Canadians aspire to be more adventurous in their culinary lives

Feb 04, 2014, 08:00 ET from Florida Department of Citrus

Studies show that while many Canadians are adventurous when eating out nearly 90 per cent are reluctant to try new ingredients at home

TORONTO, Feb. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - From Italian to Chinese cuisine, Canadians love adventure when dining out. A recent survey by the Florida Department of Citrus and EKOS Research Associates Inc. found that two-thirds of Canadians strive to be more adventurous with what they eat and how they cook. According to the survey, eight in 10 Canadians say that they will often seek a new restaurant when dining out and 96 per cent consider trying new meals. However, while Canadians are keen to try new dishes in restaurants, this sentiment does not translate to their home kitchen.

Whether it is anxiety about strong flavours (20 per cent), picky eating habits (14 per cent), or simply a lack of knowledge about where to get ingredients (13 per cent), Canadians tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to trying new recipes and ingredients. Nearly 90 per cent of Canadians say they are reluctant to try new ingredients at home and 64 per cent say they avoid cooking certain foods because they find them too difficult to make or don't know how to prepare them.

To help Canadians be more adventurous in the kitchen, the Florida Department of Citrus has teamed up with professional home economist, Emily Richards, to provide tips on how to take more chances when cooking and experimenting with new ingredients.

"Experimenting with new recipes at home doesn't have to be overwhelming," says Richards. "I encourage Canadians to start small by using simple yet unique ingredients to add a little zing to their everyday dishes. Fruit and fruit juice for example can be added to marinades and dressings to add a fresh and natural flavour."

Five tips to be more adventurous in your kitchen

  • If you are hesitant to try new recipes at home, first experiment with cuisine from cultures you are familiar with. Knowledge of the flavour profiles of the cuisine will help you understand why the combinations of ingredients help create the dishes you love. 

  • Prepare to travel the world in your kitchen by exploring the international aisles of your grocery store and packing your cart with easy to use sauces and spices. Even international and adventurous recipes can be made with ingredients found at a local grocery store.

  • When you first start experimenting with new ingredients from the grocery store, keep your list small to make your experience a positive one.

  • If you aren't ready to try a brand new recipe, first try to spice up your tried and true recipes by using familiar ingredients in a unique way. For example, if you enjoy Florida grapefruits at breakfast, adding it to a dinner meal will make the taste of a new recipe easier to grasp.

  • Include a loved one or friends in the adventure. Not only will your experimenting feel less daunting but you'll love having a companion in the cooking and enjoyment of new and unique recipes. 

This survey was conducted between December 18th-23rd using EKOS' unique online Probit research panel, with a random and national sample of 1,250 Canadians aged 18 and older. A sample of this size provides a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About the Florida Department of Citrus
The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) is an executive agency of the Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. Its activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels.  A few of the popular varieties of Florida citrus fruit available in Canadian supermarkets are Ruby Red Grapefruit, Flame Grapefruit, and Marsh Grapefruit with 100 per cent pure Florida orange juice and Florida grapefruit juice available all year round.

About EKOS Research Associates
EKOS Research Associates (EKOS) has been in continuous operation for more than three decades and provides expert services across a spectrum of market research - including client satisfaction, market segmentation and market needs, public opinion research, communications and branding research and stakeholder consultation and engagement. EKOS has a wide-ranging expertise in qualitative and quantitative research as well as ethnographic research, including participant observation, experience mapping and other forms of in-depth interview. EKOS has advised organizations and businesses, from the local to the national, as well as every order of government, on strategic planning and communication. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Florida Department of Citrus