America’s Test Kitchen, one of the longest running instructional cooking shows and most-trusted test kitchen, today unveiled its first annual trend report, anticipating the food trends and cooking innovations that will soar in 2020. America’s Test Kitchen, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has had its finger on the pulse of home cooks for the past two decades and is poised to predict what and how Americans will be eating in 2020 and beyond.
“Based on our expert test cooks’ observations, community of home cooks, and 20-year body of research, we expect to see these cooking and food trends take off in 2020. Whether determining upcoming cookbook titles or selecting recipes to demonstrate on America’s Test Kitchen, we have been predicting trends for two decades, and are excited to share our predictions for 2020,” says Chief Creative Officer, Jack Bishop.
Cooking with Mold
Koji, a traditional Japanese ingredient dubbed “Japan’s National Mold”, is going to have a moment this year as more and more home cooks are using it in things like fried chicken, rice, and marinades. The umami flavor of Koji has been a long-time pillar in Asian cuisine, but has recently started to gain momentum as prominent chefs and restaurants are experimenting with the strong flavor. In 2020, expect Koji to creep into everyday fare, as eaters become more familiar with the distinct uses and applications of the surprising ingredient.
Back to Basics
The past 5 years have seen food and cooking innovations dramatically change the culinary landscape, as advanced technology and sophisticated palates transformed the way people cooked and ate. Contrastingly, 2020 will be the year cooks get back to the basics, emphasizing cooking traditions and more classic tastes. This transition will lead consumers back to fine dining and traditional French cuisine, along with with the use of old-school tools like cast iron skillets and carbon steel woks. Of course, technology will continue to move into the kitchen, but America’s Test Kitchen anticipates that basic, hands-on cooking will guide the way to determine technology’s role.
Kids are Cooking (For Real!)
This year, expect kids to make some waves in the kitchen—and not just on competition television shows. Over the past few years, more children have become interested and involved in home cooking, and evidenced by a growing market of kids’ cookbooks and cooking kits, 2020 doesn’t show signs of slowing. Kids who pick up cooking learn more than recipes and nutrition – cooking reinforces math and science lessons, fosters confidence, and promotes creativity. As families continue to see this added value, America’s Test Kitchen expects more kids will take to the kitchen in 2020.
Curing and Fermentation
Cured and fermented foods – a trend that gained traction in 2019 – will continue to grow in 2020. Fermented and cured foods pack bold, zesty flavors that home cooks are becoming more accustomed to. Foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are being utilized in a wider variety of recipes, including stir-fries, sandwiches, and rice bowls. Fermented foods also contain probiotics and minerals that are good for your gut, which are growing even more important to consumers as they opt for health-forward ingredients.
While baking bread has fallen out of practice in the past few years, America’s Test Kitchen predicts that baking bread at home is making a comeback. The bread baking ritual has seen a resurgence amongst the America’s Test Kitchen community of home cooks and testers, as many cooks find that it is often a less-processed, tastier option. From baguettes to sourdough loaves, bread making is easier than most home cooks realize.
Cooking for One
Cooking for one isn’t just for singles anymore, as diets and dietary needs have changed the way people prep and cook meals. From eating directly off a cutting board to indulging in more expensive ingredients, cooking single-serving meals can transform the way home cooks think about food. Smaller portioned ingredients are on the rise and more home cooks are looking for effective, efficient recipes for one, proving that the dinner landscape is changing.
The Mediterranean Diet will continue to reign supreme in 2020, as people look for diet options that promote healthy eating without sacrificing taste. This heart-healthy diet is widely embraced by consumers and medical professionals alike, and the plant-forward meal plan aligns with recent eating trends. The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen’s #1-selling cookbook, includes over 500 recipes that follow the guidelines of the diet, including sections on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and the occasional meat or seafood. A new title, Mediterranean Instant Pot, couples the most popular diet with the most popular appliance, providing another way for consumers to enjoy Mediterranean fare.
About America’s Test Kitchen America’s Test Kitchen, based in a state-of-the-art 60,000 sq. ft. facility with over 15,000 sq. ft. of test kitchens and studio space, in Boston’s Seaport District, is dedicated to finding the very best recipes for home cooks. Over 50 full-time (admittedly obsessive) test cooks spend their days testing recipes 30, 40, up to 100 times, with help from a panel of 40,000 volunteer home cooks, tweaking every variable until they understand how and why recipes work. They also test cookware and supermarket ingredients so viewers can bypass marketing hype and buy the best quality products. As the home of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, and publisher of more than one dozen cookbooks each year, America’s Test Kitchen has earned the respect of the publishing industry, the culinary world, and millions of home cooks. America’s Test Kitchen the television show launched in 2001, and the company added a second television program, Cook’s Country, in 2008. Learn more at https://www.americastestkitchen.com/.
SOURCE America’s Test Kitchen