One of our 2014 Top Ten Trends in Food is what we called “Ethnic Inspired.” We said:
We’re seeing the flavor profiles of India coming out more and more, which is part of the globalization of food. We expect to see more global flavors, forms, and more and more “melting pot” foods that retain the authentic flavors and forms of a global society.
We’re always happy to see our call outs validated, of course. Bell Flavors & Fragrances published its list in January 2014, with some specifics about Latin American spices, what they called “exotic Indo/Asian” influences, and the type of spices you see in Asian stir fry dishes.
We’ve seen the marketplace step up as well, with a culinary fusion happening—not only in home cooking, but in restaurants and in grocery story offerings. Campbell’s has introduced Asian and Indian spices, sauces, and dishes to mainstream America through quick-prep recipes. McCormick has stretched the home cook with its “Recipe Inspiration” spice packs. Mizkan, particularly through its Holland House® brand of cooking wines, has taken the fear out of using Sake, and its Nakano® Seasoned Rice Vinegar adds ethnic flavor to traditional American dishes without a lot of work.
Next we’re seeing more on the Midwestern Food Movement front, with a match-up of slow food and convenience—sort of a fusion of comfort food and ethnic recipes.
As ethnic foods become Americanized, watch for more classic American foods to end up with an ethnic twist.
Disclaimer: No remuneration was received for this article. The Food Channel’s sister company, Noble, has provided service to some of the companies mentioned.