The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 01.03.04


Out with the old and in with the new

The year 2004 promises good things for foodies everywhere and while there are holdover and hanger- on trends from 2003, tables will explode with healthy and creative flair. Here are my predictions of trends and attitudes that will parlay themselves into kitchens and homes in the coming year.

Soy, soy, soy. - This potent, vitamin-laden legume will continue to be transformed and added to any and every food possible. Especially edamame, the bright- green unprocessed bean that will be steamed, stir fried, and served au natural.

Low carb- any and everything that contains few carbohydrates as the world retains its Atkins fever. We'll witness low-carb beer arriving on corner store shelves soon.

Heirloom and organic veggies- another trend on the increase as people shift away from bland and factory ripened veggies. People will focus on local and fresh vegetables, despite high prices.

Organic meats - a shift towards grain fed and organic meats that carry little risk of contamination in response to fears related to mad cow disease and mass production quality concerns. Again, consumers will willingly pay higher prices for a sense of security and better flavor.

Upscale sugars- we saw them in 2003 and we'll see more. Brown sugar cubes, golden flake and raw cane will pervade at the check out. Higher price, better flavor, and better for you.

Grocery store precooked "homemade" foods- people on the go will want unfrozen, freshly prepared dinners without all the fuss and muss. They'll pay for it too, in droves.

More ethnic and international foods- as the world becomes smaller, we will increasingly embrace regional cuisine from around the globe. Retailers will respond with expanded offerings of ethnic food sections and ingredients. Vietnamese sandwiches and West Indian rotis will find their way into homes everywhere.

Spanish and North African dishes - these regions will be the subject and focus of recipes and cooking shows. Hosts will venture into the Tapas and saffron arena while preparing a variety of exotic dishes. We'll see Paella and Tagine along with couscous, olives, and preserved lemons.

Home comfort foods - post 9/11, we'll retain a cocooning trend and wish for Salisbury steak, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and chicken a la king.

Wine, wine, and more wine - some things never go out of style and we'll see wine trends adapt to fusion cuisine. Traditional pairings of red wines with dark meat and white wines with fish and poultry will go by the way side as we experiment with new ethnic flavors. We'll search for inexpensive table wines that can stand up to these new flavors. Just what do you serve with Szechwan spicy eggplant any way?

Yellow margarine in Quebec - Here's a trend I'd like to see. Lets do away with the lard-colored stuff and catch up with the rest of the world as they "butter" their toast in style.