Barbecue is the leading flavour spotlighted in pork entrees on Canadian menus, according to MenuMonitor data. In recent years, we have observed an increased interest in regional American barbecue with sauces, dry rubs and preparations inspired by everywhere from St. Louis to Memphis to North Carolina. Many of these styles are inspiring innovation within pork entrees like pork ribs and pulled pork.
Third on the list is Asian, which is still very much a trendy cuisine type in Canada. Pork is appearing in dishes like pork dumplings, Szechuan pork, stir-fry and sweet-and-sour pork. However, operators seeking to differentiate should look to trendy Asian flavours as inspiration. For example, some of the fastest-growing Asian ingredients on Canadian menus are Sriracha, sesame oil dressing, peanut sauce and lemongrass, all of which could be utilized in pork dishes.
Spicy continues to be popular on menus, appearing among the top five flavours in pork entrees. Consumer data, however, shows that heat preferences among Canadian diners are shifting back to moderately spicy from very spicy.