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You are here: Home  May 2012  How's Business Top 10 Canadian menu trends for 2012

Top 10 Canadian menu trends for 2012

Locally-sourced carrots from Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto.

TORONTO—Street food vendors and the plates they inspire made it on the top 10 list of Canadian food trends this year, in the annual Canadian Chef Survey, conducted by BrandSpark International for the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association.

Ethnic and street food-inspired appetizers, such as tempura and taquitos were number seven on the list, while food trucks and street food were number eight.

They pushed craft beer and microbrews, as well as quinoa and ancient grains from the top 10 list.

Meanwhile, gluten-free and allergy conscious items climbed from sixth place to third, in the survey of more than 300 professional chefs who belong to the Canadian Culinary Federation. It was conducted in February and March this year.

The list showed that local, sustainable and gluten-free are on the minds of culinary professionals in Canada.

Top 10 Canadian menu trends for 2012:

1.    Locally produced and locally inspired dishes

2.    Sustainability

3.    Gluten-free/ food allergy conscious

4.    Farm/ estate-branded ingredients

5.    Simplicity/ back-to-basics

6.    Nutrition/ health (e.g. low-fat, reduced sodium, antioxidants, high-fibre)

7.    Ethnic/ street food inspired appetizers (e.g. tempura, taquitos)

8.    Food trucks/ street food

9.    Artisanal cheeses

10.    Bite-size/ mini desserts

What’s different this year?

Newcomers with ‘street smarts’—ethnic/street food inspired appetizers debuting at No. 7 and food trucks/ street food at No. 8—knocked craft beer/ microbrews and quinoa/ ancient grains from the top 10 list. Gluten-free/ food allergy conscious moved up the list from No. 6 to No. 3.

And what are chefs most tired of using or seeing on menus? Foams, Kobe beef/Wagyu, mini-burgers and cupcakes took the top four spots in the yesterday’s news category.

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