America was once referred to as the great melting pot. Our cultures blended together, infusing where we came from with who we were becoming. This created our culture, it defined our most signature things, and it continues to define things today, especially what we eat. The increasing amount of diversity in America, a sense of doing it yourself, and the increasing popularity in international travel and exploration have lead to a new culinary frontier. It’s a frontier where exotic tastes and traditional recipes meet and where human behavior and a sense of exploration have caused American cuisine to become the new ethnic food.
Tracking through flavor trends and recipes across the world, we’ve outlined a Flavor Curve that has four key levels and is grounded in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
- The Burst: a level of craved intensity and experience.
- The Richness: a desire for comfort and pacifying foods.
- The Welcoming: foods that are shared, eaten at a table, and represent togetherness.
- The Experiential: a look at food as an esteem play through unique tastes and presentations.
Along the way, we’ll explore how each of these ties into the way people live their lives and make food choices, one flavor at a time.