Samuel Muston: Forbes Magazine tells me octopus is the new prawn, and veganism is in

 

If Forbes Magazine were a person it would probably wear hemp trousers. Or at least that's the conclusion I've drawn since the business bible declared last week that "high-end vegan" food was going to be the number 1 coming food trend of 2014.

The list, compiled by chefs, restaurateurs and "food educators", makes interesting reading. Apparently it will soon be de rigueur for wine to be served out of beer taps, while pastrami will be the thing from which dreams (and everyone's lunch) is made. Octopus also gets the nod, too: "In five years," it declares, "octopus will be the new prawn".

Now, it may be that barmen will soon be "pulling" glasses of pinot noir and my gran will serve pastrami sandwiches after enjoying octopus cocktail with my aunt Joan. Such things are not beyond the realms of possibility. But vegan food in the mainstream? I think not.

It's not that going the way of the vegetable isn't an attractive prospect. I remember a couple of years ago writing a piece about raw-food vegans and going to meet a particularly committed trio in a local café. As soon as I'd walked through the door, I knew who they were – their skin shone bright like apples.

They'd chosen this strain of veganism, they said, "because of the health benefits" – and indeed, they did look as though they could fly off to scale Everest or fill in for Usain Bolt. They also looked fed up.

I wasn't entirely surprised to bump into one of them at the bar of a very un-vegan restaurant in central London a year or so later. Yes, he was indeed eating here, he told me. He had succumbed, he said, for that most compelling of reasons: "boredom".

That's the rub, and that's why I'd bet the ranch on Forbes' prediction not coming true. Because for most of us, going out for dinner is an indulgence, a little treat; a time to drink wine, order three courses and undo the top button of your trousers in the car on the way home. It is about pleasure unalloyed, which is not necessarily what veganism is about.

Most of us recognise that eating a few extra veggies is good, but paying to eat in a restaurant where the menu has been denuded of meat, eggs, butter and milk seems, well, like a missed opportunity.

There have been valiant attempts to change our habits, of course – Saf in Shoreditch, east London, soldiered on for several years serving salsify fettuccine and flax crackers – but ultimately it was all in vain. It couldn't crack the cultural nut. Its dining room was seldom more than half full.

So, while I've no doubt Forbes is pretty on the money when it comes to bonds, gilts and stocks, when it comes to dinner, lunch and tea... well, not so much.

If you're forever drinking bubbles...

We are soon to enter the annual bubblefest known as Christmas party season. And if we're lucky, the bubbles in our glass will be champagne. Traditionally, that's meant drinking a glass of something from one of the blockbuster champagne houses – Moët & Chandon, Piper-Heidsieck, or Veuve Clicquot if we were in the money – but, increasingly, a new gang of wine-makers is makings its presence felt with "grower champagne".

Yes, I know what you're thinking: all the grapes that go into champagne are "grown". But that's not what we are on about here. In this case, it refers to the small vineyards in the Champagne region which supply the big names with grapes, but also make their own stuff.

If your taste buds are adventurous, grower champagne is where you want to spend your cash. Check out J.L. Vergnon Conversation Brut Grand Cru if you like your wine delicate and mousey (from £24). Or instead try the drier, more saline René Geoffroy, Premier Cru Pureté Brut Zero (£32). Available from bbr.com, champagne-jl-vergnon.com

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Day In a Page

    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
    Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

    Front National family feud?

    Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
    Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

    Pot of gold

    Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
    10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

    From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

    While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
    Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore