Consumers embrace gastronomic globe trotting

Today’s consumers continue to expand their palates, seeking out new ethnic foods and flavors. When doing so, they often have high expectations for authenticity, which may include recipes from native chefs, use of imported ingredients and incorporation of unfamiliar seasonings.

“The biggest ethnic trend we are seeing across the entire food space is a refocusing on Asia, but there are a few distinct differences than in years past. We’re seeing the exploration of smaller regions that offer a unique flavor profile or story behind the cuisine. This includes the Philippines and Vietnam,” says Roger Lane, marketing manager, savory flavors, Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, Illinois. “Filipinos are masters at layering and fusing flavor together – sweet, salty and sour – so there’s a lot of opportunity for meat-based applications.”

Consumers are also experimenting with different levels of heat. And when they are paired with global flavors, their curiosity is piqued. “Examples include peri peri, which is a hot sauce made from African peri peri peppers,” says Harry Park, application technologist, Sensient Natural Ingredients, Turlock, California. “Another interesting flavor gaining momentum is sambal, an Indonesian-inspired hot sauce typically made from a variety of chili peppers with secondary ingredients, such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, lime juice and vinegar.

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