Foods from the Mediterranean Rim have been growing in popularity since at least the mid-1990s, not including Americans’ long love affair with flavors from the area, especially Italian, Spanish and Greek cooking. What’s new now is that restaurant chefs, food producers and foodservice providers are serving up familiar foods from the region but elevating them in ways that continue to excite the palate, according to “Mediterranean Rim: Culinary Trend Mapping Report,” jointly published by market research firm Packaged Facts and CCD Innovation. In addition, food professionals are looking beyond comfort cuisines from this area and exploring less charted culinary landscapes.
The continuation of this hot trend from fine dining to fast casual still has plenty of room for product development and growth. This trend has evolved over the past 20 years and the report examines current drivers that continue to sustain excitement, adoption, and interest in Mediterranean Rim food across five stages:
Stage 1 - Italian Sformata: The sformato is a unique little culinary entity, having the sophistication of a soufflé but employing technique that is far easier and even a little homey.
Stage 1 - Octopus: As U.S. demographics continue to diversify, interest in this type of sea creature will only grow. It’s anticipated that octopus will appear in specialty food seafood salads with a Mediterranean feel that includes olives, roasted peppers and tomatoes.
Stage 2 - Egyptian Dukkah: Dukkah has many attributes of a snack food—a nice crunch, a little bit of salt and a spice kick. It also works well as a low-sodium savory seasoning for all sorts of dishes. Fold dukkah into hummus or dip. Stir it into whole grains or pasta dishes. Whisk into salad dressing. Or add to a roasted root soup, such as carrot, for some extra strong flavor.
Stage 2 - Dips Beyond Hummus: The demand for Med Rim dips taps into Americans’ interest in finding healthful snack foods that taste great. Besides being wheat-, gluten- and (often) dairy-free, Mediterranean spreads can be low-fat, low-cholesterol, high-fiber, protein-rich options for vegetarians, vegans and health-conscious consumers of the carnivore variety. These kinds of refrigerated dips come in convenient packaging making healthful, grab-and-go snacking a possibility for everyone from toddlers to teens and busy Millennials to baby boomers.
Stage 3 - Moroccan Preserved Lemons: While these condiments are easily made at home, preserved lemons require sufficient time to mature (from 30 days to a couple of months), which makes them a tough sell to many home cooks; consequently, the opportunity is ripe to supply these preserved beauties to consumers at nonspecialty prices.
Stage 4 - Spanish Paella: There’s been renewed enthusiasm for this classic dish, as evidenced by its presence on many independent restaurant menus. The trend is part of chefs’ personal exploration of traditional Spanish cuisine as well as a way to offer a unique, sharable dish that can also be made in many different ways.
Stage 5 - The Mediterranean Diet: The Mediterranean way of eating—a diet rich in olive oil, nuts, seafood and produce—has long been touted as good for one’s health. Of course, health benefits are not the only reason this cuisine has become increasingly popular in the United States: A winning flavor profile, readily available fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood, and a growing interest in global regional cuisines has helped Mediterranean food become so popular, not only in its more mainstream forms, like pita bread and chips, hummus, and Greek yogurt, but also in newly emerging Mediterranean-inspired fast-casual restaurants that offer diners healthful meal options.
For more information the report Report, visit: http://www.packagedfacts.com/Mediterranean-Rim-Culinary-7806660/.