Post Categories: January 2014

Trending Tastes: Traveling the World Through Your Dinner Plate

jan14-trending-taste-imgThe concept of international cuisine may not exactly be new to supermarkets. But the standard shelves stocked with typical Mexican, Italian and Asian fare are quickly expanding into full aisles, with added offerings from other regions of the world. Experts are predicting those aisles—and consumers’ cravings for all things ethnic—will explode in 2014, as flavors from India to Turkey and beyond make their way to the mainstream.

Curry is already a familiar dish to many Americans, but spice giant McCormick predicts the flavors of Indian cuisine will make their way well beyond basic sauce jars and packets this year. Expect more nuanced flavors like Kashmiri masala (a blend of cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and black pepper) and paneer (a soft, mild cheese) to make appearances in everything from spice blends and marinades to salad toppings and sandwiches spreads.

Traveling further west, research and strategy firm Sterling-Rice Group predicts new Middle Eastern Mediterranean flavors will join the likes of chickpeas, garlic and other adopted favorites from this region. Consumers will spice things up with rubs and seasoning blends featuring hot Aleppo peppers, sumac (a tart, lemony spice) and za’atar (a mixture of sesame seeds, sumac, herbs and salt).

Heading across the ocean, Brazilian cuisine is also predicted to hit the mainstream this year, according to both McCormick and Campbell Soup. As this South American country takes the world stage as the host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, flavor experts predict staples like guava, cassava/manioc flour and coconut milk will make their way onto dinner plates across the U.S.

With Korean flavors and new regional Mexican dishes also predicted to make their way to the mainstream this year, it seems ever more clear that as we expand our ethnic borders, so too, will we expand our palates—and the ingredients we add to our shopping baskets.