A few predictions about the upcoming deli food trends for 2019

Offering a unique, informal and fun food and drink pairing concept, Pairings, based in York, is fast becoming one the finest and most popular wine bars in the North. The independent business which is run by sisters Kelly and Kate Latham has had huge acclaim since it opened its doors to guests in 2015. These successes include securing award-winning status; becoming and remaining a top five York food and drink venue on TripAdvisor; and, more recently, developing its deli food offering to include even more vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. It’s no surprise, then, that Pairings consistently receives five-star reviews from its guests!

Pairings sources only the highest quality deli food which is locally obtained wherever possible. Farah Wootten, Food Menu Development Manager at Pairings, has extensive experience and expertise in sourcing and unearthing deli food trends. Here, Farah discusses her deli food trend predictions for the year ahead…

Cheese
Flavoured cheeses, which established their popularity with old favourites such as smoked Cheddars and cranberry-clad Wensleydales, will continue to grow in popularity as statement pieces on a cheeseboard, such as Feta or a soft goats’ cheese with jalapenos or peppercorns – for those whose palettes are evolving to accommodate and even desire more spice. Additionally, truffle-infused takes on a classic Brie to enhance an already indulgent platter staple will bring a flavour profile that more consumers are gaining access to: a creamy based cheese will mellow out the spice or truffle flavour, whilst simultaneously ensuring the aftertaste lasts longer.

As more people opt for plant-based foods, cheese substitutes and alternatives will develop into becoming standalone products rather than just slightly hidden supplements in a vegan burger or mac and ‘cheese’. Coconut-based alternatives, while efficient in their mimicking of cheese’s consistency, might lose out to nut-based ‘cheeses’ that stand up to a regular Cheddar’s deep, lingering flavour or the savoury notes of a strong blue. 2019 could even see the emergence of vegan substitutes for harder favourites such as Comté and Manchego if the firmness of coconut-based products is combined with the flavour-carrying potential of cashew-‘cheeses’ and aged appropriately.

Look out for our Za’atar vegan ‘cheese’, which is locally-made with a savoury hint of Middle-Eastern herbs.

Charcuterie
British heritage flavours continue to experience a resurgence as more interest is shown in local, small-batch produce. Strong, gamey flavours will as always prove popular during the colder months at the beginning of the year, especially when paired with deep, full-bodied, almost musky red wines. Spice profiles similar to those in horseradish, fennel and mustard will give already rich charcuterie options added value, not only through increased depth of flavour, but also through a sense of having been made start-to-finish on a farm within an hour’s drive of where your deli platter is being served.

However, a wider range of meats is being explored in order for sharing platters to offer more than just pork-centric hams, salamis and chorizos. Venison, duck and pheasant add elegance and individuality to sharing boards, at once bringing a charcuterie selection back to English ground, whilst also showcasing its meats’ versatility in the potential forms of homemade patés and boutique-smoked options.

Our lamb merguez serves as a perfect first bite in the new year – soft and peppery, with a light and fragrant spiciness, this English pick goes wonderfully with our smooth, medium-bodied Morgenster Lourens River Valley blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from the Western Cape.

Accompaniments
We aren’t short of smaller-batch, local and homemade chutneys, pickles and relishes nowadays. Flavour combinations which pair familiar home fruits with herb and spice influences from outside of Europe have meant cardamom, coriander seeds and bird’s eye chillies are just a few of many twists being included in the jars we serve with our cheeses.

Moving forward into a year where the balance between heritage produce and health-conscious choices will continue to be struck in daily diets, cheese and charcuterie platters could see their accompaniments develop into some more exciting and experimental options. Partially fulfilling our daily intake of greens while continuing to move away from the ‘boring salad’ stigma, side dishes could emerge such as raw Asian bean salads, pickles that evolve from resembling traditional piccalilli to resembling very mild kim-chi, and lighter, seasonal homemade slaws that omit dated cream bases in favour of aioli or beet-juice.

Currently, our veggie board boasts homemade olive tapenade, homemade sundried tomato & basil hummus, and a cranberry, walnut, Wensleydale & apple salad.

For more information on Pairings Wine Bar, visit: www.pairings.co.uk