Special Report

This Is What Most People Will Be Ordering in 2020

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5. Keto

Some restaurants offer a “make it keto” option on their online menus. The terms can also simply mean orders customized to be high in fat and low in carbs — a bacon-cheeseburger, hold the bun, for instance. “Keto” is short for “ketogenic,” which means producing ketones — acidic chemicals released by the liver when the body has insufficient insulin. The original version of the diet (there are countless variations), said to promote weight loss and help fight diabetes, calls for 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs. Some doctors warn that such a diet could cause low blood pressure, nutritional deficiencies, and an increased risk of heart disease. Nonetheless, keto was hailed as “the most popular diet of 2018,” with Google searches for the term last year far exceeding those for “paleo” or “intermittent fasting.”

4. Reishi mushrooms

Also called lingzhi, the reishi grows in humid locations around Asia, where it is primarily considered medicinal. Woody in texture, with a bitter taste, it is said to be useful in battling cancer, countering the aging process, and boosting the immune system, among other things — though there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. Though the mushroom can be eaten fresh, it is more often turned into an extract used in capsules or tablets, or added to tea, coffee, or soup. It presumably ended up on Uber Eats because people order reishi essence added to smoothies, bowls, and other items.

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3. Collagen

The fact that it will be big in 2020 seems beyond dispute. According to Nutrition Business Journal, a market research company, American consumers will spend $293 million on collagen supplements this coming year, up from $50 million in 2014. Collagen is the body’s most plentiful protein, found in muscles, ligaments, and skin, among other places. It has been called “the glue that holds the body together.” Hoping to improve both their appearance and their general health, people take collagen supplements in pill form, but it is also found naturally in things like bone broth (see No. 10) and pork rinds. Other foods help the body produce more collagen on its own, among them like fish skin, eggs, and fruits and vegetables with high vitamin C content. Like reishi, it can often be ordered as an addition to various foods and drinks.

2. Squid ink

Black rice (sometimes under fancy names like risotto nero or arroz negro) gets its color and rich, briny flavor from the ink found in sacs located between the gills of cephalopods — specifically squid and their close relatives cuttlefish. The ink, which is jet black (it was once used as ink for pens), is commonly added to dishes around the Mediterranean and in Japan. American chefs — perhaps with the photogenic quality of black food in mind — have also used it to color and flavor things like crêpes, crackers, and brioche buns. In addition having a dramatic appearance and pronounced flavor, the ink contains a wide array of nutrients and antioxidants, and has been called a superfood.

1. Starfruit

This exotic bright yellow fruit, also called carambola, gets its name from the fact that it slices crosswise into perfect (if slightly pudgy) five-pointed stars. Originally from Sri Lanka, it is now cultivated in tropical regions around the world. There are two varieties, similar in appearance, one of which has a sweet grape-and-apple-like flavor, the other of which is sour. Starfruit can be eaten out of hand — the whole thing, including the skin and the small seeds, is edible — or used in sauces, salads, smoothies, and tarts, among other ways. Uber Eats suggests that part of the fruit’s popularity is due to the fact that it is “highly ‘grammable.”

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