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Variety is the Spice of Life

05/16/2016

Variety is the Spice of Life

In a matter of a decade, American consumers have discovered their love of spicy food, with adventurous Millennials leading the way. A 2015 study by Michigan-based Kalsec, Inc., a leader in the development of spice and herb extracts, natural colors, and natural ingredients, found that a staggering 80% of consumers enjoyed spicy foods, with 56% of them eating spicy food at least once a week. Slow cultural and demographic shifts have slowly infused mainstream America with the idea that bold flavors trump the blandness of TV dinners and American consumers are discovering the world of chili peppers!

South America

Chili peppers are originally from Brazil, where they were a part of local diets some 10,000 years ago. The word “chili” comes from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word for peppers! American cuisine has been heavily influenced by the peppers of Mexico, such as jalapenos (fresh or smoked, then called “Chipotle Peppers”) and Habaneros, and is slowly discovering the exciting, fruit peppers of Peru.

Asia

Chili peppers are said to have spread throughout Asia in the 16th century thanks to Portuguese sailors and merchants of the Silk Road. Easy to grow, they were a cost-effective replacement for other pricey spices and quickly became an integral part of local cuisines, as represented by the funky and fermented heat of Korean Gochujang, the vinegary tang of Thai Sriracha, or the pure chili heat of Indonesian Sambal Oelek.

Middle East

The Mediterranean and the Levant used to be the central hub of all commerce for the whole world – it’s no surprise that peppers found roots in the region. Although Tunisian Harissa is perhaps the most famous spicy condiment of the region, the fiery Schug of Yemen has caught on, as have the pleasant urfa Bieber and Aleppo peppers of Turkey and Syria (coming soon to Roland Foods!).

Visit Roland Foods online at rolandfoods.com so you can offer the complete line of spicy ingredients your operator customers demand!

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