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Like fashion, flavours fall in and out of favour. But in recent years, familiar spices and flavours have emerged from guarded spice tins and secret medicine closets to the kitchens of international chefs. Restaurants have been exploring their use beyond the traditional scope, citing their versatility and addictiveness as a main reason for their popularity.
The next time you’re in need of a different punch to a dish, why not spice things up and incorporate one of these in your next meal?
Pungent, bitter and warm, turmeric has gained traction in the wellness scene as a healthful ingredient. Curcumin, which gives turmeric its orange hue, is packed with anti-inflammatory properties.
Its culinary use spans far and wide, beyond its native South Asia to Morocco and South Africa, and a mainstay in Southeast Asian and Indian cooking. Find it in curries, rice, or even in salads and drinks for a modern twist!
Widely used in North African and Middle Eastern dishes, this is a paste made of dried serrano chillies, garlic, fresh coriander, caraway seeds, salt and olive oil. It differs in heat and taste from Sriracha, one of the most popular sauces in the United States.
Its taste is complex yet versatile enough for use as a meat rub, a base for stews and sauce, or dressing for salads. It’s also possible to make your own from scratch!
Love your jalapeno and wondering about the fuss over chipotle? Well, it’s jalapeno that’s been dried and then smoked with woods such as hickory, oak and pecan. Only large jalapenos are chosen for this process to ensure the chipotles remain fleshy.
Add it in marinades, as a glaze over roasted meat, simply as a dip or even on chips!
Native to Southern India, cardamom grows in Sri Lanka, Guatemala and Tanzania. An ancient spice, today it is among the most expensive. Cardamom functions as a light stimulant and also a digestive. While aromatic and warm, it can taste unpleasant when left to cook for too long.
The use of cardamom is heavily concentrated in Asian cooking, for example traditional Indian dishes. But did you know you can even use it to spice up your coffee, tea and even ice cream? Simply grind the seeds into a fine powder or infuse the pods into milk as a vanilla substitute.
For more food trends, check out what’s brewing in the coffee community.