5 Food Trends We Don’t Want To See In 2024

From activated charcoal to deconstructed everything, there are some popular food trends that need to be canned in the new year.

Published On Jan 08, 2024 | Updated On Mar 08, 2024

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The food business is a funny one. One little experiment can turn into a whole trend, whether it makes sense or not. And more often than not, it blows out of proportion under the pretence of ‘popular’. In 2024, there are a few that need to not make a comeback. Here’s a list of five food trends we definitely do not want to see in the new year. 

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To be honest, activated charcoal is so pre-pandemic. When Colgate launched in India in the 80s, they dissed the use of charcoal as toothpaste when they rolled their eyes and scoffed “Badan ke liye doodh badam, danton ke liye koyla!” And now they’re bending over backwards asking if your toothpaste has salt... or activated charcoal. Let it be there in toothpaste, but for god’s sake keep it out of our food. From ice-creams to burger buns to pizzas to dim sum shells to chicken tikka… when will this sacrilege stop? Get this straight – a sleeper cell can be activated… a SIM card can be activated… but let charcoal soak up the pressure and become a diamond. 

The Instagram-fuelled sensation makes a mess of any dessert… from tiramisu to truffle cake… If the phrase raita failana had to be personified into an act, this would be it. Guess it’s the best thing to do if your pastry chef has run off and there’s no one to plate the dessert. The drama of pull-up just makes a pool of your dessert. What does need pulling up though is your socks; just plate it properly already!  

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Ever since Rameshwaram Café launched its ghee podi idlis laden with artery-clogging amounts of clarified butter, people down South seem to be as liberal with ghee as Amdavadi vendors with cheese or Old Delhi kebabchis with butter. There’s a new trick in town – to steam the idli in coconut shells before dunking them in ghee and podi. Sure, ghee may be good for you, but the same goes with alcohol... as long as you’re taking it in the right dose. 

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First learn to construct something before you deconstruct it…  and maybe start with a lucid sentence in English. Years ago, at Rang Mahal in Dubai, our ninth course of the Navratan menu did not arrive. Eyeing our watches, we beckoned the steward and asked if they’d hurry up a bit with the dessert. He smiled politely and said, “Well Sir, the chefs are painting.” Flabbergasted, we replied “Very well, why don’t they paint after they’ve served us dessert?” The steward was aghast and replied, “Sir, they are painting the dessert.” Not one to infringe on the creative sensibilities of artists, we allowed another precious ten minutes to go by until the deconstructed dessert was presented to us. It looked like the sheet where they had cleaned up after the act – splattered with random half broken pieces of sweet nothings and odds and ends. Ever since, we’ve been overtly suspicious of anything deconstructed. Except maybe a movie plot. 

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Can we please give truffle the exclusivity and respect it deserves? Else it’s going the same way as deBeers’ diamonds. Truffle oil, truffle infusion, truffle pasta, there’s a lot of truffle going on, but go easy on it! Or, they’ll make a Kadaknath out of it, a trend that has thankfully abated… 


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