This year was all about fermentation, chiles and ethnic flavors in restaurants.
The trends of the year may not have been new, but they continued to dominate menus in 2016. According to a recent Nation’s Restaurant News article, chiles, fermented foods, and ethnic flavors were the top cuisines and flavors in restaurants this year. Here’s a look at why.
Datassential MenuTrends reported that the fastest-growing varieties of the capsicum—more commonly known as the chile pepper—were shishito, ghost peppers, and Thai chile. The chile has become a common addition to dishes to fill out the dish's complexity and flavor.
For some cuisines including Mediterranean, Thai, and Mexican, chefs got even more creative by using ingredients new to consumers. While other chefs introduced completely new ethnic flavors of Africa to delight diners.
South African-meets-Portuguese casual-dining chain, Nando’s, helped bring the African cuisine to the forefront. The flame-grilled chicken with spicy African chile sauce appealed to a wide variety of consumers.
The rise of fermentation continued this year for fermented foods. Consumers continue to look for new and exciting flavors and chefs everywhere have seen success with the fermentation process. From hot sauce, to butter, sauerkraut, kimchi, and mushrooms—chefs are implementing this trend throughout the entire menu.
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