1. Environmental responsibility: The green life
There are many ways to reduce your environmental footprint. Giving a second life to objects is a great way to help get you there. Turning shampoo bottles into crayon holders, jars into flower pots or old books into shelving are just a few of the many creative ways to reduce the number of things that get thrown out. Wine bottles can also be reused to make attractive decorative items, for example. The same is true for wine corks, which can be used to make a small yet practical bulletin board or original placeholders. Your only limit is your imagination!
The trend is changing the world of cocktails too. The death of the plastic straw will certainly be carried into 2019. Many bars and restaurants have already stopped using them. But the sustainable cocktail doesn’t stop at simply having a biodegradable straw. It’s also made from local ingredients and spirits, or from homemade syrups using overripe raspberries, for example.
Even the format of drinks is taking an ecological turn. Boxed wine, for example, also known as BiB (for “bag in box”), has a lower carbon footprint than other types of packaging (such as glass, hard plastic and aluminum). This type of packaging enables the reduction of greenhouses gases during transportation due to its lighter weight. A good number of products enjoyed by consumers are now available in 3- or 4-litre format. Other types of ecologically friendly packaging are available in stores, such as bottles made of lightweight glass.
Consuming local products is another trend for reducing GHG emissions. While the movement originally started a decade ago in California, more and more Quebecers have decided to jump on the bandwagon. In stores, the local products offering has grown considerably in order to fulfill demand. Following your convictions has never tasted so good!
2. Organic and vegan: For the love of nature
Wine lovers are increasingly opting for organic, vegan or natural wines. Until very recently, this was a niche market aimed only at serious connoisseurs. But today, not only are these wines creating a premier place for themselves on many restaurants’ wine lists, but they now account for close to 900 organic products at the SAQ. You can easily spot them by the green ticket on the shelves. Vegan wines are also basking in the growing enthusiasm of wine lovers, thanks to their philosophy of excluding all traces of animal products from their manufacturing process. This way of thinking, mainly popularized by millennials, has also inspired many establishments to devote themselves to this type of product and cuisine.
3. The healthy foodie: Eat tastier and healthier
The tastes and preferences of Quebecers have evolved over time. While we are more careful about the effect of nutrition on overall health, eating still needs to be pleasurable. And by the looks of the huge number of recipes featuring vegetables as the star attraction, eating better has never been so inspiring and appetizing. The trend includes savoury dishes based on vegetable proteins, cauliflower purée to replace potatoes and finely sliced zucchini used as a base for pizza. Even the usual comfort food classics are being wisely reinvented to provide more balanced nutrition: poutine made with parsnip fries instead of potato, macaroni and cheese made with squash purée instead of cheese, or a light version of lasagne in which the noodles are switched out for eggplant slices. Many restaurants are seizing the opportunity to feature vegetables at the heart of their recipes. Vin papillon in Montreal and Restaurant L’Épicureux (website in French only) in Val-David celebrate local harvests in their menus instead of relegating them to second-best options.
4. Middle East cuisine: Spice up your life
Every year we feature a particular destination amongst the latest food trends found on restaurant menus. For 2019, the honour goes to the delicious dishes of the Middle East (including Lebanon, Israel, Syria and Jordan) for their power to charm your taste buds. Created from fresh ingredients and scented with delicious spices, these recipes are sure to please. Besides being tasty, this cuisine is best enjoyed with friends since it often involves dishes served in the form of small plates that are perfect for sharing, called mezze. Beyond the usual falafel and hummus, you should make room for kibbeh (dumplings made from ground meat and bulgur), labneh (strained yogurt), and ful medames (fava beans). Flavours like pomegranate, za’atar (a mix of spices) and sumac are being used increasingly in many dishes across a range of cuisines, a trend that has already started to make inroads here. Celebrated chef Martin Picard Au Pied de Cochon’s sugar shack incorporated Middle Eastern influences into his dishes after travelling to Morocco. This is one trend that should definitely not be skipped!