Trend Watch: Native Foods

Trend Watch: Native Foods

At Interact, we pride ourselves on having a unique perspective of the multi-faceted food world. As a result, we can often spot trends before they’re widespread. We’re very familiar with the local food movement that has gained some serious traction in recent years, even trouncing organic in the eyes of consumers. Opting for products that were grown closer to home means fresher food and supporting local business. A fascinating sect of this movement that we’ve seen on the rise recently is native, or indigenous food.

In this somewhat old world way of eating, the ingredients for meals are not only produced locally, but are made up entirely of the indigenous fauna and flora from the region in which it is served. This makes a whole new world of foods available to us that we may have never heard of, but that grew in our backyards all along. It’s the ultimate culinary adventure; a tour of your home unlike any other.

 

Native & Locally Source Food Trend

A Noma dish of raw shrimp with seaweed, rhubarb and herbs | Source

 

At the forefront of this movement is the renowned Danish restaurant, Noma. Rated the best restaurant in the world four times by Restaurant magazine, the food is rooted in simplicity, freshness and quality. All ingredients on the menu are indigenous foods native to the region, creating a revolutionary spin on Nordic cuisine.

The Native Food Movement gives culture a starring role in the eating experience. Sean Sherman, aka the Sioux Chef, is dedicated to reinventing the foods of his ancestors. He’s mastered inventive recipes, while restricting the ingredients used to those that would have been available to the Sioux tribe years ago.

Damon Baehrel established one of the highest demand restaurant experiences ever, with reservations booked as far out as the year 2025. The scene of this ultra exclusive restaurant is his rural New York home, where he serves many-coursed meals that consist entirely of native cultivated foods that he himself has farmed. The astounding one-man show has Baehrel growing the food, dreaming up carefully thought out dishes, then single handedly cooking and serving patrons. This dedication and ingenuity is reflected across this entire native food movement.

While some of the examples we’ve noticed involve coveted reservations and high plate prices, we believe that this is a movement that will spread through more conventional spaces. It isn’t grounded in exclusivity, because edible foods have grown around us for centuries and many continue to. One might assume that indigenous fare is generally restricted to what’s seasonally available. However, MM Local Foods preserves locally farmed produce which allows for a wide variety of native foods all year long.

 

fruition-farms

Alex Seidel, chef-owner of Fruition, Mercantile and Fruition Farms  | Source

 

So what will this trend look like once it gains momentum? With our vibrant brewing industry here in Colorado, we could see beers brewed entirely with native to Colorado ingredients. With restaurants like Fruition, who sources much of its food from its own Fruition farms, there are a lot of possibilities for establishments that reflects the spirit of Noma here. This way of eating could even trickle down to single serve meals and snacks. We’re known for Colorado River trout, Palisade Peaches and Olathe Corn, to name a few foods -and that leaves room for a lot of possibilities. We’re looking forward to seeing how this trend evolves.


What are your thoughts on native and indigenous food trends? Let’s discuss! Email blake@interactonshelf.com