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Happy-Gourmand

Are you ready for 2020?

The new colour for 2020 has been announced by Pantone (it’s called “classic blue” in case you’re wondering – a colour that instils a sense of calm).

And fashion has options for everyone, according to the forecasts by stylists in the know.

If you’re into the fitness craze with virtual classes like Peloton, you’ll love the tight leather looks, and the psychedelic prints will flatter your fit form.

But if you’re still working on your perfect body, hang in there – puffy sleeves and peplum tops that flare out at the hips will flatter all kinds of body types, as will the vertical stripes becoming popular.

The '70s are back, with a vengeance.

Of course, my interest in trends is more in the kitchen than the closet. After reading through the words of wisdom from many food pundits, I found the most common crazes happening in North American kitchens.

Some trends aren’t new at all really, but someone decided they now qualify as popular.

Does that happen when they reach the population at large, say through grocery stores or chain restaurants? At our house, these trends are more regular everyday parts of our cooking and eating regime:

Using edible flowers and wild plants in season

As a food geek lucky enough to have a garden, this one is not only easy but fun. Everything from dandelions safe from roaming pets to blossoms to herbs are fodder for my imagination. In winter I use dried herbs, flavoured oils and vinegars and even infused sugar and honey in my cooking and baking.

Zero waste cooking

I’ve been trying all my life to minimize wasted food, and not just by including a compost in my kitchen equation. Better calculations about portions while shopping and cooking as well as more planning with leftovers are my latest efforts to get right down to zero.

Sustainable to-go food

I was born of hippie parents, so re-using containers is in my blood. Nowadays, things like beeswax food wrap and cloth bags work wonders for daily shopping and food storage as well as taking things on the go.

With lots of plant-based recipes, it’s easy to have dishes that can safely be left at room temperature as well. (And if we could just stop buying all that bottled water, maybe we’d make some serious progress…)

The next category of trends seems to be a new twist on old favourites. There’s something to be said for a bit of familiarity in our diet, right?

Tweaking something can be a pleasant way to gently push one’s comfort zone limits.

Wood-fire cooking

This is now all the rage, and since more and more people have either purchased, constructed or found a place to go with a wood oven everyone is starting to look beyond pizza for choices.

There is a basic human curiosity with cooking using flames, so it makes sense that this is part of the current evolution of outdoor cooking.

Ethnic cuisine

A sense of adventure is important if you want to vary your diet, but it’s hard to go from meat and potatoes to eating chocolate covered ants in one step. Perhaps that’s why the ethnic eating trend always follows the travel trend.

Both Vietnam and West Africa have been popular destinations in the last few years, so it follows that their cuisines would become of bigger interest in our part of the world. Having just travelled to West Africa, I can offer a big thumbs up on this trend – check it out and odds are you’ll find something intriguing enough to try at home.

The last category is, of course, the avant-garde. Innovation is a part of evolution, so pushing the envelope often causes new trends to be formed. Marketing doesn’t hurt here, encouraging us to be a trendsetter and lead the wave.

Often these food trends are inspired by what’s popular elsewhere in our lives.

Mood food

This is the food trend that connects with our heightened awareness of better “wellness” in our lives. How certain foods make you feel is the theme here; for example, you might feel more relaxed after your turmeric latte or camomile tea.

This trend is moving beyond simple supplements to specific dishes, many of them geared to help us relax and de-stress, focus or gain energy when we need it. Restaurants are expanding on the idea of ambience by including it in the food experience; this is now called gastrophysics.

Indigenous produce

Here we have the trend that offers us a way to represent a respect for another part of our local world.

We focused on farmers with the “eat local and seasonal” trends, and now we look to history and indigenous communities to gain a local understanding in a big picture perspective.

This trend looks beyond bannock and candied salmon for even more practical wisdom in using locally sustainable ingredients. Do we dare dream that reconciliation could be furthered around the dinner table?

I can’t help but wonder if the reconnection with the 70s is what has drawn us to a search for a more integrated awareness in what we will be eating this year.

Is this food revolution, with so many changes in how we are eating and what is on our plate, akin to the sexual revolution from fifty years ago? It’s a big mouthful, that’s for sure – so I’m going to ponder it more in next week’s column.

Till then, bon appetit – whatever you’re eating.



More Happy Gourmand articles

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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