Jacqueline Swartz grew up in San Francisco, lived in Greece and Paris and now resides in Toronto. She has traveled to seldom visited places in Northern India, interviewed philosophers in Paris and sent political dispatches from Athens. Her work appears in major Canadian publications, and she has written for Cosmopolitan in the US and Conde Nast Traveler in the UK and Agence-France Presse. Travel writing encompasses her interests and passions, from food to art, from health to archeology.
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
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
Where to find it: El Catrin:
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.
Where to find it? Farmhouse Culture, at San
Francisco’s FerryBuilding, 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
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