Hot Food Trend 2017: Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables

Jan 27, 2017


Everyone has heard of heirloom tomatoes, but now heirloom everything is sprouting up in the mainstream. Chefs are loving these simple, earthy ingredients. Heirloom has such a nice ring to it, especially when you include it in the description of a dish with heirloom vegetables.


When a fruit or vegetable is called “heirloom,” it means that it’s from an old crop. These old plant breeds have been around since prior to the types of modern growing and breeding practices that we now have in America today. While the name “heirloom” might just sound fancy to most restaurant guests, true gourmands know that eating heirloom fruits and vegetables is a rare treat. It’s a chance to indulge in the distinctive flavors and genetic traits of these fruits and vegetables that have remained unchanged for ages.


So chefs everywhere are snatching up the chance to use heirloom fruits and vegetables. A ho-hum beetroot salad becomes much more exciting when topped with heirloom vegetables like atomic red carrots and Chiogga beets. In fact, many of the names of these heirloom plants sound much like hipster names, which makes them even more appealing when splashed onto a menu.


Grass-fed organic USDA prime cuts of beef couldn’t possibly go better with cowhorn potatoes and heirloom garlic. Predictably, heirloom varieties seem to have either cutesy or fancy names, but it all translates to bigger sales in the restaurants that serve them.


Not only do they look and sound fancier than regular produce, but heirloom produce happens to taste even better. The robust and hearty flavors that have been preserved over time are truly marvelous and something that should be embraced. Thankfully, consumers feel the same way and what’s happening is lots of high demand now for these once-rare varieties that are now making a major comeback. On menus and in supermarkets everywhere, get ready to see a boom of heirloom offerings.