It’s been about five years since the sweet-flaky offspring of doughnuts and croissants hit New Zealand.
The cronut’s time in the limelight is over, since then, we’ve been subjected to monstrous freak-shakes, chocolate-lined pie crusts filled with coffee, rainbow lattes and sushi in various forms. So what’s going to be next on the list of trendy foods everyone must try?
New Zealanders recently went nuts for Krispy Kreme’s, and Al’s Deli founder Aleks Lazic thinks doughnuts will be 2018’s darling food.
“I think doughnuts are really where it’s going to be at this year,” he said.
Lazic jumped in when the cronut was hot, had them on the menu for a year or so, but decided they were both too expensive and labour-intensive.
He hoped booze-inject doughnuts, his next menu item, would prove popular. With 10 millilitre injections of alcohol, such as Bailey’s, Kahlua or Cointreau, he thought New Zealanders would enjoy it, he said.
“I think it’s going to be amazing,” he said.
Everything seems to point backwards, rather than like-bait on Instagram fuelled by food colouring, garishness and activated charcoal.
Like doughnuts, crumpets have felt a resurgence, but neither are new. Neither are Danishes, but they could well make a comeback, according to food writer Sam Mannering.
Not the “generic sort of nasty things with bright yellow custard” one often finds in the supermarket,”
“Danishes have been returning which is heartening: big beautiful Danishes,” he said.
On a recent visit to Melbourne, Mannering found cruffins – croissant dough in the form of a muffin – were proving popular at Lune croissanterie.
The classics, that our parents used to eat, could well be the ticket – Moore Wilson’s has been seeing more and more of the classics being done well.
“If anything it’s going back to the favourites from the past,” category sales manager Amanda Thompson said.
That meant custard squares, big beautiful eclaires and Danishes, as Mannering suggested, made properly with “simple ingredients, done well”.
Uber Eats made its own predictions for the year, naming bowls as its trendiest food for 2018, having collected data for its food forecast.
“We’ve seen increasing demand for bowls among Kiwis over the past six months – be it poke, smoothie or salad bowls – and predict they will be incredibly popular in 2018 as people look for a tasty and quick yet nutritious meal option,” Uber Eats NZ lead Emma Foley said.
Poke and smoothie bowls have popped up in various spots around the country, but it is not new, nor are smoothies, being twisted and tailored to contemporary tastes.
Puha & Pakeha, an Auckland-based food truck, is bringing old-world Māori flavours into the fore in the form of reuben sandwiches and crayfish rolls.
Jarrad McKay said those older foods, and cooking techniques, are becoming more accessible. Pikopiko, horopito, kawakawa and kina are ingredients on Puha & Pakeha’s menu, weaved into various contemporary classics such as pulled pork sandwiches, with hangi-made pork, or bite-sized pieces of fried bread with burnt butter and mānuka honey.
“The classics are classics for a reason,” McKay said.
A seemingly declining fine-dining scene could be an indicator of the trend of going back to the classics, Little and Friday owner Kim Evans said.
Bistro-style dining was flourishing in Auckland, with big and bold flavours reigning supreme, and the influx of businesses investing in free-range or organic ingredients payed testament to the fact.
“People are just wanting more of a classic experience when they are eating: just good flavours, simple flavours, put together well.”