According to a National Restaurant Association poll, 57% of all chefs surveyed said that fermenting was a “hot trend.” Are fermented foods really that big a deal, or are they all hype? Plenty of evidence suggests they are indeed the latest trend, and may remain so for at least the near future. Quite a few things are driving the surge, which shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Millennials Leading the Charge
Many believe that millennials have played an important role in bringing fermented foods to the forefront. Millennials in particular tend to be more willing to try new foods, and are especially interested in locally-crafted or specialty foods such as kimchi. Millennials now make up a greater share of the market than ever before, which is one reason there may have been a spike in fermented food sales over the past couple of years.
Renewed Focus on Buying Local
While millennials do have adventurous taste buds, they are also more concerned with buying healthy, locally-grown foods. Many fermented foods such as pickled ginger or sauerkraut easily fall into this category. Using local produce provides a level of freshness that can’t be mimicked with store-bought ingredients. Buying from local vendors also spurs your area’s economy, so you are actually helping out your neighbor rather than a large factory farm.
Consumers are Becoming more Health Conscious
More and more people are discovering that what you put in your body can affect your health. As such, they are rejecting processed foods in favor of healthier natural choices such as fermented foods. Do you suffer from any type of digestive disorder? If so, fermented foods can provide you with the necessary probiotics to help speed digestion. Improved digestion means you will absorb more nutrients and be better able to eliminate harmful toxins.
Fermented Foods are Inexpensive and Easy to Make
Trying new foods is often difficult for those on a budget. Eating healthy might also be challenging, since nutritious foods tend to cost more than so-called “junk” foods that are laden with chemicals. That’s not the case with fermented foods, which require very few ingredients and are relatively easy to make. For only pennies on the serving, you can enjoy delicious fermented dishes that not only taste great, but are also good for you.
They can be Enjoyed in Numerous Ways
There are nearly endless ways to enjoy fermented foods. For example, many people are now finding that kimchi is more than just a side dish-it is also a perfect addition to everything from soups to hot dogs. Many food trucks are capitalizing on the versatility of fermented foods to create new signature menu items of their own. If you enjoy experimenting with new recipes, try using fermented foods in your old favorites in order to switch things up a bit.
The more people try fermented foods, the more they seem to like them. If you have not yet made fermented foods a staple in your diet, what are you waiting for?