Forget sausages and burgers.
Calamari has wrapped its tentacles around our barbeques and is shaping up to be the BBQ treat, as sales of the chewy squid have tripled in recent months, according to recent research by Waitrose.
And apparently, it could be down to the growing popularity of the Dukan diet.
The supermarket claims that the ease of cooking the squid on a hot grill (it takes a few minutes to rustle up on the BBQ) alongside its rich protein content (something the Dukan diet advocates) – is the reason why it’s kicking bangers and burgers off our BBQ menus.
Scroll down to discover other food trends ruling our dinner plates...
A Waitrose spokesperson suggests that high-profile 'anti-carb' diets could be fueling the interest in protein-filled foods like squid and fish.
"Diets such as the The Only Way Is Essex ‘No Carbs before Marbs’ and the Dukan diet, have also helped the rise of this more unusual seafood, as dieters opt for high protein, tasty seafood."
Sales of calamari have risen by 228% within the last few months, with ‘squid tubes’ (squid body without the legs) selling just as quickly, with a reported 75% increase in sales.
Waitrose currently sells an estimated 85 tonnes of squid a year, but this is expected to rise to 100 tonnes within the next year if Brits continue to develop a taste for the chewy fish.
“Brits are going mad for squid this year. It’s one of our fastest growing seafood lines at Waitrose and we expect to see it continue to rise,” Jeremy Ryland Langley from Waitrose, said in a statement.
“Traditionally very conservative when eating fish, we are becoming much more adventurous than we used to be and feel more confident in cooking with squid.”
The Dukan diet, created by Dr Pierre Dukan (and the alleged diet plan of slender Duchess of Cambridge), bans carbohydrates and limits dieter's eating regime down to a list of just 100 protein-rich foods.
Squid is one of the chosen foods.
The Dukan diet involves four (very strict) stages. The first phase, 'attack', involves eating only protein for one to 10 days. The next, 'cruise', introduces vegetables, alternating protein-only days with days where a list of vegetables can also be eaten.
The final 'Consolidation' stage comes next, with more foods (including wholemeal bread, cheese and fruit) added in controlled portions.
Originally the desired diet choice of the French, the Dukan Diet book has sold over 3m copies worldwide.
However, despite its celebrity following and almost immediate weight-loss success rate – the British Dietetic Association (BDA) slammed the diet deeming it, “ineffective and without scientific basis”.
Love food? Take a look at other edible trends of 2012...
The New Cupcake?
Mini gourmet doughnuts are being subbed as the next cupcake. Leading bakeries, like <a href="http://www.mollybakes.co.uk/" target="_hplink">Molly Bakes</a>, are predicting they'll be big this year, with crème brûlée and chai latte, plus a modern twist on the coffee doughnut with hints of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
With the West's appetite for exotic flavourings, this new food trend will see two or more cultural dishes merge into one. Already a growing favourite in the US, the Korean Tacos may soon be on its way to the UK, combining Asian spices with traditional Mexican dishes.
'Posh' Pork Scratchings
Traditional 'pub grub' pork scratchings haven't got a reputation of being nutritious, but this new wave of the salty snack will be pork scratchings with a difference. The Great British 'Posh' Pork Scratchings made from British pigs and no MSG (Monosodium glutamate - a common food additive), and have been created by Tom Parker Bowles and Matthew Fort, who want to bring pork scratchings back on the menu for 2012.
'Edible dirt' will start appearing on our plates this year, particularly in restaurants, predicts food blogger, Andre Dang. Using dried, dirt-like infusions of pine needles, douglas fir and eucalyptus to flavour sauces and broths, adding an earthy taste to our dinner. We'll also see edible landscapes pop up in restaurants - for example, oysters served on rock and mushrooms served in edible forests.
Taste Of Peru
Ceviche is a citrus infused dish from Peru which consists of raw, cured fish sliced in fine, pieces served with a plentiful of onion, and is set to become <em>the</em> dish of 2012. Peruvian food is going to have a moment in this year, with two restaurants opening in London as well as across the pond in New York. Also look out for other Peruvian dishes such as 'Causa' (layered mash and tuna salad), 'Aji Amarillo' (a kind of chilli pepper) and 'Cuy' (whole roasted guinea pig).
Baguettes On The Go
Already a hit in certain areas of France, the 24-hour baguette dispenser offer pre-cooked loaves of bread - and could be coming to the UK soon if predictions prove correct. "This is the bakery of tomorrow," says creator Jean-Louis Hecht.
This foodie trend is already a hit in Australia and is predicted to take off in the UK as the number of iPhone takeaway eaters grow. Soon hungry phone users will be able to download an App, select their favourite dish and have it delivered straight to their door from the touch of their fingertips.
Forget macarons, the next sweet thing to tantilise our taste buds at tea time will be alfajores - a tasty Argentinian treat. These consist of two round, sweet biscuits joined together with mousse or jam, coated in white chocolate or powdered sugar.
Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea is a more powerful version of the existing tea and comes in a fine powder form in vibrant green. This will be the next big tea trend, predicts nutritionist Louise Thomas-Minn. "Matcha green tea is going to be a big hit this year. Green teas get hardcore as this powdered form is even more powerful than green tea."
Following on from the huge cake-pop trend (cakes on a stick), the latest craze will be pie-pops, with miniature pies on sticks popping up at parties and restaurants as appetisers.
Gourmet Scotch Eggs
Gourmet snacks on the go will be a busy persons port of call, according to Andy bates from the <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/" target="_hplink">Food Network</a>, who predicts that the traditional scotch egg is set for a revival and revamp with new black pudding flavours.
We've already got the option to food shop online, but soon we could visit 'virtual supermarkets'. This involves simply scanning the item you want on your phone using a QR code from the virtual supermarket shelf, and have them delivered to your home within hours. Tesco already launched a version of this in South Korea - could we soon see it popping up in the UK?
These gorgeous-looking gelatine deserts are set to become a hit in the UK this year. These jelly-like, fondant-stuffed paperweight type desserts are almost too pretty to eat. No-fat (but loaded with sugar) they are Mexican by origin and first gained a fan base in the US.
Following recent stories that Vitamin D deficiency is leading to a rise in health problems, such as rickets and MS - '<a href="http://www.modernmilk.co.uk/" target="_hplink">Modern Milk</a>' will become the latest health drink craze for those wanting to top up their vitamin D levels.
Heston Blumenthal's scientific approach to his culinary creations has given rise to spin-off molecular cookery that provides a gastronomic sensation to engage and excite the diner. In 2012, a noticeable increase will be seen in restaurants choosing to showcase the science behind their food, with theatrical performances and scientific processes executed at the diner's table. Keep your eyes peeled for spherification - a process of shaping a liquid into spheres, plus cold cooking with liquid nitrogen and the steady emergence of edible paper (think vegetable paper) and food packaging.