The end of the year means reflecting back, and despite the difficulty people encountered in 2020, there were bright spots, too.
Here are our top five favourite Manitoba food stories in 2020.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal cabinet visited Winnipeg in January for a three-day retreat and he made the choice of ordering doughnuts from local bakery Oh Doughnuts.
After posting his thanks to the business online, the reaction was as swift as it was ridiculous, with people criticizing the PM for buying the more expensive sweet snacks rather than heading to a chain like Tim Hortons.
Soon, the hashtag #donutgate was trending on Twitter.
The backlash prompted Oh Doughnuts to defend themselves, pointing out they are a locally owned business that uses quality ingredients and pays their staff a living wage, along with a benefit plan.
Owner Amanda Kinden said she’s glad Trudeau chose a local business with a focus on fresh, local quality.
“No one really knows what a real doughnut is anymore, you know?”
4. Made With Love
When pandemic restrictions first forced a citywide shutdown, restaurants were suddenly at a near standstill.
Local chef Ben Kramer looked at his bulging freezers and wondered what he was going to do with all that food.
Made With Love was born, a project that saw thousands of healthy, professionally prepared meals go to those who were hungry or those on the front lines.
Global Give Back – Chef Ben Kramer
Kramer and his staff have prepared more than 15,000 healthy meals so far, with no plans to stop. To help keep the Made With Love project going, donations can be made by visiting chefbenkramer.com
3. Mini marshmallows
There were a lot of shortages this year — flour, toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, even Christmas trees — but the one thing we never expected to vanish was mini marshmallows.
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Yet by December, mom and baking groups on Facebook were agog with posts about where to find the fruit-flavoured confection, spurred by the popularity of peanut butter confetti squares and hot chocolate bombs.
“As they’re coming in, they’re running out the door faster than we put them on the shelf,” said Munther Zeid, who runs the Food Fare at 2285 Portage Ave.
“It’s not just us, it’s Sobeys, it’s Safeway, it’s Walmart — everybody’s having an issue with supply,” he said.
Zeid said he even started taking marshmallow reservations.
“I’m looking at six bags in my office right now and each one has a name on it,” he said.
2. Let’s Order Delivery
As Manitoba restaurants struggled through the latest coronavirus restrictions, a Winnipeg couple came up with a unique way to help local businesses with their bottom line.
The new service, called Let’s Order Delivery, catalogued local eateries that offer their own in-house delivery services — so the businesses themselves can pocket what you pay them without giving a percentage to a third-party takeout business.
New website helps local restaurants deliver without fees
“All of them have their own delivery staff, a lot of them have their own delivery portals that are pretty easy to use, others go through phone and email, but the main criteria is that they hire their own delivery staff,” said website co-creator Danielle Northam.
Northam said the response, so far, has been overwhelmingly positive — from users as well as restaurateurs.
“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from restaurants saying they think this’ll be helpful… They really appreciate the visibility.”
It was the Family Feud answer heard across the country.
Lorette’s Eve Dubois was up against the Tomlin family on Family Feud on CBC and was told by host Gerry Dee there was only one answer to the following question: What is Popeye’s favourite food?
Dubois slammed the buzzer first.
“Chicken,” she blurted out before doing a dance to celebrate what she thought was the correct answer.
Meanwhile, her family gasped in shock and shook their heads, and Dee put his head down on the podium.
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“Show me chicken!” Dubois shouted as Eve realized her mistake — and a big X popped up on the screen.
“I thought you meant Popeye’s Chicken,” Dubois shouted while Dee laughed.
The moment quickly went viral and Dubois later took her mistake in stride, enjoying her 15 minutes of fame — and $10,000 worth of Popeye’s Chicken.
The correct answer? Spinach.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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