Ireland. But with Allta having their own PetNat cider as their house ‘wine,’ it has begun.
These days you can get a champagne bottle-sized sparkling dry cider from Maison Sassy for €8.75 at independent retailers. With the MUP and cost of living crisis, people will be looking for hacks and ways to still drink nice booze without breaking the bank. This will be sitting, waiting for them when they do.
Expect to see this become as common as sriracha in the next few years. This year it will reach out from the core of die-hard Korean food enthusiasts and out into the wide world of the mainstream. The trickle-down of it has already started. You can get gochujang mayo in Vice to go with your pizza and get wings covered in the stuff at White Rabbit. Or in Han Sung. As Korean food proliferates through our fair city, I bet people will buy this permanented chilli sauce with the same enthusiasm they adopted Siracha. It’s only a matter of time.
The Negroni Spagliato went from relative obscurity to a must-try drink overnight with the infamous Tiktok clip. But that bitter negroni flavour will continue to percolate through our culinary trends this year. There’s be Negroni jam, syrup, maybe negroni crusted potatoes. I don’t know exactly how it’s gonna unfold. Still, with such an aromatic flavour profile, there are a million ways that it could. I bet some of them will really catch on.