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Instant coffee that's actually good, MSG's resurgence and bourbon-flavored everything — these are the food products that caught our attention this year. Sport Bottle
This story is part of our end-of-year series This Year in Gear rounding up the most notable releases of 2022. For more stories like this, click here.
This year certainly wasn't lacking in innovation in the food and cookware space. Espresso and cold brew coffee coming in instant forms (that are good, to boot), bourbon brands getting mixed up with spices and soy sauce and MSG reclaiming its rightful seat at the kitchen table are a few of the trends that caught our attention in 2022. Read all about them and the rest of our picks for the year's most exciting food and cookware releases below.
Additional reporting by Tyler Chin
Coffee lovers are often presented with a conundrum when making their brew at home: spend a lot of time and effort crafting the perfect cup, or go the quick and easy route with instant coffee and suffer through an inferior beverage. But the days of making that choice may be coming to an end, as coffee royalty Blue Bottle has entered the instant coffee game.
The brand has announced Blue Bottle Craft Instant Espresso, their first soluble espresso product which they say perfectly replicates Blue Bottle’s acclaimed taste in an instant coffee. The goal of the new coffee is to make Blue Bottle’s quality more accessible to a wider range of people, and it took three years of development to perfect. Blue Bottle says the coffee is better than your average instant coffee thanks to the combination of a gentler extraction method using milder temperatures and pressure with a lengthier freeze-drying process. The result is a higher-quality product and a better-tasting cup of coffee … that’s ready instantly.
All hail the hot pot. For those not in the know, hot pots are exactly what they sound like: tabletop pots that are hot. In Asian cuisine, the pots are filled with flavorful broths, and diners cook their food by dumping it into the boiling broth. Fly By Jing, known for its delicious chili oils, released its own hot pot, decked out in the brand's signature vibrant red colorway. The release follow ups the brand's recent launch of its spicy hot pot bases, which is included in a set with the hot pot, as well as two sets of chopsticks and slotted spoons.
The direct-to-consumer olive oil game is strong. The newest entry is a brand called Graza, which features two extra-virgin olive oils housed in squeeze bottles. And it's not just the squeeze factor that makes this some amazing olive oil — it is, of course, the olive oil inside. Drizzle, a finishing oil, and Sizzle, a cooking oil, are made with 100 percent Picual olives from Jaen, Spain. Unlike cheaper extra-virgin olive oils, Graza gets all of its olives from one place and doesn't feature a blend of sub-par fruit from a variety of regions; it's also not as expensive as some high-end extra-virgin olive oil out there that some people may use too sparingly because of the high price. Long story short, this is a great new olive oil brand to try right the hell now.
If you're a flavored coffee fiend who's getting tired of the same old hazelnut and French vanilla every morning, then Transcendence Coffee is here to brighten your morning. The Gen-Z- and female-founded startup has unveiled a pair of unique coffee syrups that celebrate their co-founders' cultural roots of India and Algeria.
The new syrups are inspired by the Indian dessert gulab jamun — a tasty donut ball-like treat soaked in sweet rose-flavored syrup — and Algerian baklava, the many-layered, honey-drenched pastry that's popular throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. Right now, you can purchase mini 4.0-oz. bottles of both all-natural syrups together in the Mini Founder's Flavors Bundle.
Fields Outfitting, best known for their modern interpretation of Argentine field pants, also partners with numerous Argentine artisans to offers all sorts of interesting and authentic goods through their Fields Market. And the market has just launched its inaugural line of kitchen knives that blend Argentine Asado Culture with Japanese knifemaking tradition.
Seven styles of blade are on offer, from the oversized Chiquito chef’s knife to the Enojito paring knife. Three types of beautiful South American wood are available for the handles — Olive, Guayubira and the striking Purple Heart — while the blades are crafted from Swedish-made Sandvik Stainless Steel. Each knife in the collection is one of a kind and handmade in Buenos Aires, with pricing starting at $149 per blade.
You’ve undoubtedly heard that monosodium glutamate, the common flavor enhancer known as MSG that’s best known for being present in Chinese takeout and other Asian foods, is bad for your health. Well, as it turns out, MSG is perfectly safe, and the decades-long effort to demonize it was the work of anti-Asian xenophobia.
Now, “proud and loud” Asian food brand Omsom is reclaiming MSG and rightly giving it a seat at the table — literally — with their new IYKYK (if you know, you know) Shaker Set that places a shaker full of MSG alongside the more familiar salt and pepper shakers. The brightly colored trio features pepper sourced from Vietnam, salt from South Korea and MSG produced by Japan-based Ajinomoto. Omsom recommends adding MSG to your dishes as a savory, umami-filled finisher, and once you start doing so, you’ll begin to wonder how you ever lived without it.
Eva Longoria has gotten into the cookware business. The actress, known for her role in ABC's hit 2000s series Desperate Housewives, has launched Risa Cookware, a new line of "stove to table" cookware with a focus on convenience and food safety.
Headlining the collection are the Pot and Pan, both of which are free of PTFE, PFOA, PFOS, lead or cadmium and are coated with a non-stick sol-gel ceramic coating with a honeycomb induction plate for even heat distribution. They're even dishwasher-safe and boast an innovative lid design that allows you to rest the lid on the side of the pan or pot instead of on your stove.
David Chang's Momofuku line of restaurants and groceries is known for having a mastery over umami flavors, and the brand's latest release looks to continue that tradition in an unexpected way.
Through a partnership with Brooklyn's Kings County Distillery, Momofuku's Barrel Aged Soy Sauce has been aged in — you guessed it — spent bourbon barrels, imparting the whiskey's caramel, vanilla and holiday spice notes into the salty condiment. Aged for six months, Momofuku recommends the sauce as a marinade, a dip or even to add some flair to an old fashioned.
OffLimits, a nostalgic-style cereal brand that takes the fun of your childhood cereal minus the artificial flavorings and high sugar counts, is teaming up with social media sensation Emma Chamberlain's coffee brand for Dash Chamberlain Coffee Cereal.
The cereal, which is both vegan and gluten-free, takes Chamberlain Coffee's Social Dog Blend, and it turns it into a chocolatey coffee cereal you can enjoy every morning (or for any and all of your meals). And like your favorite cocoa-flavored cereals from your youth, the milk will transform into its own delicious concoction.
We love Smithey's cast iron skillets, but its latest carbon-steel Party Pan has our attention this summer. This 17-inch pan is huge. Paella will be great in this thing, but you could also just cook up a boatload of steaks on it too because it's your party and you can do what you want.
People sure love their cold brew, but it takes a long time to actually get from coarse-ground coffee to that sweet elixir. House of Word takes away that long brewing process with its new instant cold brew coffee. Jonathan Dreszer, a former employee of the coffee shop and roastery Devoción, founded House of Word, eschewing the typical freeze-dried instant coffee for something new. The brand utilizes an instant cold brew process, which Dreszer explains like this: "The concentrated cold brew is added to a chamber that releases very hot and dry air which creates a dry, cool powder in less than one second, and greatly reduces the degradation of the product."
The coffee is made by mixing the coffee crystals with either hot water (for hot coffee) or cold water (for cold brew). The beans that House of Word uses are sourced from India, which the brand touts as being a "top biodiversity hotspot."
Made In has expanded its line of carbon steel cookware with the addition of a new flat-top griddle. It's basically the perfect way to recreate your favorite diner foods — like pancakes, melts and hashes — at home. The griddle can be used on a stove — gas or induction — a grill or an open flame. It's safe to use at temperatures up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, and its complemented by leather-wrapped handles. Looking to score the perfect sears on your food? Made In also released an accompanying grill press to help your foods get full contact on the cooking surface.
Maker's Mark is one of our favorite bourbons, and its Maker's Mark 46 is one of the brand's most iconic expressions. It also happens to translate well as a spice blend. Maker's Mark and Spiceology collaborated on four spice blends, and one of them is directly inspired by Maker's Mark 46, offering vanilla, caramel and heat.
And because bourbon is a uniquely American spirit, the other three spice blends are inspired by what Spiceology found to be America's most beloved dishes: fried chicken, meatballs and potato salad. Everything Potato is described as an "herbaceous spice blend," Fried & True is described as an "umami chicken spice blend" and Mom's Meatballs is described as a "sweet and sour spice blend."
Anyone who's ever had to peel a potato knows that the vegetable peeler you use can mean the difference between a horrible time and a not-so-horrible time. Material released a new vegetable peeler, which has a replaceable blade so you don't have to toss the whole thing when it's lost its edge. And it comes in three exceptional colors, so you'll really never want to throw this thing away.
Holy Grail Steak Co. — one of the best places to buy meat online — is bringing Japanese Maezawa beef from Ogata Farm in the Iwate prefecture in Japan to the U.S., marking the first time ever Americans will be able to get the rare beef stateside. This incredibly rare beef is among the most limited wagyu beef in the world, so it's a huge deal Holy Grail Steak Co. is carrying it.
The heavily marbled beef has an unbelievably buttery taste, thanks to the fact that the Maezawa cows are fed a diet of beer, whiskey, tofu, honey and soy. Head over to Holy Grail Steak Co. now to choose from four cuts of Maezawa beef: a filet mignon, a New York strip, a ribeye or a butcher cut.
Eco Plastic Water Bottle When everyone was making sourdough bread in the first months of the pandemic, most of them were using a Dutch oven. And some of those Dutch ovens were from Le Creuset. Now the French brand is making a dedicated pot for baking bread. It features a domed lip, which traps and circulates steam, and its low-profile base facilitates a nice brown crust. Buy it in one of the eight available colors so you can match your existing Le Creuset wares.