Global flavors are BACK! Traditional comfort food was what we survived on for the past two years. Now that life is back, it’s time to turn up your game. A report from Mintel found that more than 70% of US consumers enjoy trying new experiences, including food and drink flavor discovery. Gen Z and millennials have the most diverse palates and showed the strongest interest in international cuisine.
So why not diversify your current menu with a bit of global flair? The challenge for the restaurant owner is to provide a menu that caters to all and maintains their profitability at the same time. A lot of international cuisines are using ingredients that you already have in-house with maybe adding one or 2 new ingredients to your usage lists. Remember these blends are full of flavor and a little spice goes a long way.
This could be as simple as adding some Gochujang sauce. A distinctive taste of fermented Korean chili paste made of rice, fermented soybeans, red chili pepper flakes and salt. It’s great as a hot sauce. Try it on wings, top a bowl, or even use it as a spicy sauce for sweet potato fries or grilled veggies. We stock a ready-made Gochujan sauce to really simplify your labor costs.
Tandoori Chicken is a Southern Asia dish of marinated chicken with yogurt and spices. Think of it as a healthier fried chicken with that nice char-grilled flavor. You may have all the ingredients in-house to make the yogurt yourself; onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, ground coriander, ground cumin and hot paprika. Search the internet and you will find plenty of easy recipes modified for the American way of cooking and not with a Tandoor oven.
Not ready to add them to your menu without testing the waters? Try them as a special first and see what success you get. You might be surprised at how many people are willing to try something new these days. Do these still feel too complicated? How about you start with some better-known global comfort foods, like the ones below…
Why Chef Blog March 2023