2013 Food Trends

Asian Comfort Food

If you’ve ever watched an animated film or television production exported out of South East Asia, it is likely that you will agree that nothing looks more delicious than animated food drawn by the hands of Japanese graphic artists. From colourful bowls of noodles to sugar-coated confectioneries, cartoon food has been delectable to viewers since the early days of Sailor Moon and her donut obsession. And guess what? All of those colourful creations, are real. With the growing love of noodles and soups like Pho and Ramen, restaurateurs are taking note and making them a staple in more mainstream and western restaurants and chains.

Looking for some Asian comfort food in the Hamilton area? Check out:

Pho Dau Bo – 15 Cannon Street East
Saigon Asian Restaurant – 1024 King Street West

Cauliflower

Not too many people are pleased to hear about the rise o

f this flowery, tree-like vegetable, but true enough, this crumbly bland veggie is up and coming in the food world. Taking over for 2012’s kale trend, cauliflower is predicted to be the next hipster fun food. And although it has an unfriendly demeanour, mashed cauliflower is a carbohydrate-free alternative to conventional mashed potatoes, and a little seasoning can jazz anything up.

Looking to try something new with the caul’? Try this easy recipe:

Ingredients:

–        1 medium head of cauliflower
–        2 cloves of garlic
–        1-2 tbsp butter
–        2 tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt
–        Milk and salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Steam cauliflower and garlic until tender (10-15 minutes)
  2. Mash the cauliflower and garlic
  3. Mix in butter, sour cream/ yogurt, milk and salt and pepper

Donuts

Associated with gluttonous cops and balding characters on long running television series, donuts have not had the most glamorous of reputations. But, long gone are the days of cupcakes and macaroons, donuts are the new ‘it’ dessert and will be available at more bakeries and on more menus. With both poached and baked options and unique new flavours like salted peanut and chocolate chip, the donut is receiving a makeover.

Looking for donut fun in the Hamilton area? Try:

Sweet Paradise – 630 Stone Church West

Hot Sauce

In an attempt to spice things up (ha), many chefs and foodies have decided to embrace the Sriracha – along with its spicier South American and Caribbean counterparts – and amp up the flavour on certifiably bland staples like soups, sandwiches and nachos. This year, look forward to requiring a glass of milk along with your food to tone down the shiny new spicy flavours. But hey, spicy food has been known to boost serotonin levels and lower blood-pressure.

Top hot sauces from a girl raised by Caribbean parents:

Tabasco Red Pepper Sauce – $7
Matouk’s Hot Calypso Hot Sauce – $5.50
Hot Mama’s Red Pepper Jelly – $8

Home Grown/ Vegetarian

They’re pretty, they’re healthy, and they’re trendy. Vegetables are the new meat, apparently, and you can look towards more vegetarian options at your favourite local hangouts. As more and more jump on the veggie, vegan and pescatarian train, restaurateurs are taking note and catering to the demand. If you love meat, fret not, it’ll still be around, but try branching out into some of these delicious new meatless options.

Opinions Editor Mel Napeloni’s favourite vegan-friendly dishes in the Hammer:

Injera from Wass – 207 James Street South
Orange Vegan Chicken from Affinity – 87 John Street South
Sauteed Cactus from MEX-I-CAN – 107 James Street North

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