Food Trends: Streetfood
Flavourful, vibrant and exuding party spirit, the Americas have set the tone for 2016 with their streetfood feasts, Olympic energy and exotic atmosphere.
We’re getting used to the vibrant colours and smells of exotic foods bubbling away as we walk through the increasingly cold winter nights, with colourful celebrations and the chance to sample culinary delights from all over the world - in particular, the Americas. So we believe the year deserves a suitable send-off with an explosion of colour!
Brazil reigns supreme over the street party scene.
Rio is well known for its Carnival, and that Latin rhythm and colour has certainly found its way over to the UK via Notting Hill. If you want a duck feijoada, beef jerky salad or a mango tarte tatin, you’ll find it all here on the streets, or pop up to Mexico for tortillas filled with glazed pork, steaming pots of stewed beef birria, and traditional flavourings such as onion and cilantro. Or head to New York and try out their brilliant incarnations - gone are the days of burgers and hotdogs, with street food aficionados serving up vanilla panna cotta, kalbi burritos, fishy tacos and veggie melts with plenty of panache.
But if there’s one place in the world that knows how to celebrate Christmas Carnival-style, it’s the Bahamas, with their annual street festival, Junkanoo.
Music, dancing and plenty of great food mark this Christmas-time celebration, a centuries-old sort of light which shone out and grew stronger from the dark days of slavery in the region.
On Boxing Day and New Year's Day, thousands take to the streets with conch soup, crayfish and lobster aplenty, sizzling and bubbling away in pots and pans at various stalls - cue colourful masks, outlandish outfits, the beat of goat skin drums and the heady throng of people having a great time.
Elaborate costumes and decorations nod back to poorer days when eye-popping creations were artfully constructed from whatever scrap materials were at hand - paper, cardboard, feathers and fabric.
Craft your own Christmas Carnival
The carnival concept is so inspirational for a variety of engaging themes - food culture, social history, crafty creativity or just plain fun.
Party queen South America, a long-simmering melting pot of indigenous, African, European and Asian styles, ensures an added degree of eclecticism, a whole lot of colour, and a fair whack of cheerful kitsch come into play. Mangos, pineapples, baobab, cupuaçu - the closer to the Equator your inspiration, the more tropical the setting and the more colourful the experience.
If you’re planning a cookery demo or pop up this Christmas, there are plenty of ways to make it go with a cultural and foodie bang, as captivating to kids as to adults alike.
Have a look at our Pinterest board for ideas to bring some South American heat into the festive season, combining recipes from across the Americas with interesting materials, punchy colours and striking patterns to provide the perfect backdrop to party.
PS. Don't forget to email us if you need a helping hand.