While Japanese, Thai and Indian flavors are well-known across major cities, African spice blends and cooking methods have emerged as the next ethnic inspiration. Wixon is grabbing onto this trend by incorporating a variety North African flavors and techniques.
The growing multicultural population in the United States is changing desired flavor profiles, and consumers are striving for authentic regional flavors.
“As consumers grow more adventurous in their food choices, authentic flavors are key,” said Mel Mann, Wixon director of flavor innovation. “The growing multicultural population in the United States is changing desired flavor profiles, and consumers are striving for authentic regional flavors.”
Here’s just a sampling of a few flavors and recipe techniques Wixon is profiling:
- Tabil: Referring to a particular spice mix, it’s used to season and enhance many Tunisian dishes. Tabil is often used in conjunction with harissa and added to stews.
- Pilpelchum: Meaning “pepper garlic” in Hebrew, it’s an intense hot sauce of Libyan Jewish cuisine. It is similar to Tunisian harissa and is typically used as a condiment sprinkled over fish, meat or vegetables or added as an ingredient in dishes.
- Chermoula: A blend of four basic components—cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice (or vinegar), and aromatic spices like garlic, onions, shallots, and leeks—chermoula is commonly used across North African as a marinade, dip, or dressing or to spice up fish or chicken dishes.
- Dukka: Derived from the Arabic meaning “to pound,” since the spices and nuts are pounded together, dukka recipes vary across Egypt, but common ingredients include sesame, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper. Typically dukka is used as a dip with bread or fresh vegetables as a hors d’oeuvre.
- Algerian Spicy Chicken: Spicy chicken is found across the North African region with many variations, but most often as a bold blend of cumin, coriander, ginger, lemon, red and black pepper, with a hint of vinegar, garlic, and onion.
- North African Merguez: A traditional North African sausage made with lamb, beef or a mixture, merguez is heavily spiced with cumin, sumac, paprika, and chili pepper or harissa (which gives it its characteristic piquancy and red color), as well as other spices, such as fennel and garlic.
Further reading: Is Africa the next center of the commercial universe?