by Shane O’Brien – Culinary Consultant
Autumn can bring about many feelings, from the changing weather to the feeling we get from shifting our routine from summer vacation to the regiment of a school schedule. Food can be a huge player in this space, which is why we have noticed some fun and delicious trends to look out for in the coming months.
One trend, in particular, that makes us, well, pretty hungry.
Umami – “The 5th Taste” deepens the savory or meaty taste of foods. Umami means “essence of deliciousness” in Japanese. Naturally found in plants and meat, umami comes from three compounds: glutamate, inosinate, and guanylate. The first, glutamate, is an amino acid found in vegetables and meat. Inosinate, primarily found in meat, and guanylate levels are the highest in plants. Fun fact – Japanese scientists first discovered these compounds.
Fish Sauce and Fruit Vinegars are proper examples of umami. Try a dash of fish sauce either in your tomato sauce or in your favorite ground beef-burger mix, as some innovative restaurants are already doing. Or splash some fruit vinegar in your favorite hot sauce: you’ll be surprised with the pleasant background savory notes in this application.
Seaweed is another example of glorious umami expression. Naturally occurring glutamates in seaweed, kombu specifically, offer wildly fascinating flavor profiles from, adding seaweed to your chicken stock to some nori seaweed powder in your desserts (be careful with that one!).
Fall is a great time to gain new customers. What better way than to do so by embracing some of these craveable, comforting, and on-trend flavors to garner long-term loyalty?