Eating anytime, anywhere and Eastern European influences in food are some of the 2012 trends reported by Canada’s food experts.
The Toronto Sun recently asked top Canadian food experts about trends for 2012.
Home economist and author Mairlyn Smith says the following will be big trends:
-birch syrup can be used in savoury or sweet ways that can be added to salad dressings, sauces or marinades.
-increased number of gluten-free products, from canned to bottled sauces and condiments.
-Cocoa nibs and natural cocoa powder contain flavanols with heart benefits.
-the definition of what is local is expanding. Local is Canadian, from provincial products to those across the country.
Anita Stewart, award-winning author and food activist notes the following food trends in Canada:
-Nose to tail dining is still finding new advocates
-Small batch preserving will see freezing again as it's the best way of keeping flavours fresh.
-the return of small-town butchers is catching on in rural Ontario especially.
-as people care more about what they eat, heritage breeds are becoming more mainstream and farmers are looking to grow more exotic vegetables to satisfy new immigrant communities looking for tastes from home.
Amy Snider-Whitson of Topline Trends and head of food and nutrition info presented by The Test Kitchen Inc. offers these trends:
-Eastern European food will gain popularity in the fine dining arena.
-North American translations of smorgasbords will make a presence in eateries.
-Marketing to men as they now play a larger role in grocery shopping and food preparation.
-Local farmers will become celebrities as restaurants, chefs and boutique grocery stores highlight their relationships with the growers and craft food producers on their menus, websites and blogs.
-Eating three meals a day is passé, while eating anytime, anywhere is in. In Canada, lunch is often skipped resulting in increased sales of breakfast foods, desserts and snacks at non-traditional times.
-FoodNavigator say that would rather focus on the positive with sales of products with the terms "low calorie" or "low-fat" having declined in the last five years, while words like "zero" and "smart" are getting traction.
-Vitamin B12 has been linked with brain health. Expect to see manufacturers loking to use this water-soluble nutritent in products for energy and alertness.
-Experts say 2012 will be the year of the potato so French fry bars, custom-cut potato chips and make your own mash will be hot in food service.
-the meatball will take on global flaovurs from Thai, Korean, European.
-round foods such as arancine, falafels, croquettes are hot appetizers as is sharing of food at the table.
-"snow ice" or Xue hua bing, a Taiwanese frozen milk treat is part ice cream, part shaved ice. Large flavoured blocks get placed in a snow machine and are shaved into delicate layers.
-man-friendly confectionery offers with beer-flavoured liqueurs.
-Forbes named fennel pollen a top 10 food trend. It has an intense and sweet, bright flavour and used as a finishing ingredient on salads, pork and fish dishes.
-Foodcations or culinary trips and wine adventures are in high demand that companies like Travelwizard.com are offering package deals much like the sun-filled all-inclusives.