Heritage is the New Local

Heritage is the New Local

Food News

Heritage is the New Local

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When it comes to food trends, it seems everyone is looking for the next “local.” For a number of years now, we’ve been all about the idea of local food—items created in our own hometown, sold at area farmers markets, and identified on menus with familiar names of local businesses

The nature of geography being what it is, “local” has had a lot of leeway in meaning, stretching into regional and even “tourist local.” You know how it works—you visit an area and pick up a local jam, or try the locally made ice cream, and you are hooked.

That’s why it’s easy to see how regional flavors are becoming the new “local,” as people go beyond geographical boundaries and find foods that are produced at someone’s local farm or someone’s local small business. Even more, people are beginning to identify local food with the heritage behind it. Fresh, yes, but also tied to something personally meaningful.

The rise of personal culture means consumers are exploring heritage and history that they may have no ties to—other than their interests. This changes the traditional belief that specific authentic foods define an ethnic identity. Instead, cultural authenticity is abstract and personal. For example:

  • Native American cuisine and ingredient callouts are on the rise.
  • Heritage Food Festivals, from Italian American to Armenian, are food exploration events that educate people about regional and traditional dishes.
  • Appalachia is a region of focus for food, leveraging heirloom recipes, wild ingredients and innovation.
  • South African braai is part of the conversation about the new American BBQ.
  • Hawaiian cuisine is a new call out, with flavors from native plants, and smoke infusions created with native woods.

The byproduct is that “ethnic” is losing ground as more foods become ethnic-inspired rather than culturally inspired—now, consumers are looking for ethnic with a purpose, and it needs to be personal, flavorful, and yes, still local.

The future is that we will learn more about the stories and history of what we eat—regardless of whether or not it ties directly to our own DNA. We will seek out secondary cultural experiences that feel authentic and immersive, without breaking the bank or feeling too unapproachable.

Bottom line is that food has become a cultural gateway, leading consumers to an interest in cultures that they may otherwise not have been aware of. Watch for it to change the menu!

More

5hr

October 16, 2017 6:00 pm ·

Around our house, the first cold weekend morning of fall calls for the comforting flavors of made-from-scratch baking powder biscuits and a (…)

7hr

This Autumnal Spiced Maple Cake is a fluffy and delicate dessert made with pure maple syrup, brown sugar and the flavors of fall. This (…)

1d

Maple flavoring is hotter than ever this year. These Maple Eclairs are made with a rich organic-bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup, which (…)

3d

October 13, 2017 3:13 pm ·

A spooky twist on a fall favorite, this Black Lagoon Sangria is equally tangy and sweet, thanks to raspberries, blackberries, (…)

3d

October 13, 2017 2:13 pm ·

This Halloween twist on the classic deviled egg has a little kick to it thanks to the addition of hot sauce instead of traditional mustard. (…)

3d

October 13, 2017 1:13 pm ·

Remember how exciting Halloween night was as a kid? Putting on your costume, eating sloppy joe sandwiches your mom made, and then heading (…)

3d

October 13, 2017 12:13 pm ·

Candy Corn is one of those controversial nostalgic candies with two sides fighting for the win; is candy corn good or bad?! We say good, (…)

More TFC
Home