As we near the end of another tasty year and get ready to ring in a new one, we thought we this would be the perfect time to reflect on some of the delicious seasonal trends we’ve shared over the last few years. Get ready to tuck into another super-sized Secret Sauce delight. Oh, what yum.
Rosé all day.
When it comes to how to pair food and wine, there are different vibes for different times of year. In the winter, we tend to sip on deep reds to complement our heartier meals. In the summer, the tendency is to keep things on the lighter side, like a crisp pinot grigio. So naturally in the spring, it’s a little bit of both.
Enter rosé. With its bright acidity and lack of tannins, this wonderful wine is getting even more popular as the years go on. It also plays well with others if you’re looking to add a pairing to the menu. Dry rosés go best with lighter fare like fish or grilled chicken, while sweeter rosés go best with barbecue as it balances the flavours.
Your bread ‘n butter.
Back in 2021 making homemade sourdough was all the rage. Now? Customers are still hungry for it, they just want someone else to do the heavy lifting. Good news for restaurateurs who have the means to make it.
If you don’t want to offer it on the menu full time (after all, not everyone has the time to bake fresh bread daily) you could offer it as a special. Think homemade French toast with berries and syrup or an Italian hoagie stuffed with fresh meats and cheeses.
Want to check out the other trends we were loving back in spring 2022? Check out our blog 8 ways to add some spring to your menu.
When it comes to summer seasonal menu trends, there’s a lot to play around with this time of year. Fruits and vegetables are the most colourful and flavourful, not to mention abundant and affordable. Here are a few of our favourite summer food and drink ideas from 2022.
Out of all the summer feature items for menus last year, this one really blew up. According to a recent report from Global News in Canada, non-alcoholic beverage companies are still struggling to keep up with skyrocketing demands. And there’s no sign of stopping.
That makes mocktails one of the best beverages for summer. So why not experiment with a few on your own summer menu? The easiest way to do that is to offer virgin versions of popular drinks like pina coladas and mojitos made with fresh fruit. You can also try adding a few more interesting ingredients to the mix like kombucha and green juices.
The mocktail’s perfect food pair? Light snacks, like a summer charcuterie or veggies and dip, go best with these beauties.
As one of the most deliciously sustainable vegetables on the planet, mushrooms are beyond having a moment, they’ve created a movement. Not only do they fertilize the soil and remove toxins as they grow, but they’re also responsible for a slew of delicious dishes and drinks we’ve had the privilege of enjoying since this trend exploded.
They’ve been turned into chips, added to cheese, and made into jerky (good news for grocery and convenience store owners who want in on the trend). There’s even mushroom matcha for those who prefer to drink in the health benefits of the fungi. And this one’s super easy to adopt on your summer food menu (in fact, you’re probably already doing it now). If you want to kick it up a notch, try offering a nice cup of mushroom joe with breakfast or a savoury portobello “steak” for vegan customers.
Speaking of mushroom steak, much like its meat counterpart, it pairs best with beer. A sour beer or a bold stout will do the trick, depending on how you’re saucing it up.
Want to dive into the other summer lunch and dinner menu ideas we had in 2022? Refresh your memory with our blog Top-selling summer menu items + other upcoming trends. And if you’re thirsty for the other drink pairings we featured that season, check out Perfect summer pairings for your menu.
This season brings a lot of comfort…food. Just take a look back at the trends we served up to see for yourself. Here are a few of the standouts to boost your October meal plan.
Pumpkin spice and everything nice.
This one should come as no surprise, but it’s so good it deserves the mention. Back in 2021, we enjoyed it in cookies and crumbles and cakes. We loved it in lattes and lagers and liqueurs. We even dabbled in pumpkin-spiced syrups and smoothies and spreads.
And now? It’s pumpkin pandemonium. From pumpkin-spiced faux caviar to pumpkin-flavoured protein powder, we’re pretty sure this trend will live on in our October food menu ideas until the end of time.
This ooey, gooey confection was and still is another sweet fall favourite, mostly because it’s so versatile (and easy to make!). You can totally go the store-bought route too, but if you have the means, having house-made caramel makes a delicious addition to any dessert or drink menu. Top baked goods with it, stir it in coffee concoctions, even add it to savoury dishes, like Vietnamese Caramel Pork.
In addition to those sweet and savoury dishes, caramel has been making friends with other interesting ingredients to pique our interest, like the spicy Korean paste, Gochujang. Mixed with melted caramel, this combo can add a surprising twist to your October meal plan. Put it in baked goods, lattes, and anywhere else you enjoy a good caramel sauce.
Not ready to say goodbye to the fall food flavours of years past? Check our 2021 trends in our blog, On the menu | October, as well as our 2022 blog, October food flavours, to help you get a jump on your holiday food menu.
The best thing to do in when the weather outside is frightful? Eat, drink, and be merry of course. And what better way to do that then to tuck into a couple warm winter food trends that brought us joy over the past two years. Here are a few of our best winter food menu ideas of 2021 and 2022.
Finger-lickin’ fried chicken.
In our humble opinion, this winter comfort food never goes out of style, but it does keep getting better and better. Shortly after we last shared our love for this dish, the fried chicken sandwich wars began. With almost every fast-food company fighting to create the hot new version, it pushed this coveted fave in the spotlight even more.
Another amazing thing about fried chicken is that it’s so universally loved, nearly every culture has embraced their own version. Japan’s Karaage Chicken (marinated with sake, soy sauce, and ginger), Austria’s Backhendl (their version of German schnitzel), and Puerto Rico’s Chicharrón de Pollo (marinated in rum) are a few of the standouts that would make a nice addition to your winter seasonal menu.
Just brew it.
There’s something about winter brews that warm our bellies this time of year. And when you put brews together, like coffee and beer, that’s when the magic happens. With complementary flavour profiles, coffee and the richer types of beer are a match made in heaven (think coffee stouts or porters).
Because these beer beverages have bite, they naturally go best with strong food pairings, like decadent chocolate brownies. If you prefer to add a savoury dish to the menu, coffee beer goes great with sweet sauces and fatty meats, like duck breast with sweet cherry sauce.
Want to see more beer and food pairings, wine and food pairings, or food for holidays? Check out these other popular holiday meal ideas we had in Orders Up | December, as well as 6 beer and food pairings to add to your winter menu, and add them to the mix.
And that rounds out this round-up. We hope you enjoyed reliving these seasonal menu trends as much as we did, and we’re looking forward to what 2024 has in store!