The food market has been moving to natural for the last two years and in 2018 it is expected this trend will continue and become even more established. Consumers will expect to find recognizable ingredients in each product such as, non GMO’s, minimally processed foods and expect them to be as “clean” as they can be.
Flavors that are predicted to be trending for the upcoming year, are ones that add unique flavor and sophistication to any dish while staying consistent with the “clean” food trend.
Rose water- exactly what it sounds like
This all-natural extract is used daily in Middle Eastern & Asian cuisine, and is slowly gaining popularity in modern American kitchens. Rose water is basically the leftover distillate from rose petals and water. It is perfect to use in a variety of desserts, as it is known to work well in vanilla, cream, chocolates and gelatin based items. It can also be used to create or enhance cocktails. The options are endless and there has been a steady increase in consumption, which is expected to continue in 2018.
Harissa is a spicy and aromatic chile paste that’s a widely used staple in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. It is just starting to become recognized and loved in American cuisine. Harissa recipes vary, but a typical version includes a blend of hot chile peppers (which are usually smoked), garlic, olive oil, cumin, coriander, caraway and mint. This spicy flavor-packed paste can be used to enhance soups, dips, appetizers and main dishes.
Umami- the so-called fifth taste
Consumers are starting to love this savory, meaty, unique flavor. And operators are starting to add it to menu write-outs for a wide variety of items. It is usually a hard flavor to describe. It’s not sweet, bitter, or sour, and it’s more than just savory. Umami is characterized as an intensely enjoyable sensation of satisfaction in the mouth. Umami can be present in paste bases and sauces as well as in fermented foods. The result of this unique flavor is a taste you’ve probably thought to describe as delicious, when in fact, it is umami and it will be everywhere in 2018.