Behold the Genius of Vegan Tuna: Whole Foods Trends of 2018

 

Dear eater, are your mushrooms dysfunctional? Do they just lie there on your plate, limply, underperforming? Then we have great news for you! Functional mushrooms are just one of Whole Food’s food trends for 2018. Yes, now your mushrooms can function again!

Well, not your mushrooms. Not the dull, familiar mushrooms you’re used to eating. They’re just edible, not functional – these days, merely functioning as food simply isn’t functioning hard enough. No, we mean mushrooms with names like “reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane”. Which are not a kind of massage, disease, surgical implement, or feline fringe, respectively, though we understand the confusion. Whole Foods explains,

Shoppers are buzzing about functional mushrooms, which are traditionally used to support wellness as an ingredient in dietary supplements. Now, varieties like reishi, chaga, cordyceps and lion’s mane star in products across categories. Bottled drinks, coffees, smoothies and teas are leading the way. The rich flavors also lend themselves to mushroom broths, while the earthy, creamy notes pair well with cocoa, chocolate or coffee flavors. Body care is hot on this mushroom trend too, so look for a new crop of soaps, hair care and more.

Yes. You are buzzing. Maybe you haven’t noticed the buzz yet, a sort of moo, like the sound of that cellphone you left on vibrate in your bag, but you, the shopper, want fungus in your coffee, candy, and smoothies this year. And in your hair and armpits. “Body care is hot on this mushroom trend” actually sounds a bit uncomfortable, but don’t let that keep you from buzzing. Just fish out the damn phone already, and answer it.

You know you want to.

***

2018 is also the year when “Tacos Come Out of Their Shell”. Yes, your tacos are officially molting. You might think ethnic esculent ecdysis is nothing new – how long have taco salads been around? But you’d be wrong. This trend is fresh, because reasons.

This street-food star is no longer limited to a tortilla, or to savory recipes: Tacos are showing up for breakfast, and trendy restaurants across the country have dessert variations. Most of all, tacos are shedding their shell for new kinds of wrappers and fillings too – think seaweed wrappers with poke filling.

Poke is raw fish salad from Hawaii. Which is naturally why, when you wrap it in seaweed, it becomes a taco. We realize treating Pacific-island cuisine as if it were Mexican raises concerns of cultural appropriation, but calling a wrap a “wrap” is off trend now, no matter how well “wrap” describes, well, wrapping foods inside other foods.

The wrap trend had a good run – you had your pita wraps, your lettuce wraps, your tortilla wraps, your gift wraps, your ermine wraps… (To all those thinking the last is only an item of clothing we must ask, have you tried ermine meat yet? It’s gamy, but surprisingly versatile. And the inclusion of small bones adds calcium. It’s high up on the food chain, though, so it’s only a sometimes food. But we digress. Where were we?)

Ah. Tacos. Tacos that are nothing like tacos, but that won’t stop us. As our press release says, “Taco ‘bout options!”

***

Continuing with the longstanding trends we’re regifting as fresh for 2018, we’re bringing you floral flavors (nothing like food or drink whose bouquet is… bouquet) and the “Feast from the Middle East”. The Whole Foods blog post goes on,

Things like hummus, pita and falafel were tasty entry points, but now consumers are ready to explore the deep traditions, regional nuances and classic ingredients of Middle Eastern cultures, with Persian, Israeli, Moroccan, Syrian and Lebanese influences rising to the top. Spices like harissa, cardamom and za’atar are hitting more menus, as well as dishes like shakshuka, grilled halloumi and lamb. Other trending Middle Eastern ingredients include pomegranate, eggplant, cucumber, parsley, mint, tahini, tomato jam and dried fruits.

Yes, after all this time, pomegranate is still trending. Truly, it is the superfruit, richly-seeded womb of inexhaustible trendiness.

Now, perhaps you’re a Midwestern paleface thinking to yourself, “Huh, I’ve used harissa paste for years,” or “I bought some za’atar at Trader Joes last spring.” Maybe. But ours will be Wholer. And Foodier. It’s what we do.

***

We also do powders. We’ve always done powders, of course – green powders like spirulina, wheatgrass, and henna; brown powders like cocoa and flaxseed – but this year, we’re drawing your attention to a powder that’s bright and shiny yellow – and smells like cheap mustard: ground turmeric. The gods at Whole Foods go on,

Powders are serious power players. Because they’re so easy to incorporate, they’ve found their way into lattés, smoothies, nutrition bars, soups and baked goods.

“Also watch out for ground turmeric,” HealthLine comments on our hot powder trend. As well HealthLine should: turmeric is strongly staining, thanks to awesome power of curcumin, a beautiful red-gold pigment, and you definitely want staining power in your “lattés, smoothies, nutrition bars, soups and baked goods.”

Curcumin isn’t just a stain, though, it’s also a PAIN – a Pan-Assay INterference compound: it nonspecifically diddles with a buncha biological targets. Because curcumin is natural, the diddling is good. Because it is nonspecific, the diddling is powerful. Powerful, like the way you’ll smell when you’ve had lots of turmeric. Powerful, like the yellow stain on your teeth you’d get from eating turmeric straight out of the jar. With golden molars and a personal aroma which would gag a goat, you, too, could open your third chakra through the fierce yellow power that is the big T, becoming one of 2018’s pow(d)er players!

***

Our most astonishing trend, though, for 2018 is undoubtedly vegan tuna.

If nose-to-tail is the cry of the ethical butcher, “Root-to-Stem” is the new rallying cry for the vegan. And in 2018, “High-Tech Goes Plant-Forward”. So we’re featuring plant-based proteins from Beyond Meat, a lab headquartered in California (where else?) which does some phenomenal science-y stuff to vegetal hemoglobin from soy root in order to make vegan burgers bleed tasty, iron-rich juices. But even that impressive wizardry cannot compare to the elegance of this high-tech vegan sushi:

In order to simulate the finest sushi-grade raw tuna, our “Ocean Hugger” suppliers take a tomato, skin it, and scoop out the insides. They then take this hollow shell, cut it into wedges, placing each wedge on a little brick of sushi rice. And there you have it: vegan tuna.

Simplicity itself. With all the translucent ruddiness of a premium tuna, who could ask for anything more? It’s technical genius!

Equipped with the most advanced food science, we have successfully deconstructed tuna into sliced tomatoes. We can’t think of a better summary of the sheer freshness of our 2018 trends. Dig in and bon apetit!

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Somebody needs to throw a net over the Whole Foods marketing department.

    • #1
  2. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Gah, vegan tuna is almost as silly sounding as finding vegan soy mini-drumsticks and tofurkey.  If you’re to go all vegany, then stop imitating meat.  What’s next, turmeric tuna shakes?

    • #2
  3. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Gah, vegan tuna is almost as silly sounding as finding vegan soy mini-drumsticks and tofurkey. If you’re to go all vegany, then stop imitating meat. What’s next, turmeric tuna shakes?

    Quit giving them ideas.

    • #3
  4. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    So where does cultural appropriation play into this?  Do Americans or is it white people have the right to mess with Mexican food configurations?  Then there is the poke.  Not sure who owns that bit of culture but is will be some minority.  Whole Foods needs to be Politically Correct if nothing else.

    • #4
  5. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Gah, vegan tuna is almost as silly sounding as finding vegan soy mini-drumsticks and tofurkey. If you’re to go all vegany, then stop imitating meat. What’s next, turmeric tuna shakes?

    What I get a kick out of is that, with the right food stylist, it’s true that a piece of skinned tomato on rice can photograph like it was raw tuna. But we don’t taste with our cameras.

    Vegan tuna. It’s food porn. Fake food porn. Like watching a sexbot perform as a camgirl.

    • #5
  6. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    So where does cultural appropriation play into this? Do Americans or is it white people have the right to mess with Mexican food configurations? Then there is the poke. Not sure who owns that bit of culture but is will be some minority. Whole Foods needs to be Politically Correct if nothing else.

    Basically, the whole press release is an exercise in cultural imperialism. One way or another.

    • #6
  7. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Gah, vegan tuna is almost as silly sounding as finding vegan soy mini-drumsticks and tofurkey. If you’re to go all vegany, then stop imitating meat. What’s next, turmeric tuna shakes?

    Quit giving them ideas.

    You just know they won’t use real milk anyway – they’ll use coconut milk.  And it’ll be served piping hot, because “new” milkshakes don’t need to be served cold anymore.  Or in a glass.  Or be in liquid form.  Probably have to eat it with a fork, but a non traditional fork made from hemp.  That looks suspiciously like billy club.

    • #7
  8. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Equipped with the most advanced food science, we have deconstructed tuna into sliced tomatoes. We can’t think of a better summary of the sheer freshness of our 2018 trends. Dig in and bon apetit!

    Let’s see. It tastes awful. It will probably result in some form of malnutrition or actual poisoning. Most important of all it will allow for a 250% markup for Whole Foods on each an every idiotic item.

    In Real Estate it’s location location location but in the new food industry it’s profit profit profit.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #8
  9. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    I’ll take my mushrooms straight from my local grocer, thank you. I know there is no queer stuff stuck in them.

    My favorite bedtime drink: 1 cup milk; a sprinkle of cardamom; a spoon of honey dropped in and heat in microwave about 2 minutes. A heaping table spoon of whipped cream on top.

    • #9
  10. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Kay of MT (View Comment):
    I’ll take my mushrooms straight from my local grocer, thank you. I know there is no queer stuff stuck in them.

    My favorite bedtime drink: 1 cup milk; a sprinkle of cardamom; a spoon of honey dropped in and heat in microwave about 2 minutes. A heaping table spoon of whipped cream on top.

    According to this finding, you should be mixing in turmeric and soy tomato tuna, with a mushroom garnish.

    • #10
  11. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Gah, vegan tuna is almost as silly sounding as finding vegan soy mini-drumsticks and tofurkey.

    I can see the appeal of tofurkey for meatless eaters on those holidays where stuffing a bird is traditional. I was also briefly a housemate of a deeply red-state girl from Kansas who, while she wasn’t vegetarian, enjoyed various chicken-replacement patties and nuggets. I think her theory was that, if technology could someday turn corn and soy into tasty patties better than chickens and cows could, so much the better for the corn and soy farmers. She was also an engineer, and engineers are innately attracted to simulating things with other things – I’ve got a bit of that bug too, so I’ll try mock recipes from time to time out of curiosity.

    Never tried that Ritz mock apple pie recipe, though. And always sorta regretted not trying it. Perhaps someday for a church potluck…

    • #11
  12. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    They’re just edible, not functional – these days, merely functioning as food simply isn’t functioning hard enough.  Hilarious, Midge! Hahaha!

    I drove my neighbor to Whole Foods because she’d had surgery and couldn’t drive. As we entered, a beta male with a man bun was leaving. “Oh, here we go, “I muttered under my breath. I needed olives anyway, so I looked for them. All I found was a shelf area with jars of weird-looking olives whose labels announced that they’d been grown on a hillside in Galilee or a grove in a village in Italy. They had names like:

    Arbequinas: A popular Spanish olive; small, crisp and slightly bitter.

    Beldi: A small, fruity olive from Morocco. They’re brine-cured

    Bitetto: Named for the Southern Italian town where they’ve been grown since biblical times. They’re sweeter than most with almond tones

    One selection was a small jar with five giant pale olives floating it, and they looked disgusting, and it cost $7.00. I found an employee and asked if they didn’t have just a regular jar of Mario olives. He looked down his nose at me as if I’d asked where they keep the Velveeta, and sniffed, “Oh, we don’t carry that brand.”

    It was so hilarious that while waiting for her to finish her shopping, I took these photos of their silly pretentious signs:

    • #12
  13. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Never tried that Ritz mock apple pie recipe, though. And always sorta regretted not trying it. Perhaps someday for a church potluck…

    Ah, but my grandmother made it several times, according to my mother.  It was every bit as weird as it sounds.  Truly an early and awful example of the first wave of “better living through chemistry” recipes of days gone by.

    • #13
  14. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Never tried that Ritz mock apple pie recipe, though. And always sorta regretted not trying it. Perhaps someday for a church potluck…

    Ah, but my grandmother made it several times, according to my mother. It was every bit as weird as it sounds. Truly an early and awful example of the first wave of “better living through chemistry” recipes of days gone by.

    Perfect for a church potluck, then! Hehehehe…

    • #14
  15. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Never tried that Ritz mock apple pie recipe, though. And always sorta regretted not trying it. Perhaps someday for a church potluck…

    Ah, but my grandmother made it several times, according to my mother. It was every bit as weird as it sounds. Truly an early and awful example of the first wave of “better living through chemistry” recipes of days gone by.

    Haha my mom made that once too. Once.

    • #15
  16. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Um, no.  Never, Ever.

    Speaking of tomatoes, Ray loves them, and I don’t.  Recently he had an heirloom-tomato salad that included a variety of brown tomato.  Can someone tell me how you tell if a brown tomato is past its eat-by date?  I always thought that if a tomato turned brown, it was rotting and should be thrown away.  What color does a brown tomato turn when it goes bad?

    • #16
  17. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    For even more precious terminology concerning foods, watch the cooking channels. My wife Marie and I are faithful viewers of a number of these cooking shows, though my wife sometimes tells me to leave the room when I make fun of food terminology.

    Kent

    • #17
  18. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    They’re just edible, not functional – these days, merely functioning as food simply isn’t functioning hard enough. Hilarious, Midge! Hahaha!

    I drove my neighbor to Whole Foods because she’d had surgery and couldn’t drive. As we entered, a beta male with a man bun was leaving. “Oh, here we go, “I muttered under my breath. I needed olives anyway, so I looked for them. All I found was a shelf area with jars of weird-looking olives whose labels announced that they’d been grown on a hillside in Galilee or a grove in a village in Italy. They had names like…

    I can’t remember the last time I, personally, paid for a jar of weird, snooty olives. But I admit I enjoy eating them. Every once in a while we drop into a Whole Foods for something – cooking for someone with dietary restrictions, an odd ingredient we can’t find elsewhere… and when we do, we might treat ourselves to some weird cheese or pickled thing. I can’t imagine using it as a regular grocery store, though.

    • #18
  19. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    For even more precious terminology concerning foods, watch the cooking channels. My wife Marie and I are faithful viewers of a number of these cooking shows, though my wife sometimes tells me to leave the room when I make fun of food terminology.

    Kent

    When I watch TV, it’s often a cooking channel, while I’m doing something like exercising. Hubs say those shows where each contestant gets surprised with incompatible ingredients has improved my cooking!

    • #19
  20. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: take a tomato, skin it, and scoop out the insides.

    Well, that sounds a lot like butchering a tomato. How can vegans eat that?

    And why how many vegans want to eat something that simulates a bleeding hamburger, or piece of raw tuna?

    Great post.

     

    • #20
  21. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: take a tomato, skin it, and scoop out the insides.

    Well, that sounds a lot like butchering a tomato. How can vegans eat that?

     

    “I’ve heard the screams of the vegetables…”

    • #21
  22. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    You write beautifully.

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Most of all, tacos are shedding their shell for new kinds of wrappers and fillings too

    If you replace both the shell and the filling, what, exactly, is left to call a “taco?” Is there a mysterious essence of taco, something recognizable only to practitioners of homeopathic medicine?

    “I’d like these shoes, but in a completely different style, please.”

    • #22
  23. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    essence of taco,

    Why yes, essence of taco, on shelves now.

    Next to essence of mushroom, hamburger and tuna.

     

    • #23
  24. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    Um, no. Never, Ever.

    Speaking of tomatoes, Ray loves them, and I don’t. Recently he had an heirloom-tomato salad that included a variety of brown tomato. Can someone tell me how you tell if a brown tomato is past its eat-by date? I always thought that if a tomato turned brown, it was rotting and should be thrown away. What color does a brown tomato turn when it goes bad?

    Heirlooms are old-fashioned home-grown style tomatoes. They’re cherished for their sometimes unattractive appearance which just means they haven’t been bombarded with fake stuff to make them look redder than red etc. They’re delicious if you like tomatoes. They have a shorter shelf life than hybrids bred to be fire engine red and last longer, but if they have a brownish color (they can also be bright yellow), it doesn’t mean they’ve gone bad.

    • #24
  25. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    essence of taco,

    Why yes, essence of taco, on shelves now.

    Next to essence of mushroom, hamburger and tuna.

    Come to think of it, Whole Foods stocks a selection of essential oils.

    • #25
  26. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    essence of taco,

    Why yes, essence of taco, on shelves now.

    Next to essence of mushroom, hamburger and tuna.

    Come to think of it, Whole Foods stocks a selection of essential oils.

    Can I ring out my purchase with essence of money? Or do they require actual cash?

    • #26
  27. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    essence of taco,

    Why yes, essence of taco, on shelves now.

    Next to essence of mushroom, hamburger and tuna.

    Come to think of it, Whole Foods stocks a selection of essential oils.

    Can I ring out my purchase with essence of money? Or do they require actual cash?

    Depends. Do you have Apple Pay?

    • #27
  28. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    You write beautifully.

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Most of all, tacos are shedding their shell for new kinds of wrappers and fillings too

    If you replace both the shell and the filling, what, exactly, is left to call a “taco?” Is there a mysterious essence of taco, something recognizable only to practitioners of homeopathic medicine?

    “I’d like these shoes, but in a completely different style, please.”

    You must remeber the Platonic ideal form of the taco and remember that all earthly tacos are mere imperfect evil shadows of the Immanent Taco.

    • #28
  29. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    You write beautifully.

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Most of all, tacos are shedding their shell for new kinds of wrappers and fillings too

    If you replace both the shell and the filling, what, exactly, is left to call a “taco?” Is there a mysterious essence of taco, something recognizable only to practitioners of homeopathic medicine?

    “I’d like these shoes, but in a completely different style, please.”

    Sure. Once you’ve distilled the taco down to its base components you have essence of taco, a useful reagent in all kinds of alchemical recipes.

    • #29
  30. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Whole Foods sprays the air with perfume and then charges $5 extra per product for the smell you get to sniff while you are in their store. They sell “Bob’s Red Mill” products and just about every one of them are 4 or 5 dollars more than the same “Bob’s Red Mill” at my local grocer. I can buy all the non gluten flours (rice, tapioca, potato, etc.) at my local store several dollars less.

    • #30
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