Our anonymous Michelin Inspectors continually travel the globe in search of new restaurants, and eating and drinking a huge variety of different things at every type of eatery imaginable means that they’re in the know regarding the latest trends.
Here’s what they’ve come across along the way this summer:
Think PinkA refreshing chilled rosé wine has always been synonymous with summer, but now anything pink seems to have plenty of appeal when the sun peeks out from behind the clouds. The colors remind us of blossoming flowers and the fruity scents evoke memories of balmy days, while the appealing tones—from baby pink to fuchsia—make them super Instagrammable.
Gin leads the way, offering everything from tart to sweet, courtesy of concoctions featuring rhubarb, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, red currant, pink grapefruit, cherry blossom, hibiscus and rose. These colored gins are also very versatile: they can be drunk straight over ice; mixed with tonic, Prosecco or lemonade; or made into cocktails.
Aside from gin there are also rosy varieties of vodka, tequila, rum, Port, Champagne, limoncello, mead and liqueurs on offer. The pink-hued options are endless.
White EggplantsWhite eggplants—sometimes also known as “snowbergines”—are available during the summer months. Donning a similar appearance to those of their purple cousins, white eggplants have firmer skin (so should be peeled before cooking), a milder, lighter flavor and creamier texture. Nutrition-wise, they are high in potassium and contain B vitamins, magnesium and copper. They also soak up less moisture when cooking, so are an ideal alternative for a low-carb moussaka. They are best suited to grilling, baking, sautéing or frying.
Going NutsYou’ve heard of almond milk and coconut milk—maybe even walnut or pecan milk—and now, peanut milk is making a name for itself.
This new alternative has a richer, fuller flavor than other nut-based milks—and a higher protein content too, almost matching that of dairy. It’s great for smoothies and chocolate versions are also available—perfect for heating over the stove.
Sugar and SpiceOriginating from Nepal and coming from the same family as the Sichuan pepper, Timut pepper is on the rise, boasting a flavor and aroma of zesty citrus, most reminiscent of grapefruit. It pairs equally well with savory and sweet dishes (including chocolate).
New Produce on the BlockPandan leaf is now being billed as the new matcha. With a flavor similar to vanilla—yet grassier and slightly coconutty—this South Asian leaf can be used as an infusion in spirits and cocktails, or in water in lieu of mint or citrus.
The African star apple—sometimes also referred to as the African star cherry—is also increasingly appearing on menus. The fruit has a distinct aroma and is used to make drinks, jams and jellies. Don’t be put off by the smell—it’s packed with vitamins and minerals (including vitamins A and C, calcium and iron). It’s also high in fiber and helps to lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
Hero image courtesy of Christine Trant.