Afro-Caribbean Cuisine Trends In UK For 2nd Year Running

| March 13, 2020

Every year, Bidfood UK publishes its annual food and drink trends predictions, which aim to tantalize our taste buds in the most amazing ways. While traditional Caribbean food and drinks have become quite established in most parts of the United Kingdom, Afro-Caribbean cuisine started gaining some traction during the course of 2019. This year, it is touted to become one of the most popular food trends, rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Kombucha craze and plant-based proteins. In order to fully appreciate the hype surrounding Afro-Caribbean cuisine, it is important to understand its origins better, which can even leave you inspired to open an eatery of your own.

Bold flavors and interesting texture drive the trend

It is thanks to its big, bold flavors, exciting range of textures, and use of unusual ingredients that Afro-Caribbean cuisine is enjoying even greater popularity this year. Although no longer an emerging trend, the vibrant taste profile of the cuisine continues to appeal to the adventurous tastes of foodies from across the UK. While many ingredients used in traditional Caribbean cuisine also feature in its Afro-fusion counterpart, a distinct shift towards more unusual flavors and textures is very noticeable. Plantain, jollof rice, breadfruit, callaloo and conch are frequently used in creating mouth-watering dishes that are reminiscent of North Africa and the Caribbean islands. Pumpkin soup, Jerk Chicken, and slow-cooked goat curry are all firm favorites, while cassava is being used as a popular alternative to chips.

A definite market niche exists

With the demand for Caribbean food steadily rising in the UK, there is bound to be a relative increase in the number of suitably-themed eateries popping up. At present, there are no laws or regulations that require someone wanting to open a restaurant to be suitably trained. There are, however, a number of certificates and licenses that need to be in place in order to remain compliant with the necessary regulations. Food Premises Approval and a Food Hygiene Certificate are two of the most important pieces of documentation you will need when opening a restaurant in the UK. Another important consideration is food and beverage business insurance, which will protect you in the event of legal action pertaining to the personal injury or damage to property incurred by your customers. If you are planning to make physical alterations to the premises of your Afro-Caribbean restaurant, also obtain the necessary building permits and planning permissions before commencing.

Multiple food trends emerge in the Caribbean

While Afro-Caribbean cuisine is enjoying a resurgence in the UK, there are a number of food trends in the Caribbean that are worth exploring as well. Brown stew chicken, which is a Jamaican staple, is one of the hottest dishes in the Caribbean at the moment. While chefs and home cooks alike tend to each put their own spin on the dish, there is one thing that is not negotiable – the use of a Dutch oven to prepare the fare in. Other popular trends in the Caribbean include more farm-to-table suppliers, the affirmation of breakfast as the most important meal of the day, and an upsurge in the use of sweet and sour flavors such as vinegar, tamarind and allspice. 

The year ahead promises to be filled with copious amounts of fragrant and flavorsome cuisine. Whether you are dining out or cooking up a storm at home, be sure to fully immerse yourself in the tastes and textures of Afro-Caribbean cuisine.

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Category: African Caribbean, Culture & Society

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