What are the food trends for Scotland for 2023? Here are our predictions

Post lockdown, we imagined 2022 might be a year-long party.

Unfortunately, it’s not worked out like that, thanks to the war in Ukraine, political meltdown and the cost-of-living crisis.

Despite these events, we still have to eat, and there have been some strong food fads in 2022.

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Some, especially the frugal ones, are likely to carry on well into 2023 – and beyond – along with a few new edible trends added to the mix. See our predictions below.

Sandy Browning of Ka Pao Pic: Naomi Vance

FRUGALITY

According to the Waitrose & Partners Food & Drink Report 2022/23, 72 per cent of their shoppers said they were “more mindful” over their grocery shopping and a third were shopping around for discounts. If Waitrose customers are concerned, where does that leave the rest of us?

We’ll probably make our first stop in the yellow sticker aisle. As well as an increase in sales of cheap cuts of meat, including fish heads, this supermarket has also noticed a 36 per cent rise in purchases of Spam.

According to Sandy Browning, executive chef at Ka Pao, with branches in Edinburgh and Glasgow: “There will be a focus on minimising waste, which is becoming evermore essential for both environmental and cost reasons. Our chefs often work closely with the bar team to maximise product usage.

Spam wall Pic: Darren Baker/Adobe

"Just this week one of them developed a sort of gingerbread dessert using ginger and long pepper pulp, which is a by-product of the syrup used in our long pepper margarita. The bar also uses discarded lime skins after the kitchen has squeezed them for juice, and lemongrass trim leftover from making curry paste to make a house cordial. It's great fun for the team to make something amazing from otherwise discarded items, and better for the planet of course”.

TEQUILA

Waitrose have noticed a decline in gin sales over the past couple of years, but a rise in tequila, with sales doubling in 2020 and 2021. They’ve also seen a boost in Irish whiskey sales, though presumably that hasn’t been to the detriment of Scotch whisky.

FOOD ON SCREEN

Slow cooker Pic: Amy Muschik

Food programs don’t have to be confined to The Great British Bake Off, Chef’s Table and MasterChef. At the beginning of 2022, there was the release of Boiling Point, in which Stephen Graham played an extremely tense chef in a stressful film that was shot in a single take. In 2023, it’s to be made into a five-part BBC series, with many of the film’s actors playing the same characters. Towards the end of 2022, there was Disney+ series, The Bear, about a young chef in Chicago. Also, on the big screen, we had The Menu, with Ralph Fiennes playing a high-profile chef. We’re saying nothing about that one, so we don’t spoil it for you. Anyway, there’s definitely a theme. In 2023, we hope to see more.

SLOW COOKERS AND AIR FRYERS

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If you don’t own one yet, chances are you will soon. Apparently, an air fryer costs about a third of the price to run than a conventional oven, and a slow cooker is just a few pence an hour. The real question is, what do we store in the oven? You could always use it as a wardrobe for your jeans, in the style of Carmen in series, The Bear (see above). Waitrose also thinks the rise in sales of cheap cuts of meat may be down to slow cooker ownership, as those gadgets are great at softening the chewier proteins.

TIKTOK TRENDS

One of the dishes from The Artisan Pasta Maker, Edinburgh

As Twitter dies a slow death, there’s more time to spend on this social media platform. It’s been home to so many food trends in 2022, including the negroni sbagliato, made famous when Emma D’Arcy from House of the Dragon mentioned it, and suddenly available in many bars, including the new Ciao at Rico’s Ristorante in the capital. Then there are butter boards, grated eggs, whipped feta and the tinned fish date night. Expect more weird stuff in 2023.

PASTA

This foodstuff ticks all the comfort food boxes, and it’s relatively inexpensive. In Edinburgh, we saw the opening of The Artisan Pasta Maker on Dundas Street this year. It offers a plate of ragu laden tortellini for under a tenner. We already had fresh pasta shop, Aemilia, in Portobello, and Glasgow has the excellent Sugo Pasta. We predict these venues will be busier than ever in 2023. Also, Whole Foods Market has released its 2023 trends prediction, and pasta made from alternative ingredients, including squash and courgette, is one of its tips. They also think that yaupon tea, dates and kelp are going to make it big this year.

NOSTALGIA

Another Whole Foods trend prediction, which makes sense, as in times of crisis we all return to our childhood favourites. That may partially explain the uptick in purchases of Spam. For many of us, this translates as eating more macaroni cheese, trifle, pizza and beans on toast. Bring it on.

CORONATION FOOD

At the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, they served coronation chicken. In 2023, on Saturday, May 6, a king will be crowned. They’re bound to invent something for the commoners to eat. If nothing else, it will be a huge marketing opportunity, and we can only imagine what the supermarkets will come up with. Marks & Spencer, we’re looking at you.

COOKBOOKS

Eating out less frequently might be inevitable while the cost of living continues to rise. Those who want to raise their home cooking game, or even throw a dinner party, will be investing in books to improve their repertoire. We love the recent release from Dunkeld-based Flora Shedden, Supper (Hardie Grant, £22), as well as The Joy of Snacks by Lara Goodman (Hachette, £14.99), with options including pizza bagels, crab nachos and hot fudge peanut butter split, or Pru Leith’s new book, Toast (Bloomsbury, £14.99)

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