As consumers, we are getting smarter and more hands-on. The past year has taught us that sugar is the enemy, and that smoothies are an excellent source of nutrition. The NutriBullet, a powerful nutrient extraction blender, was one of the most popular kitchen appliances last year, and we learnt to make noodles out of vegetables with the help of our handy spiralizers (razor-sharp cutting devices).
Our home-cooking habits may have improved, but this year we will be looking to South America for recipe inspiration, just in time for the Rio Olympics. Get set for the summer of 2016 when we will all be tucking into Peruvian delicacies and Brazilian barbeque treats.
Over the past few years, Peruvian restaurants have been quietly popping up all over Europe and North America. Award-winning chefs such as Martin Morales, Gaston Acurio and Adam Rawson have brought unique and inspirational flavours to the masses. This summer, we will see more restaurants jumping on the Peruvian bandwagon, and maybe even a Peruvian section wedged in the supermarket aisles. We have even heard that UNESCO is being approached to list Peruvian cuisine to be listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
As the short-lived barbeque season approaches, Brazilian foods will appreciate a renaissance. Spicy chicken wings, marinated in chili, paprika, tomato, honey and mustard, is sure to become your new favourite snack. And when enjoyed alongside a refreshing caipirinha, the combination will become a staple delicacy throughout the Rio games.
Gadget-wise, the hot-buy for this summer is a home smoking kit. Perfect for cooking flavour into fattier cuts of fish, this is actually easily made by placing a few woodchips in the bottom of a roasting pan, covering with foil and a metal tray and then fitting with a lid to keep the smoke in. Or save yourself the hassle and treat yourself to a fish smoker.
Food smokers are available for cold or hot smoking, indoors and outdoors. Shrug off calorie-counting, and throw out your sugar-laden processed foods. This year is all about real foods and new ethnic flavours.