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Aren’t the politics of food weird? Aren’t the politics of food awesome? Isn’t it funny how a new superfood is ‘in’ seemingly every other month? We as a society have increasingly more interest in the story behind our food. In the past, every research development yielded a new trend or a ‘hip food’. In 2016, we’re not only interested in the nutritional qualities of our food but also how we get it, how much it costs, and how it affects those around us. Here are some of Canada’s ‘hippest’ food trends in 2016.
The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas, etc.) in an effort to steer people toward getting their daily protein needs from vegetables. A switch to a more veggie protein rich diet would yield immense benefit to our bodies, our natural environment, and our wallets and lucky enough for us, mainly in Saskatchewan.
Less Processed Ingredients
We’ve spoken about Canadian’s love for Kraft Dinner, but who could have guessed KD would be stepping into 2016 without artificial colours, or preservatives? Kraft has met Canadians desire for more natural and less processed foods. Restaurants across the country are also responding to consumer demand and ridding artificial flavours and processed ingredients opting to go all natural.
While we have always had a place in our hearts for maple syrup, we are starting to try other parts of trees, and not just birch syrup, though that stuff is good. Pine needle infused cocktails, pickled spruce tips, spruce tip tea, fir tips, and more tree ingredients are rightfully being featured on menus across Canada. Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland is creating a bit of a buzz with their spruce tip cocktails, and Vancouver staple, Wildebeest, has been using “tree” ingredients in their amazing cooking for years.
For a minute there, everyone and their dog was eating ‘GF’. That is because, consumers certainly want their grains to be less refined, but also locally grown and refined. Many places in Canada have responded and as a result, we’re starting to keep more of our grains within the country. True Grain Bread in Cowichan Bay, B.C. mills six different types of wheat and rye in over a dozen styles of bread, while The Night Oven in Saskatoon mills its own flour in-house. Finally, Calgary’s Sidewalk Citizen fresh mills locally sourced flour and bakes all of their bread in-house. I spot a trend.
It’s tough working a full-time job, or being a full-time student (or maybe both!) and still trying to eat well. More meal and grocery services are popping up across the country. Beyond Uber Eats, Vancouver’s Spud and Toronto’s Fresh City Farms deliver fresh ingredients to your door, while Ontario’s Chef’s Plate plans and delivers meals that take under 30 minutes to prepare. While not as easy as dining out, more often than not, it’s certainly healthier and cheaper.
Travelling And Aspiring Chefs
Chefs have begun to acknowledge how difficult it is for people to travel the world to visit their restaurants and are now travelling to different countries to open pop-up restaurants, or take guest residencies at existing restaurants. It’s always difficult to predict when a celebrity or guest chef may drop in on a restaurant, but Calgary’s Model Milk, Vancouver’s Hawksworth, and Toronto’s Luma have been known to give aspiring chefs a shot in the kitchen.
Did we miss any food trends? Let us know in the comments which food trends you think will be popular in Canada in 2016.