Asian-inspired Botanic Flavors
With consumers constantly searching for new flavors, trends have shifted to include more globalized flavors in the Western mainstream market. Asian-inspired flavors have become particular popular this year as according to Foodable Research Labs, items with Asian flavors on fast-casual menus are up nearly 30% year on year, with orders of these items from Millennials increasing 12% year on year. Comax predicts a continuation of the Asian-inspired flavor trend, with herbs and spices in particular becoming a consumer focus. Advanced Biotech takes a look at three Asian botanics we believe will be a hit with consumers.
Lemongrass, sometimes known as citronella, is a tall, stalky plant that is known for its fresh citrus aroma and lemony flavor. Often used in Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian, Sri Lankan and Indian cuisine, it pairs well with proteins and vegetables, particularly in coconut-based curries and is often used in teas. The scent of lemongrass is also known to have natural pest-repelling properties and is said to relieve stress.
A classic citrus staple, lime finds new life in Asian-inspired dishes. Pairing well with honey and soy sauce, lime makes a perfectly refreshing marinade for poultry, the perfect garnish for a comforting bowl of Vietnamese pho, and kaffir lime leaves give curries and beef stews a uniquely earthy flavor. In snacks, lime can be found paired with chili and applied to chips and nut mixes, or in peanut lime dips for a vegetable platter.
Ginger is good for more than just the sniffles or a stomachache, and is particularly loved in traditional Chinese cooking. Sharp, earthy, and almost citrus-y, ginger gives cooked dishes a natural warmth and provides a delightful zing to snacks, desserts, and marinades. Asian-inspired ginger BBQ sauces, hard candies, and snack mixes all get a refreshing pick-me-up when flavored with ginger.