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     Top appetizers with potatoes source Technomic
    No matter how you slice it, dice it or cook it, the humble potato has an almost revered place on Canadian restaurant menus.

    Fried, baked, roasted, mashed or slathered in cheese curds and gravy, we just can’t seem to get enough of their earthy goodness.

    While the popularity of other ingredients ebbs and flows with fickle consumer trends, Canadian diners today have more choice than ever before on restaurant menus when it comes to the tasty tuber.

    Lauded for its versatility and simplicity, the potato lends itself to a multitude of preparation and cooking methods, as well as acting as a perfect receptacle for a wide variety of spices, seasonings and accompaniments.

    New options such as red-skinned potatoes are appearing on a wider selection of menu day parts while traditional Canadian favourites such as poutine are getting gussied up at full-service restaurants. Even health-conscious carbo-phobes have reason to celebrate as more restaurants are climbing aboard the sweet potato bandwagon every day to offer an alternative to their white potato cousins.

    Fries still number one

    While French fries are still the heavy favourite with Canadian consumers, variations on the lovable spud are becoming more popular within different foodservice segments, according to potato producer McCain Foods.

    “Sweet potato fries have begun entering the QSR arena while poutine is being fancied up in FSR restaurants,” says Kelly Switzer, senior brand manager, McCain Foods.

    “Manufacturers and operators continue to innovate, with the goal of keeping consumers interested and excited. For example, we recently launched our lineup of fresh-style fries, which deliver the authentic fresh-cut taste and texture consumers love, without the hassle of fresh-cut prep. Our team learned first-hand from the trade to develop fries with homemade potato taste, texture and appearance – all with the consistency and convenience of frozen.”