Gluten free, allergy free tops Canadian menu trends

by Keith Nunes
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TORONTO — Gluten-free/allergy-free, quinoa, locally-sourced, leafy greens and craft beers are the top five menu trends in Canada in 2014, according to the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association. Rounding out the top 10 trends are food smoking, heirloom fruit and vegetables, charcuterie, food trucks, and inexpensive cuts of meat.

“The Canadian diner has a heightened awareness of food intolerances, allergies and ingredients, and chefs are taking note,” said Garth Whyte, chief executive officer of Restaurants Canada. “We’ve been keeping an eye on this trend, and created a restaurant-focused food allergy guide to help our members cater to customers’ diverse needs in a safe environment.”

The C.R.F.A. survey included responses from more than 400 Canadian chefs who participated. The survey was conducted during the month of January.

Up and coming menu trends identified in the survey include such ancient grains as kamut, spelt and amaranth, simple meals, superfruits, such appetizers as tempura and taquitos, natural sweeteners and noodles or pasta made with quinoa, rice or buckwheat.
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