Acidic flavours 'growing in popularity'

December 31 2013

Acidic flavours are becoming increasingly common on Canadian menus, according to Technomic. 

Writing a blog post, the organization's associate editor Christine LaFave Grace said chefs are using acidic foods to appeal to growing consumer demand for sour and tangy dishes. 

She claimed evidence of this is the increased popularity of ethnic condiments such as Mexican pickled red onions and Korean kimchi. 

"From brined vegetables to tangy Greek yogourt and sour beers, all things pickled, cultured and fermented are poised to move from the cellar to the spotlight in the coming year," Ms LeFave Grace stated.

"Heading into 2014, we can look for more bold and refreshingly tangy tastes to enliven everything from salads to burgers to charcuterie plates," she added.

The foodservice expert said that while acidic ingredients bring "balance" and "intrigue" to a dish, they are also used as a means of demonstrating the authenticity or quality of a meal. This can be done by using a food from a specific part of the world, or pickling products on-site.

Research from Technomic supports this point of view, as the organization found the number of venues offering picked products has grown 51 per cent over the past 12 months. Meanwhile, sour was highlighted as one of the company's flavour trends to watch in 2014.

The organization's findings are further evidence of the increasingly diverse tastes of Canadian consumers - something that has been highlighted by numerous studies throughout the last year. 

Ethnic restaurants have featured heavily in lists of the best new restaurants in Canada's major cities, while a separate Technomic report found a growing number of venues are flavouring their dishes with sauces from across the world, with Asian, Mediterranean and Latin American the most popular. 

This is a trend restaurant operators would do well to heed as they look to increase their trade in the new year in what is becoming an increasingly competitive marketplace.