Trendspotting: Almonds in Los Angeles
Los Angeles boasts a health-focused, creative food scene that continually reinvents itself, fueled by locally sourced ingredients and an emphasis on innovation. In February, the Almond Board of California hosted a food trends tour of Los Angeles to explore some of the most inspirational and unique ways chefs and product developers are using California almonds to make their creations stand out. The tour itinerary featured stops at neighborhood coffeehouses, full-service restaurants, food halls, hidden bars, and more.
Throughout Los Angeles, ‘free-from’, plant-based beverages, globally inspired flavor profiles, nutty cocktails, on-the-go snacks, and star-of-the-plate sauces were among the most prevalent trends.
Free-from’ – Instead of alternate options or substitutions that have become mainstream globally, purveyors in Los Angeles have embraced a clean lifestyle and offer permanent menu items and packaged products across gluten-free, sugar-free, meat-free, and dairy-free.
Welltopia’s Nutty Nutty Wellness Bowl, with a housemade almond milk base
Superba’s almond milk-based chia seed pudding
Crossroad’s vegan almond ricotta and baby beet salad
Plant-based beverages – The health-conscious, produce-driven focus of Los Angeles’ populace has resulted in purveyors creating innovative and unique plant-based beverages, often made with almond milk, which enables consumers to get a hit of nutrients while staying hydrated and satiated.
Almond turmeric lattes from Superba
Vanilla lavender almond milk from PBJ.LA
Almond and macadamia milk iced lattes from G&B Coffee
Globally inspired flavor profiles – The Los Angeles food scene truly embraces the city’s multiculturalism, fusing plant-forward ingredients with international flavor profiles that pay homage to its residents.
Redbird’s almond congee with poached chicken
Bottega Louie macarons, including chai, pistachio and rose
Nutty cocktails – While almonds may not typically be associated with cocktail menus, Los Angeles’ cocktail scene is embracing almonds for the richness and toasted flavor profiles they offer as complements to a variety of spirits.
Shibumi’s tequila orgeat cocktail
Gracias Madre’s California almond horchata
On-the-go snacks that fuel – Paired with nutrient-rich ingredients, almonds do double-duty in-between meals. Overnight oats, made on an almond milk base, and sweet breads made using paleo ingredients are just some of the products being created to meet consumer demand.
Surya Spa Bread Ayurvedic breads
This Bar Saves Lives nut and fruit bars
Brekki almond milk overnight oats
Star-of-the-plate sauces – Showstopping sauces are increasingly the star of the dish and feature fresh ingredients partnered with herbs and spices to create an all-out taste sensation.
Guelaguetza’s black, red, and coloradito moles
Superba’s turmeric almond sauce
Spring’s Maine lobster gazpacho with almond milk sauce
From new spins on classic recipes, like almond crusted chicken and waffles, to innovative inclusions of plant-based ingredients like vegan corn almond softserve and almond-based sauces, culinary trendsetters in Los Angeles are working with almonds in ways that embrace fresh and local produce to meet consumer demand for food that fits in with the city’s health-focused lifestyle.
For application highlights and images that are sure to inspire, please see below.
Housemade Almond Milk at Welltopia
Panna Cotta, Honey, Caramelized Almonds, Farmer’s Market Berries, Almond Sorbet at Spring
Urban beehives on the roof at Redbird
Striped Bass with Turmeric Almond Sauce at Superba
Almond and Seasonal Fruit Cake at Valerie's Confections
Corn Star cocktail, with Housemade Almond Milk at Gracias Madre
Almond Butter and Jam Sandwich at PBJ.LA
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