For The Love of Spice
By Dwayne Reno
As Canadians demand for spicy foods continue to grow foodservice operators have a great opportunity on hand since cooking spicy food at home can be a challenge for spice lovers.
Also adding spicy variations of popular menu items is a great way to increase cheque averages without impacting your food costs. This week I would like to share some interesting facts about spices.
The Spice Craze
Canadians are starting to welcome the slow burn of spicy foods not just for the heat, but the aroma and flovours these spices pack in every single bite. You can see this in the growing popularity of international themed restaurants popping up across the GTA.
The Huffington Post recently did an article showing the benefits of adding spices such as Turmeric and hot peppers like chilies and jalapenos to your food. The article highlights the magic ingredient in these spices called Capsaicin. They also show you how it can work wonders for the human body including reducing inflammation and promoting weight loss. See the full article here.
Also new research from Mintel states that “73 per cent of Canadians consumers like to experience other cultures through food, while nearly three in five (57 per cent) are more open to trying ethnic foods now than they were a few years ago as the majority (72 per cent) of consumers turn to ethnic-inspired dishes to break mealtime monotony.” See the rest of the article here.
Along with their great flavors, aromatics and health benefits spices are very multipurpose and can add variety to any menu without increasing food costs.
A great ingredient is one that can be used in multiple menu items. Spices which can be purchased fresh, dried or even processed (sauces) are great flavor enhancers and when properly handled can turn regular menu items into something customers will talk about. For example Sriracha can be used as a condiment, marinated or as a sauce for wings. This and other spices can be a huge tool in the hands of the right kitchen staff since they can help to update regular menu items without increasing your food costs.
Evidence of this can be found at any large fast food franchises. The fried chicken giant KFC recently introduce their Nashville Hot Chicken. This item features KFC’s regular fried chicken recipe but this one is covered with a mixer of ground cayenne pepper and oil.
Until next time your customers want to know why they should spend money at your restaurant, bar or cafe. So give them the goods!
Need inspiration? Checkout some of our services.
Dwayne Reno CEO & Founder
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