Trendspotting: Almonds in Los Angeles
Vegan Corn Almond Softserve
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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