Home Lifestyle and Culinary Tips Our Favorite Culinary Trends and Moments of 2020: Emily Recommends (XIII)

Our Favorite Culinary Trends and Moments of 2020: Emily Recommends (XIII)

by Emily
2020 Culinary Trends and Moments

Well, it is finally here. We can officially say adieu to 2020 and hello to 2021. This year, we discovered the strengths and weaknesses of our family, friends, governments, politicians, society, and humanity as a whole. We had major triumphs as we worked toward a better world; and we had major failures as well. 2020 was a year of contradictions–it brought us closer and further apart more than ever. But, because we are a food blog, we will not focus on the politics of the year. Instead, we want to share our favorite culinary trends and moments for 2020! 

Our Favorite Culinary Trends and Moments:

Listed below are our top 10 favorite culinary trends and moments of the year. On one hand, we listed some trends which took the world by storm. On the other hand, we also listed moments that celebrate successes, products, and special moments from our favorite food writers and chefs. All together, it is a list of our favorite things from this past year. 

1. David Chang’s “Eat A Peach”

David Chang, Executive Chef and owner of Momofuku and the star of Ugly Delicious and Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, released his memoir in September of 2020. He takes you on a journey through the process of becoming a chef and of the restaurant world he built. 

As someone who devours books about food, whether they are cookbooks or gastronomical explorations, Eat A Peach quickly popped up to the top of my list of favorite culinary moments of 2020. We added his book to our shelf of culinary memoirs and dissertations alongside Ruth Reichl, Anthony Bourdain, M.F.K. Fisher, and more. 

2. The Splendid Table “Dad’s and Kids” 

I don’t know about you, but I listened to a lot more podcasts this year as I worked, cleaned, walked, and went through my daily motions during isolation. The Splendid Table isn’t anything new. The program started in 1997 on Minnesota Public Radio and was hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper until she retired in 2017. Since then, Francis Lam has gloriously taken over the helm and continues to bring magical episodes every week. 

As a foodie, I cannot stop recommending this podcast to people even though it has been around for ages. After all, it is “the radio show for people who love to eat.”

Culinary Trends 1: J. Kenji López-Alt, David Chang, and Chris Ying
Photo Credit: The Splendid Table
J. Kenji López-Alt, David Chang, and Chris Ying

This year, I listened to a particular episode over and over: “Dads and Kids.” Even as someone without children, I found joy in listening to these highly skilled culinary dads talk about struggling to feed their child like every other parent. J. Kenji López-Alt, David Chang, and Chris Ying discuss the trials and triumphs of cooking for infants and toddlers, and how they had to learn a completely new style of cooking to accommodate the needs of their kids.

3. Floyd Cardoz’s Masalas

Floyd Cardoz was a highly celebrated Indian-born American chef. Throughout his long career, he worked to introduce the warm spices of his heritage earning him the nickname, the “godfather of modern Indian cuisine.” Though he successfully led restaurants in America and India, published two cookbooks under his name, and won national cooking competitions, he was most known for his loving care and fostered relationships with his employees and staff. 

Unfortunately, Floyd Cardoz was an early victim to Covid-19, dying in March of this year. Before his death, he had been working to release spice blends for different styles of masala. Burlap & Barrel released the spice blends along with Mr. Cardoz’s wife posthumously. 

These spices take a place on our list of 2020 trends and moments. A portion of all profits go toward Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a non-profit he strongly supported. 

4. Dalgona Coffee

Dalgona Coffee helped start the trend of cooking-from-home challenges sparked by Covid-19 isolation. Made by whisking together instant coffee, sugar, and warm water, this coffee trend is a bit bitter and sweet. 

The trend started in South Korea in March of 2020 as people were bored staying at home. Instead of using an electric whisk, the trend included whisking the ingredients together by hand until they formed a stiff meringue-like peaks. 

You can check out our dalgona coffee blog post if you would like to make this early 2020 trending drink! 

Dalgona Coffee in pretty glassware
Photo Credit: Carving A Journey
Dalgona Coffee One Spring Morning

5. Sourdough

Sourdough became the next culinary challenge to trend during the pandemic. Suddenly, the entire world started making bread overnight leading to shortages of flour and instant yeast. I think the pandemic allowed every Great British Bake Off fan to test their skills and see if they live up to Paul Hollywood’s standards. 

If you look through Google, you will see hundreds of comments on sourdough recipes solely from this year of baking at home. 

If you decide to jump onto the bandwagon late, I recommend starting with Emilie’s recipe from A Clever Carrot. During the pandemic, her recipe stood out to many as a great beginner’s guide to sourdough bread. 

Sourdough bread cooling on a rack.
Photo Credit: A Clever Carrot
Sourdough Bread Cooling on a Rack

6. Canning and Jarring

As the year continued to unfold, we continued to cook and bake. Canning and jarring rose in popularity causing shortages in jarring supplies at local grocery stores. As someone who loves to can and jar, I ended up traveling to multiple groceries in search of canning jars throughout the year! 

Maybe jarring started to trend as food shortages took place? On the other hand, maybe people gardened for the first time and needed to preserve their produce. Either way, jars were scarce! 

If you would like to start jarring, we recommend trying out our hot pepper jelly recipe!

Hot pepper jelly in a jar!
Photo Credit: Carving A Journey
Hot Pepper Jelly

7. Window Sill Green Onions

I think it is safe to say we all avoided going to the grocery store this year. We no longer ran to the store for one or two items. Because of the pandemic, people started to regrow their produce in their kitchens. Why throw away the white parts of green onions if you can regrow them in your window sill? 

Twitter blew up with photos of people’s window sill gardens. People were uploading images of their mugs, mason jars, tumblers, etc. filled quickly with growing green onions. 

8. The Push to Help Frontline and Restaurant Workers

Though this year seemed more and more painful every day, it warmed my heart to see communities come together to help frontline and restaurant workers through mutual organizations. Charitable foundations would buy food from restaurants to help feed hospital workers who are working nonstop to care for those touched by the pandemic. 

We wrote about a few organizations in our blog post– food organizations and charities supporting communities during Covid-19. If you have the means, please consider helping to support some of these organizations. 

The dedication to helping one’s neighbor made it to our list of 2020 culinary trends and moments. 

Let's Fight Hunger Together with food charities and organizations.
Photo Credit: Carving A Journey
Let’s Fight Hunger Together

9. Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Gluten-free banana bread started trending in April as people took on two challenges. Firstly, they started baking at home. Secondly, they decided to add the challenge of baking gluten-free. As someone with celiac disease, I enjoyed watching and reading about people lamenting about the difficulties of cooking and baking gluten-free. 

For those wanting to try gluten-free banana bread, I recommend checking out Audrey’s recipe from the blog Momma Knows Gluten Free. She continuously gets 5-star reviews for her delicious loaf! 

Culinary trends include gluten-free banana bread. Slices of banana bread.
Photo Credit: Mama Knows Gluten Free
Gluten-Free Banana Bread

10. Bryant Terry’s Cookbook: Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes

Bryant Terry, a renowned African American chef focusing on vegan food and food justice, released a new cookbook titled Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes this year. 

Not only are the recipes delicious, but the book is beautiful as well. This year, I tried cooking and eating less meat. Bryant Terry’s cookbook helped me on my journey as I cut down on eating meat only once or twice a week. 

Important to note: many of his recipes take time and energy to make. If you do not like spending a lot of time in the kitchen trying new methods and ingredients, I recommend starting with a simpler recipe book for vegan food and working up to his book. 

What Were Your Favorite Culinary Trends and Moments From 2020?

We would love to hear about your favorite culinary trends and moments from 2020. Did you have any we did not mention above? Let us know in the comments below or email us at  carvingajourney@gmail.com!

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