Creating tasty food beyond labels, September 2017

We need to eat more vegetables and less meat. But how do we accomplish that, especially when many people are prejudiced against vegetarian food? Well, one trick might be to create food beyond labels. Food that just tastes good regardless of ingredients.

How to create food beyond labels

How do you create food that are beyond labels, just good, tasty and inspirational?

According to Marianne Nordblom, Director of Gastronomy and Food Development at Fazer Food Services, it is easier when you start with greens and vegetables. “Meat is the same all season, but greens vary. In Scandinavia, we have long nights in the winter and inspirational light in the summer. The flavours are different during the year”. 

Vegetables are more interesting

“That means you can build a seasonal calendar, which makes it interesting and different over the year. But of course, it’s a little more complicated, so you must have both the interest and the professionalism to develop new recipes as the seasons vary.”

And vegetables, much more than meat, is a part of defining taste from different cultures.

“I find that very interesting, because different vegetables grow in different areas, like Asia, Africa and Europe, so they become a part of the culture in another way than meat. This makes it easier to create new taste sensations and there’s so much more to choose from. “In Skandinavian we have great root and summer vegetables – unique taste , which has developed under long light nights“

Less meat, more flavour

But isn’t vegetarian just another food trend that will die away and be replaced by something new and trendy?

“Vegetarian is actually not a trend, it’s a change in our behaviour. Both because it’s healthier and because we must find new protein sources to replace meat in the future. We eat too much meat, in Finland 80 kg/person and year. However, eating more greens isn’t about replacing meat totally, but to change focus. Meat is still a good protein source, although expensive.”

So, the thing is to use vegetables as the main component, and have fish or meat as a side dish, not the other way around as it often is today.

“But in the future, we must develop new protein sources. Meat consumption can’t continue to be as high as it is today.”

A new way to eat

A new way to eat calls for new ideas. As an example, in Finland milk consumption has gone down. That’s because creative vegan milk producers have challenged the market with new innovations, like oat milk. There is probably a place for new vegetarian innovations too. A new way to eat in the future.

“When I look at my book shelf I realise that most of my cookbooks today are vegetarian. And food magazines write more and more about vegetarian recipes. All our lifestyle is moving in that direction. And with our restaurant experiences we try to move it a little bit faster by showing that it’s all just about making good, inspirational tasty food. That just happens to be vegetarian.”