America’s growing Hispanic population, along with the nation’s expanding appetite for Latino-influenced flavors, has U.S. restaurants and food manufacturers on the lookout for â€˜new-to-usâ€™ Latino ingredients and flavors.
So, what can you expect to see hitting the menus and grocery aisles in the coming months? A new Culinary Trend Report on the next wave of Latino foods from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) spotlights four hot newcomers in particular: Epazote, Seville oranges, aji amarillo chiles, and sofritos.
â€˜Just as Pan-Asian foods have brought new flavor and ingredient excitement to the American plate and palate, now it’s time to make way for Pan-Latin,â€™ says Kimberly Egan, CEO of the CCD.
Writing for Marketing Daily, Karlene Lukovitz offers a quick analysis of the CCD report.
Epazote (pictured left) is a Mexican herb that smells like â€˜grassy turpentineâ€™ in its raw state. But when simmered with a pot of black beans, it â€˜mellows to a rich, grounding presence that chefs are finding addictiveâ€™ according to CCD trend spotters. They predict the herb will transition from upscale Mexican restaurants and become a common ingredient in canned and other packaged foods.
Seville oranges, increasingly popular on sophisticated Latin-inspired menus, will also likely begin to show up as an ingredient in packaged foods. The fruit has a somewhat bitter citrus flavor that can bring a â€˜Caribbean tangâ€™ to a variety of products, according to the CCD report.
Aji Amarillo chiles (pictured right) are the favorite chile variety in Peru, featuring a fruity flavor to go along with their chile heat. The CCD suggests these chiles are the heir apparent to the chipotle, likely to be found in â€˜everything from spicy wings at quick-service restaurants to jarred salsas.â€™
Sofritos are flavorful Caribbean â€˜simmer saucesâ€™ that have been part of such regional dishes as paella for many years. Now they’re making their way onto Latino fusion menus as well as Cuban and Puerto Rican restaurants and may soon gain a wider audience, predicts the CCD.
Click here for more on the latest CCD Culinary Trend report.
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