Sriracha is old news in 2016.
But what bold flavour will replace the sauce as the new trendy condiment?
The experts at Technomic have a few ingredients in mind.
The food and consulting firm named the “Sriracha effect” one of the top 10 trends to watch out for in the restaurant industry in 2016, drawing from sources including interviews, surveys, on-site visits, and a vast menu database.
“What I find so interesting about Sriracha is that it was such an unknown ingredient just a few years ago [and] now everyone has heard of,” Technomic menu-analysis editor Lizzy Freier told Business Insider. “It’s moved very quickly from just independent restaurants to top chain restaurants in just a few years.”
Here are six ingredients from around the globe that Technomic believes could make a similar leap.
1. Ghost Pepper
Ghost Pepper is one of the most mainstream of the “Sriracha 2.0” crowd, famous for being one of the hottest chilli peppers in the world.
Chains are already using the pepper as an eye-catching ingredient to attract risk-taking customers, with Buffalo Wild Wings bringing back a Ghost Pepper sauce in September and Taco Bell rolling out a limited-time Fiery Ghost Pepper Dare Devil Loaded Griller in August.
This Southeast Asian chilli sauce is created from a combination of chilies, brown sugar, salt, and various other ingredients.
According to Freier, the condiment can be utilised in a variety of ways, including as an aioli, in a puree and as a side dipping sauce. Recently, sambal appeared on the menu at Legal Sea Foods in a Raw Oyster & Tuna Crudo with sambal and sesame dressing.
Gochujang is “a spicy, salty paste that we’re seeing in both Asian and non-Asian recipes,” says Freier. “Like sambal, it follows on the Southeast Asian sauce trend we’ve been noting aggressively as of late.”
Technomic began noticing gochujang’s rise in independent restaurants in August, topping dishes such as New York City-based vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy’s Korean fried broccoli. Now the flavour is moving into the mainstream, even appearing on the menu at P.F. Chang’s, which serves a Kim Chee Fried Rice seasoned with gochujang sauce.
This Tunisian hot sauce is commonly made with hot chilies, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway, and olive oil, and used in dishes such as soups and stews.
“Harissa has moved a bit quicker than some of these other spices and sauces to the mainstream,” says Freier, who reports Technomic has spotted the condiment at chains such as Brick House Tavern + Tap and Hannah’s Bretzel.
According to Freier, the Middle Eastern spice sumac has a “fruity, astringent taste.” Technomic noticed sumac showing up on independent-restaurant menus last April, on salads, as a mix-in for yogurts, and sprinkled onto a variety of dishes.
This Egyptian spice blend is the most recent flavour on Technomic’s radar. Made up of toasted nuts, seeds, and other spices, dukka can be sprinkled over food or used as a dip, with the hottest recent trends being to serve it in soup, atop salads, or in crackers.
“This may not move to the mainstream in 2016, but it’s definitely one to watch in independents and emerging chains over the next year,” says Freier.
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