Bizarre Flavour Combos the US is lauding as Future Food Trends

25 Mar

It’s a universally accepted fact that they do things bigger in the United States. Bigger, more outlandish, and sometimes just plain weird. Capitalism has begot an endless range of choices for consumers, which veer occasionally into the territory of ‘But why?’

It might be instructive – or just fun – for UK food aficionados and catering professionals to take a look at some of the trends emerging from across the pond. A number of the latest food trend predictions from the Winter Fancy Food Show, which took place in San Francisco in January, seem likely to diffuse into British kitchens. Others – see the ‘Tamarind Almond Crunch’ brussel sprout crisps, might not be so translatable …

Chocolate chip kale chips. This has to be seen to be believed.

Chocolate chip kale chips. This has to be seen to be believed.

A panel of food trade experts from the Specialty Food Association picked their top five new trends to watch out for. Let’s try and work out which ones are likely to take:

  1. Everyone’s talking Turmeric.

A number of companies have elected to add this Indian spice to add an exotic zing to everyday staples. Bruce Cost’s range of ginger ales has gained a passion fruit and turmeric flavour; and Navitas Naturals is “Taking snacks to the next level” with its Turmeric Tamari Almonds. Ginger provides a complimentary note too at Rishi Tea, which has added a Turmeric Ginger variety. And finally, HealthVerve has added Turmeric Rice to its microwavable meal range.

As well as packing a taste punch, the spice has some health benefits – its principal active ingredient, curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. However, the curcumin content of turmeric is only around 3% by weight, so you would have to consume a lot of turmeric to feel the effect. Fortunately, you now have plenty of turmeric-flavoured options…

  1. You can never have too much… cabbage!

Or, to be specific, vegetables of the cruciferous nature – those of the cabbage family. While kale-based snacks are still going strong, companies like Alive & Radiant are branching out into new variety Argula Cabbage Veggie Krunch. Kale fans be reassured that its extensive range of ‘Cheezy’ kale crisps is a long way from retirement.

Novel varieties of veggie crisps are clearly in vogue. I mean, why limit yourself to potato chips? Creative Snacks has released new Broccoli Chips, while rival Wonderfully Raw Gourmet has added a Tamarind Almond Crunch variation to its Brussel Bytes range (brussel sprout crisps, for those who don’t speak gourmet food critic.)

And finally, Korean food goes mainstream with Genuine Grub’s ‘Spicy Pickled Cabbage’, which it claims is naturally fermented and hence full of friendly bacteria.

  1. If in doubt, add cheese.

Some imaginative culinary designer has come up with a new flavour to add to olive oil: ‘manchego-style cheese’, latest offering from Silva Regal Spanish Food. Yancey’s Fancy has done one better and added cheese to cheese, with its ‘Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger’ flavoured ‘artisan’ cheese. The Sonoma Creamery has jumped aboard the quinoa trend with various combinations of parmesan-flavoured snacks.

Best of all, Boomchickapop has merged caramel and cheddar flavoured popcorn in a single bag. ‘Oh yes we did.’ And boy, are we glad you did. We can’t wait till this one hits UK retailers.

  1. Breakfast with every meal

It is widely acknowledged to be the most important meal of the day, so why not make every meal taste like breakfast? Admittedly, ‘spicy coffee’ beef jerky might be an innovation too far. But Cinnamon Toast HiCaf Tea we can definitely see. And putting strawberry and waffle pieces in chocolate is a stroke of genius. Dang Foods’ ‘Savory Bacon Coconut Chips’, though, are bound to be divisive. Sounds like one of Heston Blumenthal’s ideas. Actually, it could take off…

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