Summer has finally arrived, and as I write this I am awaiting my own wee arrival, due any day. I will be on maternity leave for the next year, and am passing the Bakers Journal editorial helm over to interim editor Doug Picklyk.
Doug has been involved in magazine editing for 20 years, and in that time he has gained exposure to many industries including graphic design, printing, metalworking, marketing and retail real estate. While every sector has its unique challenges and opportunities, Doug says he has discovered that every great business is led by people who are passionate about their work and are willing to explore new ideas. Stepping into this role, Doug says he looks forward to learning more about the Canadian baking industry and discovering the passion and innovative nature of the people. I am excited for Doug, who has lucked out in spending the next year amongst bakers, who form an industry that never ceases to amaze in talent, passion, perseverance, and of course, good taste.
With summer now upon us, that good taste is faced with an annual transition. When the comfort foods of cooler weather are traded out for lighter fare al fresco, bakeries aptly adapt. At times the changing seasons seem a bane of Canadian existence, but they are nature’s liaison to something new and interesting for customers and bakers alike. For bakeries, some products in particular jump into the limelight as the weather heats up.
Burgers, hot dogs, sausages, anything smoked, and all require a suitable bun at least, and a premium bun to elevate. Taking hamburgers to the next level has been an ongoing food trend, giving way to more gourmet buns infused with flavours like rosemary or cheddar and packing more nutritional punch with multi-grain formats. Beef is the traditional choice for a burger, but prices have been on the uptick. Statistics Canada placed the average retail price per kilogram of regular ground beef in consecutive Aprils at $10.42 in 2014, rising to $12.59 in 2015 and $12.78 in 2016. With current trends towards health, perhaps turkey, chicken, fish and vegan options will find themselves rising stars on buns. Using a variety of seeds, or flavours such as truffle or chilies, could appeal to the adventurous griller.
There’s also plenty of room to jazz up the canvas for sausages and hot dogs. Cheddar buns or flavours like bacon could really take the yum factor to the next level.
On the sweet side, there’s definitely more to summer than ice cream, gelato and sorbet (although they are staples to be sure). Trendy treats like éclairs are great seasonal fits with the use of fresh fruit fillings, as are parfaits and a multitude of cakes. Perhaps it would be fun and profitable to experiment more with the summer harvest of vegetables in your desserts. It would certainly be a good way to create some products to differentiate your bakery and get some buzz going.
Let’s usher summer in with all the fresh, brightly flavoured delights nature’s bounty has in store. I wish the bakery industry the best of luck in the coming year, and look forward to jumping back in at the dawn of summer 2017.
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