Central and South American cuisine has been tipped as the next big food craze in grocery.
Peruvian Aji Amarillo chillis, Mexican spiced fruit sauce chamoy and Brazilian spice blend Tempero Baiano are tastes to look out for in 2014, according to the annual Flavour Forecast report from seasonings specialists Schwartz, which also predicted Mexican cuisine would shift away from Tex Mex.
Central and South American cuisine was becoming increasingly popular, said Schwartz innovation head Anthony Palmer, adding that interest was being fuelled by authentic regional specialities and stews rather than more generic national dishes.
“Mexican is going more regional,” Palmer said, pointing to the Baja region in the north, Yucatán in the east and central Zacatecas as strong influences. “It is going back to its roots, moving away from Tex Mex and towards more localised spice mixes, and using key ingredients not currently available in the UK.” He added that chamoy - a condiment made from apricot, limes and spices - had already gathered a large following in the US.
Niche products Schwartz has tipped for growth include the tomatillo fruit - used as a base for many salsas - and annatto, a pungent seed that adds a vibrant red colour and lemon flavour.
Named chilli variants such as the Peruvian Aji Amarillo would also become more popular, predicted Palmer. “Foodies are seeking out their next big chilli thrill and to add different flavours rather than rely on heat,” he said.