The new "Zahav" cookbook features a lot of different dishes, including a variety of Mediterranean salads. The new "Zahav" cookbook features a lot of different dishes, including a variety of Mediterranean salads. From cookbooks to five-star restaurants, you'll be seeing a lot more of the flavors of Israel in the months to come. (Photo: Zahav)

And the No. 1 food trend for 2018 is ...

From sweet to savory, from halloumi to harissa, the flavors of Israel prevail as a top cuisine this year.

The newest food trend to watch for this year? It's Israeli cuisine. That's according to San Francisco-based consulting firm AF&Co.

This diverse, somewhat hard-to-define cuisine is rich in flavor and depth, marked by dishes like falafel, hummus, shakshuka, shawarma and more.

"From shakshuka at brunch to sumac-spiced donuts for dessert, Israeli flavors are deep and vibrant, lending themselves well to both savory and sweet applications," AF&Co. wrote.

Shakshouka is a popular breakfast dish in Israel. Shakshuka is a popular breakfast dish in Israel. (Photo: Vladlena Azima / Shutterstock)

The experts at AF&Co. are calling this the “cuisine of the year,” with restaurants such as Zahav in Philadelphia and Shaya in New Orleans getting national acclaim. It's no surprise to us, however; it's becoming increasingly common to see these Mediterranean staples show up on your plate here in the U.S. in just about any city, neighborhood, restaurant, venue or occasion.

couple enjoys a mediterranean meal Why are Americans so taken with Israeli food? It's all in the flavor. (Photo: Ozgur Coskun / Shutterstock)

These days, there's no better evidence of its prevalence than the number of Israeli-influenced restaurants popping up stateside – restaurants that are winning a multitude of awards and rave reviews from the world's top critics. The cuisine was the subject of an award-winning documentary, "In Search of Israeli Cuisine," which put James Beard Award-winning Zahav chef Michael Solomonov in the role of culinary travel guide extraordinaire in a tour of the country of his birth.

Chef Michael Solomonov (left) traveled to many restaurants in Israel, including Avigail's Kitchen. Chef Michael Solomonov (left) traveled to many restaurants in Israel, including Avigail's Kitchen. (Photo: Florentine Films)

It also means you might see a few more Israeli-themed or Israeli-inspired restaurants popping up near you. If you haven't already, we highly recommend experiencing this cuisine for yourself, and pronto – before the next trend comes along.

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