2022 Global Food trendsPublished on December 31, 2021

  • Das Lokal vegan charcuterie
    Photo by: Sarah Farmer

  • Plantaform hydroponic countertop

  • Roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds

  • The County Bounty Artisanal Soda Company

  • Eggs

  • Yuzu

As December winds down, I always enjoy taking a deep dive into the predictions being made about food trends for the coming year. While not all global stories will necessarily be reflected in Ottawa’s culinary scene, I’ve found a few trends that I believe will make their mark in positive ways during the year ahead.

Farm-fresh, home-grown

Even in harsh climates, it is now possible to grow your own food year-round, thanks to several innovative local companies. Gatineau-based Plantaform allows you to grow and harvest up to 15 plants in just a month, with a soil-free, app-controlled, easy-to-use water-efficient countertop pod. On a bigger scale, Ottawa’s award-winning Growcer features weatherproof Canadian-made containers that grow leafy greens and herbs hydroponically in all conditions, from arid deserts to the frozen Arctic. With kits from Wolfe Island, ON’s The Fungi Connection, home cooks can easily grow many varieties of mushrooms, which are fast becoming a popular alternative to meat.

Seeds in the spotlight

You know a food is hot when it becomes a TikTok sensation. While we may not all be ready to prepare or eat grilled sunflower heads, it’s easy to embrace them—and other tasty seeds—in other formats. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also packed with protein, fibre, unsaturated fats, and omega fatty acids. Look for sunflower and pumpkin seeds in many nut-free products including crackers, dairy-free ice cream, and creamy vegan cheese from Orangeville, ON’s Humble Seedz, or try your hand at making my roasted sweet or savoury seed recipes.

Better (non-alcoholic) bubbles

Many people are looking to reduce alcohol intake, swapping in refreshing beverages that are both uniquely flavoured and not loaded with preservatives. Drinks from Napanee-based The County Bounty Artisanal Soda Company are a great option, whether consumed alone or in a cocktail. With up 50% less sugar than many other sodas, they’re made from locally-grown fruit and come in an appealing range of carefully-crafted flavour combinations. Best of all, they’re available for home delivery in Ottawa.

Plant-based food innovations

With increasing options for plant-based meats and the recent arrival of plant-based seafood in Canadian grocery stores, it’s clear these new protein sources are here to stay. But the year’s biggest plant-based surprise might be in the milk world, with Sweden’s DUG potato beverage—offering a creamy texture and neutral taste while also being environmentally-friendly—set to expand internationally in 2022. In the meantime, why not consider embracing the plant-based movement via locally-made vegan charcuterie from Good Grazes, Das Lokal, or GoodFood2U?

The breakfast boom

Shifting lifestyles and daily routines have led to a rise in at-home breakfast consumption in Canada, with Egg Farmers of Canada reporting that one in three Canadians is eating more eggs now compared to 2020. Thanks to one of Canada’s leading egg farming and production operations – Burnbrae Farms in Lyn, ON (near Brockville) – we are fortunate to have a robust local supply of this affordable source of protein, one of the most complete natural foods available. Expect to see eggs playing a starring role on breakfast boards, which are rising in popularity at home and in restaurants.

Yuzu for you

A lesser-known but very tasty citrus fruit that hails from Asia, yuzu is now making a splash thanks to its appealing sweet-tart flavour which chefs confirm is the perfect accent for fish, sauces, soups, desserts, and more. Locally, the fruit is stocked seasonally at Asian grocery stores as well as produce shops; bottled yuzu juice is at specialty food stores. Find food and drink made with yuzu at many local restaurants including Harmons Steakhouse, Yuzumi, SIDEDOOR, and Tomo, to name just a few. Look for yuzu-infused sake, vodka, and beer at the LCBO; check out Jacobsons for Mariage Frères Yuzu Temple cheese or grab local maker Split Tree’s sour mix cordial syrup.

Paula Roy

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