Ugly Black Sea Greens Filipino Monster Grain Milkshakes Invade Your Grocery Store!
— Wanda Baker
Food trends come and go as regularly as fashion. They create fascination and awareness of ingredients inspiring both the home cook, and chefs in restaurants to create or try something new.
We’ve chatted with Canadian Chefs, food lovers and the local food community to explore their hot food predictions for 2017.
Black is the new black
A popular food trend on Instagram this year is black cuisine, and it’s finding its way into top restaurants and fast food joints around the world. From detox juices to lattes, even ice cream and burgers – it’s all going goth.
Charring food brings a smoky, complex, and bitter note to food. Charcoal, while not entirely new, has been popular with nutritionists raving about its numerous health benefits for years.
If you are looking to try a little local char on your food, Pigeon Hole offers charred cabbage, and Briggs Kitchen & Bar charred local sausages.
In 2015, Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief, Food & Wine magazine launched the “ugly food” movement encouraging consumers to embrace ugly produce in a bid to stop hunger. This year Loblaw’s Real Canadian Superstore move forward with its Naturally Imperfect line, offering limited ugly produce to Eastern shoppers. They will soon ship the visually challenged produce to their stores in the West.
With bigger chains paying attention including retail giant Walmart, watch for imperfect produce to become more readily available at your local grocery store.
Ethnic and Regional Foods
With a major focus on elevating cultural cuisine the last several years, Canadians have had more access to a wide variety of international flavours. Asian and Eastern Europe immigration into Canada continues and is heavily influencing our diet. Grocery stores carry rows of International food, independent grocery stores are on the rise, and more menus are offering a taste of International cuisine.
Duncan Ly, Chef/owner of newly opened Foreign Concept, sees Middle Eastern food remaining popular, and Chopped Canada judge, cookbook author and former Dragon Vikram Vij holds firm on his belief regional food including Southern India will continue to gain momentum.
Monster Sized Milkshakes
Taking the world by storm this year and flooding Instagram accounts are pimped out giant milkshakes. Also known as freakshakes, this delicious mashup includes your favourite dessert, combined with a milkshake and topped with more sweets. This trend definitely gives new meaning to the saying go big or go home.
Enjoy your own meal in a glass at REGRUB Burger Bar in Calgary.
Innovative vegetable dishes continue to be on the rise, and could eventually take centee stage replacing protein as a main.
Chef Duncan Ly sees two new superfood vegetables making waves this coming year. One of the worlds healthiest foods, broccoli will become more pronounced on restaurant menus showcasing a variety of uses for the entire vegetable including broccoli leaves and stalks.
Cabbage can be consumed raw, cooked, or fermented. This affordable crispy and crunchy vegetable carries detoxifying qualities making it both healthy and addictive.
Sea greens might be the new kale
Having been around for thousands of years as a staple of Japanese and Chinese cuisine, and enjoyed in Europe, seaweed is turning a new leaf and moving beyond California rolls.
Both sustainable and full of healthy doses of iodine, potassium, calcium, protein, soluble fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids, some say sea greens are the new superfood.
Chop and add to soups, salads, pasta or on top of pizza. Watch for bacon-flavoured algae, seaweed popcorn and even seaweed spaghetti to make the rounds.
Filipino food is a cuisine that take elements of Chinese and Malaysian food, and mixes in Spanish influence. Adobo is a common Filipino dish with roots from Spain, and is most commonly found in the Philippines. The combination of spices in the dish are used to marinate and stew chicken, pork and beef, and served with rice.
Filipino pop-ups are currently happening in almost every state and most of Canada. They promote the Filipino Food Movement, which helps create awareness of the cuisine.
Will Tigley, Calgary Filipino Events Coordinator and Senior Editor of Mabuhay News in Calgary says Filipino chefs are coming out of the woodwork and working hard to push their cuisine. While we may not see Filipino restaurants opening up soon, Tigley advises it’s definitely one of the best cuisines you haven’t tried yet.
Expect big things from local Filipino chefs in the future.
Sprouted heritage grains and non-traditional legumes
Thanks to 2016 being the International Year of Pulses, grains and legume popularity has increased.
John Jackson and Connie DeSousa, co-owners of Charcut Roast House and Charbar, believe sprouted heritage grains and non-traditional legumes will continue to play a role in restaurants and on menus. Jackson adds the nutritional density in sprouted legumes is so rich and texturally interesting, it adds flavour and substance to any dish.
Food trends may come and go, but one thing we know for sure is they define a decade with new flavours and ingredients, and inspire a generation. What do you think will be popular in 2017?