The Most Exciting 2022 Food Trends, According to TikTok Stars

published Jan 28, 2022
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Credit: People, Top to Bottom: Alexis Nicole: Rachel Joy Barehl; Nadia Caterina Munno: Felipe Cortes; Priyanka Kaik: Melissa Hom | Food, Top to Bottom: Stocksy/ Nataša Mandić; Stocksy/ SKC

Every January, experts trot out the usual lists predicting what the following 12 months will bring. We food-obsessed folk are no exception. We can’t help but wonder: What’s the next must-have ingredient? What kitchen gadgets will be next to fly off shelves? What flavors, what aromas, what textures will redefine what it means to eat in the next year?

We don’t need to tell you that so often those predictions are, well, dead wrong. And hey, even we here at Kitchn can admit when we’re off the mark. Remember when we said that 2008 was going to be the year of the “Casserole 2.0”? (We all make mistakes.)

But we digress. To help us figure out what’s coming up in 2022, we asked some of our favorite social media stars of 2021 for their best guesses about what we have to look forward to this year. Spoiler alert: If they’re right, 2022 is going to be incredibly delicious.

@alexisnikole sees persimmons in your future (and Lizzo agrees).

“I feel like persimmons are on the precipice of having a moment,” predicts Alexis Nikole Nelson, aka TikTok’s forager extraordinaire. Persimmons are generally in season at the beginning of autumn, when varieties of the sweet-and-spicy fruit like Fuyu and Hachiya start to show up in marketplaces. But Nelson says she’s been seeing persimmons everywhere on the internet both fresh and frozen, the latter suggesting we’ll be treated to plenty of persimmon action even after the autumnal fruit is out of season. She’s also seen them prepared as hoshigaki, a time-intensive Japanese treat made by peeling, tying, hanging, and gently massaging the persimmons. The resulting dried specialty has a dark, crystallized sweetness and deep, spicy undertones.

But what really has Nelson convinced that persimmons are about to explode in popularity? “Lizzo just made a video talking them up,” Nelson explained, pointing to a TikTok video the singer uploaded in December. If we’ve learned anything of Lizzo’s powers of persuasion — remember when she tried “Nature’s Cereal”? — it’s that when the songstress speaks (or eats!), people listen. 

@chelsweets says macarons are the new sourdough.

Chelsey White, the force behind the popular TikTok account @chelsweets, has a feeling that our days of hunkering down and procrasti-baking aren’t behind us just yet. But this time around, instead of conjuring batch after batch of banana bread and sourdough, White thinks home bakers will be eager for a different sort of challenge.

“Macarons in 2022 will be like what sourdough was to 2020,” White predicts, referencing the sweet meringue-based French cookie sandwich. “They’re difficult enough for people to completely fall down a rabbit hole trying to perfect,” she said, adding that macaron mania may very well lead to a boom in silpat mats, unrimmed baking trays, and round piping tips. It’ll all be worth it: “The satisfaction you get from baking a batch with perfect feet is exactly the thrill we all will need.” 

Need a recipe? Try White’s French Macarons or give our Classic Macarons a try.

@eitan is stoked about campfire cooking.

People are living (and playing) differently since the pandemic started, notes the social media-savvy chef Eitan Bernath. “Lots of people have shifted to ‘van life,’ tiny houses, and living out of cars, and more people are taking camping trips since COVID,” he said. Indeed, Google searches for “van life” appear to have hit an all-time high in September 2021. Bernath’s culinary read on where this trend is headed? “Camp cooking and open-fire cooking have been all over social media,” he said.

Expect to see a lot more people getting creative with their outdoor cooking setups (check out TikToker’s floating campfire grate) and introducing their cast iron skillets to the Great Outdoors (@annmarieelaban looks like she’s getting good use out of hers). Best of all? Be prepared for a future filled with plenty of s’mores skillets a la @jessiesheehanbakes.

@chefpriyanka says now is the moment for mushrooms.

“Funghi has been sporing up (hehe) in all the best ways,” said Indian vegan chef and Food Network champion Priyanka Naik. “From their medical and healing benefits to [their ability to] mimic meat, funghi is the next avocado,” she said. 

It doesn’t hurt that mushroom foraging has become huge on TikTok, Naik added, pointing to fellow trend predictor Alexis Nikole Nelson. Just try not to get excited when Nelson loses her chill over a cache of brick cap mushrooms. (You can’t, it’s impossible.)

This is all to say: Keep an eye out for all sorts of variations on mushroom toast. Beer-battered fried mushrooms. Haitian black trumpet mushroom rice. There are even mushroom-based meat substitutes about to hit the big time, like the oyster mushroom-based MyBacon from Atlast and Nature’s Fynd’s fungi-based breakfast patties.

“Mushrooms are a great substitute for meat,” Naik continued. They “allow folks to indulge in their meaty desires like ‘fried chicken’ — but made with oyster mushrooms!” We’re here for it.

Bonus: Mushrooms are having a moment in fashion, too, so you can wear them and eat them.

@grilledcheesesocial is sweet on fancy vinegar.

“Every time I log onto instagram, I’m getting hit with another ad from a cool, fancy vinegar company — and I’m not mad about it!” said MacKenzie Smith, the cookbook author, two-time Food Network champion, and creator of the site Grilled Cheese Social.

“I think people are about to get their mind blown,” she said, namechecking design-forward brands with imaginative artisanal products like Brightland (which makes a double-fermented champagne vinegar with California chardonnay grapes and navel and Valencia oranges, among other things); Acid League (its living strawberry rosé vinegar is as gorgeous as it is delicious); and Tart (the celery vinegar is funky in the best possible way).

But these vinegars aren’t just for cooking. Expect to find them “also as finishing vinegars and drink mixers,” Smith said. If sipping on vinegar sounds odd to you, let us introduce you to the concept of drinking vinegars, which add a tangy kick to cocktails and soft drinks.

@thepastaqueen wants you to add fruit to your pasta (sometimes).

Nadia Caterina Munno — aka The Pasta Queen — thinks combining unlikely ingredients in pasta dishes will be all the rage in 2022. “Such as cheese and fruits,” she said. “That’s definitely one thing that I think is going to be unusual and interesting.” 

Think: juicy Bosc pears and spicy gorgonzola. Fresh figs, apples, raisins, and other dried fruits paired with crispy nubbins of pancetta. These are classic Italian combos, but “they’re unknown in the U.S.,” Munno said, at least among her legions of food-lovers on TikTok. “I’m about to put out a lemon risotto, which is absolutely going to go viral, I already know.”

These lesser-known combos — especially those that join sweet and savory notes — will “redefine peoples’ palates,” Munno predicts, making them more receptive to dishes with an unlikely mixture of things. One caveat: Before trying that grape pasta trend, you might want to check out Munno’s reaction.

Will every one of these predictions come to pass? Only time will tell. But if 2022 is even half as delicious as our experts say it will be, we’ll cheers to that.