By: Debomitra Dey
Flavours or flavourings are recognized by the senses of taste and smell, and characterized as- sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami and detected by taste buds present on the surface of our tongue. Flavours play a major role in consumer satisfaction and influences continued consumption of foods. They develop the overall sensory properties of any food product.
Condiments impart particular flavour to food, by enhancing its flavour and acts as a supplemental food. The most common condiments used by food service industry are ketchup, sauce, mayonnaise. Recently the application of salsa, jalapeno and guacamole are employed as dips, sauces, pastes and dips in the service industry.
Evolution of flavours in food service sector
In the past decades the flavour market is dynamically accepting the new flavours and concentrating on blending these condiments to develop the novel and hybrid flavours for increasing consumer engagement. For instance in the early 19th century the market in Europe and United States focused on production of Ketchup, Mustard sauces and soy sauce.
Due increased communication between countries and cross culture connections has facilitated in creating melange of flavours from condiments around the world viz. Mango and Habanero Hot Salsa from UK, Firecracker Sauce from Ireland and Dijon Mustard with Green Pepper from Greece. Sriracha from Thailand continues to be the hot flavour in the West. The food service sector focusses upon the blend of Asian sauces with touch of sweet flavours like Salsa sauce, Gochujang sauce and so on. The amalgam of savoury flavours with sweet and hot condiments introduction to the market has increased the interest to wide range of savoury and bolder flavours like- spicy, smoky and sour flavours.
Table 1: Bolder flavours employed in food service industry
Table 1 provides insight upon the categories of innovative bold flavours currently employed the industry. The other bolder flavours used in the service industry are listed below.
It is used since ages, made with tomato, sugar and spices usually, maybe accompanied with ginger, garlic depending on the type of ketchup. Ketchup is popularly consumed with burgers, fries and pizzas.
Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce made with cilantro and parsley. Served with meat, may also be used alongside pastas.
Wasabi is accompanied with Sushi known for its pungent taste, prepared using Japanese horseradish root.
Mustard has been used across the globe; mustard sauce is a blend of mustard seeds, spices and water. It tastes pungent and usually used for salad dressings.
5. Soy Sauce
Used in Asia prepared using fermented soybean along with roasted wheat, barley. They are used in preparation of Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
Salsa is extremely popular sauce prepared using tomatoes, onions, hot pepper and the degree of spice level depends upon the application. It is served along with nachos, tortilla chips.
7. Sweet chilli sauce
It is prepared using sugar, red chillies, vinegar and garlic. Served along with wontons, spring rolls, sub rolls.
The hot flavour of Harissa is attributed to the hot chillies; they give bold flavours when added to food.
9. Worcestershine sauce
Can be used as sweet dipping sauce, the ingredients include vinegar, molasses, sugar, anchovies.
10. Pappadam Chutneys
The Indian pappad- accompanied by chutneys like Tamarind, Tomato, Green mint chutney and spicy hot mango chutney. The chutney served maybe sweet, spicy or hot and spicy.
11. Hot sauce
Tabasco peppers are used for preparation of these hot sauces, along with chilli peppers, vinegar and salt. They served with Chinese noodles, Sub rolls, burgers, fries etc.
The current day consumers are ready to experiment with bold flavours which are globally inspired, and give them an opportunity to relish new variety of cuisines. The bold flavours are usually inspired by Mexican, Asian and Italian cuisines largely. The chance of customization of food by the service industry provides the customers to experiment with their food and flavours; also the availability of these off-beat (Sriracha, Barbeque sauce) flavours and condiments across the globe has given access to the chefs to create a blend of cuisine and offer the bold flavour platter to the customer.
Graduate student, SRM University Chennai