@Jacqueline Swartz

  Food Trends: Eateries and Markets

When it comes to food trends, you can’t slice it by the year. So many trends, like choosing local produce, are continuing, so little is really new. Still, there are some directions that stand out: who ever saw people buying big bunches of kale a few years ago?  Below is a list of some trends, and where to experience them – namely restaurants and markets, all in North America.

1. Peruvian Food: With its mixture of Latin and Asian, Peruvian cuisine continues to make its mark. What has long been traditional to Peruvians  - ceviche and quinoa – are super popular among health conscious foodies.

Where to experience it. LaMar Cebicheria Peruana, a high-ceilinged restaurant on San Franciso’s Waterefront features a ceviche plate that includes varieties inspired by Japan, China and Peru itself.
Ceviche at La Mar Peruvian Restaurant in San Francisco
2. Octopus. “Octopus everything: grilled, carpaccio, salad, seviche”, announced Salon.

Where to find it: Avli, Toronto’s best Greek restaurant, grills octopus with tangy lemon and top-notch olive oil (Did you know that Greek olive oil is never blended with oil from any other country). Avli also has the best homemade eggplant dip outside of Greece, as well as expertly grilled fish and a savvy list of Greek wines.

3. Mexican Food: Going way beyond the guac and burritos, Mexican food is appealing to discerning eaters by using fresh ingredients and making the most of authentic chiles, cilantro and fish. Even tacos have become inventive.
ElCatrin, Toronto

Where to find it: El Catrin:  When Toronto got its first great Mexican restaurant, it really got it. El Catrin, in the city’s atmospheric, cobblestoned Distillery district, offers authentic and inventive dishes. Start with the Ensalada Destileria – grilled shrimp green papaya, mango, cilantro, toasted pecans, frisee lettuce, with a tajin sour vinaigrette.Taco El Cazador is corn tortillas filled with foraged mushrooms, huitlacoche, queso cotija and cilantro. Chile Xcatic is a chili pepper stuffed with mahi mahi stew with axioto sauce, black bean puree and guacamole. The two-story restaurant is decorated by colorful murals; in summer there is a large outdoor patio.

4. Classics refined : Fusion and foams should not preclude the great culinary classics.  The most sensitive chefs respect the classics but know how to refine them. In New Orleans, classics like Shrimp Remoulade and Jambalaya are being given new twists.

Where? Dominique’s on Magazine in New Orleans. French-trained Dominique Macquet applies both respect and creativity to both French and New Orleans Cuisine.
The classic Oysters Rockefeller inspires Louisiana Oysters, with cauliflower crème fraiche, and scotch bonnet roasted tomato. Duck a l’Orange becomes Seared Duck Breast with parsnip puree, crispy arugala, and bing cherry essence. The classic French Isles Flotants becomes Floating Islands, caramel syrup, and mint crème anglaise.
Oysters with creme fraiche, Dominique's on Magazine

5. Fermented Foods: Yoghurt has become popular once again, with Greek, meaning thick, yoghurt cinching top spot. The news is that fermentation went from being considered bad for us to desirable, as Michael Polan wrote in his book, Cooked. Now we’re taking a second look at other fermented foods.  Like sauerkraut

Where to find it? Farmhouse Culture, at San Francisco’s Ferry Building, sells organic sauerkraut out of a stall. Who knew the fermented cabbage could be so tasty - or so varied? Jalapeno includes carrots, onions and daikon radish. Horseradish includes leeks and carrots. 
Farmouse Culture, Ferry Building Market, San Francisco
6. Fish sustainability. Fish. With our oceans at risk, eating fish, more and more people are realizing is something you should do with awareness. Chilean bass, for instance, is being refused by eco-diners because it is overfished. Other fish accidentally get caught in nets, and still others are at risk because of polluted habitats. Look for menus that mention ocean sustainability.

Where to find it: The Blue Door, Fredericton’s finest restaurants, made the top 50 restaurants in Canada list. Its fish have the oceanwise.ca seal, created by the Vancouver Aquarium to educate consumers about sustainable seafood.

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