September always causes me to spew forth and wax lyrical about the glorious harvest festival that is the autumn menu. But this year more than ever before, I’ve noticed that, in a similar, erm, fashion to the designers who live for the annual fashionista shebang that is London Fashion Week, the food world has an annual wardrobe shake-up too. Let’s take a stroll through the current chart:
1. Pop up/underground restaurants: staying in (at a stranger’s house, and making a donation for the ‘pleasure’) is most definitely the new going out (to somewhere with a Food Standards Agency licence)
2. Things on Toast: from crab to courgettes and sumac-infused cream cheese, trendy toast toppers are the way forward.
3. Middle Eastern flavours, most notably sumac (see above). Not familiar with the lemony tasting spice/garnish proliferating throughout your mezze? You soon will be...
4. Fresh figs: supremely sexy, the ultimate ‘make the most of now’ fruit (and they’re greener than you think - fresh figs are always imported by sea, as they explode at high altitude).
5, Turnips: sweet, pretty and bang on-trend for autumn.
6. Lentils: red, green or puy - ‘tis the season to be windy.
7. Pomegranate, in pulp, seed or juice form: despite dodgy eco-credentials (you ain’t never going to see this deciduous, fruit-bearing shrub down the local allotment), foodies just can’t seem to get enough of those bright little jewels.
8. Tamarind: hot, sour, sweet, earthy, sexy - and, like, totally fashion-forward.
9. Galangal is the new ginger, seviche the new sushi and shin the new shank.
10. Water, water, everywhere: offering tap instead of expensive, imported bottled water is no longer a fad; congratulations to all concerned for turning what should never have been a novelty into the norm.