Hospitality Business Magazine

Ramping up the spice and then offsetting it



There is no question that America’s pepperheads demand ever-increasing levels of spice, reports New York based international food and restaurant consultant, Michael Whiteman.  And the more different spices in a single dish, the better they like it.  

According to Innova Market Insights, use of cayenne pepper rose 47 per cent  in global product launches last year.  Other trending spices include caraway (up 40 percent), saffron (up 31 percent), horseradish (up 29 percent ) and turmeric (up 21 percent).

Why haven’t they told us that horseradish leaves are eminently edible asks Whiteman?  “We believe the components of “curry powder”, which is not a spice but a blend, will be trending upward.  And we don’t mean just Indian curry, because lots of curries in Southeast Asia are even more vibrant. So we’re looking at chilies, tamarind, lemongrass, turmeric, ginger, coriander/cilantro, cardamom, kaffir lime, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, caraway, mustard seed, shrimp paste, sharp citrus juices and zests … not all at once, but a few at a time, sometimes with barely detectable drops of soy sauce.  The idea is not to produce something tasting like “curry sauce” … but instead (to use a musical analogy) play a few flavour notes without the entire chord.”

Look out for more information on the hottest trends in restaurant and hotel dining this year in the March edition of Hospitality Business magazine.