This Surprising Ingredient Will Be Everywhere In 2022

With 2021 drawing to a close, the time is ripe for all kinds of year-end lists, summaries, and roundups — as well as plenty of predictions for the year ahead. If you've been browsing Mashed over the past couple of weeks, you've likely noticed that we like to get in on the year-end fun, as well, with lists such as 2021's most popular recipes, as well as the year's best food memes, and the best and worst food trends of the last 12 months. 

Speaking of the latter topic, it's tradition around the food 'net, at the end of the year, to make predictions about which trends will arise in the next one — as seen over at the New York Times, plus Whole Foods, and Food & Wine, among others. So, if you're sick of your air fryer and making everything a "board," for example, read on to find out which ingredient you can expect to be working with a lot come January and onward.

Mushrooms will be a big food trend in 2022

Each year, nestled among the year-end assessments regarding the best movies, TV shows, and travel destinations, one will also find predictions for the year ahead, especially in the food world, which likes to take a stab at which ingredients and cooking methods will rise to prominence. The New York Times has been doing this for a while, with its prophecies of CBD-laced food and drink in 2020, and cheffy meal kits in 2021 in this article. And for the coming year, along with Southeast Asian noodle soup, 1980s-style cocktails, and more lab-grown vegan "meat," the paper is predicting that one surprising ingredient — mushrooms — will grace many a plate in 2022.

According to the paper, not only will psychedelic psilocybin-containing funghi continue to trend, but all kinds of mushrooms will show up in home and restaurant kitchens, such as king oyster mushrooms, which can be used as a meaty substitute for scallops. The Times also predicts that small urban mushroom farms will explode, including warehouses in which they are grown inside, and that we'll see mushroom fibers being used more and more in compostable containers, such as these from Mushroom Packaging. So if you like eating mushrooms, living a greener life, or all of the above, 2022 just might be your year.