Just as Americans’ taste for hot and spicy items continues to get hotter and spicier, their taste for sour and tart foods will continue along the same path. That means more pickled and fermented ingredients, Technomic’s Chapman says.
“Consumers’ tastes are evolving, and they want more depth of flavor, kind of adding a sour note or a pickled tang,” she says.
Fermented ingredients are not in the NRA’s “What’s Hot” survey, but “they gained the most” of any particular trend, Stensson says. “It is a bit of a dark horse. It could tie into some of the ethnic condiments that have grown in popularity, but pickling is also very versatile,” she says.
These ingredients have already found a place at prominent quick-serve brands. Panda Express uses gochujang, a fermented Korean condiment; LYFE Kitchen features a kimchi broth with its grilled barramundi; and Boloco offers pickled onions as a build-your-own burrito ingredient.
“What’s old is new again,” Freeman says. “Chefs are fermenting just about everything.
Article from QSR, January 2014, by Barney Wolf.