The process of fermentation may best be known from the realm of adult beverages, but today’s new breed of health-conscious foodies is as keen to down cultured veggies as they are a sudsy brew. This trend took nearly everyone by surprise, sneaking in on the heels of the current nationwide obsession with Asian-inspired cuisine.
For example, yesterday’s sauerkraut has been one-upped by today’s kimchi (which also happens to be the national dish of Korea). But cabbage isn’t the only vegetable receiving special treatment – carrots, beets, apples, cucumbers (pickles), tea (kombucha) and even ginger (which is the main ingredient in the spicy-sweet non-alcoholic ginger beer that has become so popular of late).
And the health payoff? The fermentation process acts like a probiotic to repopulate the healthy flora and fauna in the digestive system!
In the past, when the terms “naked” and “wines” were found together, often it referred to something that shouldn’t have been posted on Facebook. Today the term has a completely different and much healthier connotation. “Naked” wines is not just an Australian brand of wine (although it is, and a popular one at that!).
In the strictest literal sense, naked wines are wines produced under the vigilant supervision of natural winemakers, who do their utmost to ensure as little as possible to interfere with the taste of the grape from vine-to-glass. This trend dovetails nicely with the similar nationwide mania for farm-to-fork food, making it one that seems likely to stick around for awhile.
Most of us are likely familiar with bacon-infused chocolate and sea salt caramel by now. But what about custard with a blue cheese base, or savoury yoghurt, or rosemary ice cream? As it turns out, Australians are as keen for new taste sensations on the sweet treat front as they are at any other point on today’s menu.
In fact, Australia’s newest dessert master is none other than Reynold Poernomo, the young Sydney prodigy from MasterChef Australia Season 7 who has recently been dubbed the “dessert king.” Crediting his evolution in desserts to his ongoing education in the wonders of chocolate, his dream is to open his own dessert bar where he pairs his singular dessert creations with cocktails to match.
These three trends may be three of the most prominent in Australia’s foodie culture to date, but they are even now busily spawning innovative new offshoots that are changing the nation’s food and beverage industry right from the ground up. Who knows – maybe one day not long from now we really will eat dessert first!