International Inspiration: Spicy and Sour
While sweet and sour flavor combinations are often thought of as a staple in snacks and beverages alike, spicy and sour are often overlooked and underrated in the food and beverage industry. This unique flavor profile is finally getting the recognition it deserves as consumers continue to search for new and exciting products and dining experiences that will ignite their senses and inspire new, globalized recipes. International condiments and snack foods featuring this unexpected flavor combination are becoming a popular addition to snack isles and pantries. Keep reading as we explore some of the spicy and sour mashups enticing consumers this season.
Chamoy is a Mexican condiment that is equal parts hot sauce and candy and is made from fruit such as apricot, sour mango, or plums, chilies, and lime juice and comes in varying levels of spice and viscosity. Chamoy is tart, spicy, and subtly sweet and is served atop fresh fruit such as mango and pineapple, as the coating on Mexican golosina candies, or as a condiment in fruit juices and slushes and is often paired with tajin, a chili lime spice blend. Chamoy is going mainstream in the US as popsicles, chips, and gummy snacks featuring this unique flavor have been popular among young consumers and those with globalized palates.
Sambal, traditionally known as sambal oelek, is an Indonesian condiment made from chili peppers, shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and lime juice among other ingredients. Vibrant and hot with a touch of fermented depth from the shrimp paste, sambal is loved throughout Southeast Asia and is appropriately used as an all-purpose condiment. Traditionally added to soups, noodle dishes, eggs, and meat, more modern takes on this beloved condiment see it as an ingredient in marinades, dips, and spreads. A popular trick among home cooks is to mix sambal with ketchup or mayonnaise to make a spread for sandwiches and burgers, and chefs across the US are incorporating this unique condiments into their menus. This bold, versatile flavor is sure to continue in popularity as consumers continue to reach for internationally-inspired flavors.
Yuzu kosho is a spicy and sour condiment hailing from Japan and is made primarily from fermented chilies, salt, and the juice and zest of the yuzu fruit, a citrus native to Japan. The combination of these perfectly balanced ingredients makes for a powerful and distinctive flavor that enlivens everything from sashimi to short ribs. Yuzu kosho is a versatile flavor that is often eaten alongside yakitori, or Japanese grilled chicken skewers, with stir-frys, and in salad dressings. Fragrant and bright, this condiment is becoming a popular addition to many menus across the US as local chefs begin to create their own artisan version of this staple in Japanese cuisine.
As the spicy and sour profile becomes more mainstream, these international condiments are finding their ways into panties and on menus across the US. Featuring natural flavors and unique herbs, adding a unique twist to everyday dishes has never been easier.