Home is where the heat is this winter!

Even though it’s cold out there, wholesome family dishes provide a multitude of ways to enrich your life with delicious and exotic flavours that provide comfort and warmth when you need it most! To help you do just that as you hibernate at home, we’ve put together the latest global food trends to inspire you to reach even greater culinary heights this Winter…

1. Warm & Inviting

Are you a fan of dishes that are full of flavour with a bit of a bite? The good news is we’ll be seeing even more of this, with spicy food amongst the biggest food trends dominating the global food scene in 2017. With this style of food, big flavours are the name of the game. In line with that, curry spices to think of that are really ‘hot’ right now include: tamarind, lemongrass, ginger, Makrut lime, cinnamon, and clove. In addition, there’s also a big move to unusual spices in local stores and menus, like sriracha, jalapeño, chipotle, ghost pepper, and harissa.
Curries are also becoming increasingly multi-dimensional with the addition of ingredients like mayonnaise as an alternative to yoghurt. The beauty of the mayonnaise, is that it not only ups the curry’s creamy quotient but also adds to the depth and body of the dish. It’s all about enhancing the flavours we know and love and taking your cooking to the next level.

To experience this type of full-bodied taste experience, why not cook a delicious curry when you next hunker down at home and entertain friends? It uses Crosse & Blackwell as a core ingredient to give the dish a delightful twist and in a rich and exotic mint mayonnaise, to be served as an interesting accompaniment.


2. International flavours are hot!

The world truly is a multi-cultural melting pot with cuisines from all four corners of the earth gracing the tables of families around the world. Trend watchers say that African flavours are perhaps the most popular of them all this year, with Middle Eastern flavours following closely behind. Most of these feature heat but it’s more of an aromatic blend of spices and sauces to create full flavour and a colour rich appearance. Unusual flavour enhancers like sour cream, buttermilk and mayonnaise are also increasingly playing centre stage in traditional dishes, bringing them right up to date with palates as far flung as Tibet to Timbuktu!

For an authentic South African culinary delight that uses mayonnaise to round off this dish with a surprising twist, why not try this family favourite at your next braai?


3. ‘Smoking is the new grilling’

We’re all obsessed with getting our smoke on. And why not? Smoky flavours add texture and dimension to food and beverages and take them from ordinary to extraordinary in the flash of a flame. In fact, the National Restaurants Association’s 2016 trend report features “smoking” and “fire roasting” as top food preparation methods and the 2016 StarChefs International Chef Congress (ICC) conference, where chefs discussed top trends for 2017, found that “charcoal is on the rise as more and more chefs incorporate it into their repertoire.” A key aspect of this style of cooking is to elevate the smoky flavour of whatever protein you choose – be it fish, chicken, beef or even vegetables – with fresh and creamy sauces. So why not mix your favourite mayonnaise with on-trend siracha or Smoky Tabasco sauce to enhance a dish that’s already delish!

4. Creative Condiments!

From traditional global recipes to brand new ingredients, interesting condiments are taking centre stage. Once rare and unfamiliar sauces and dips are showing up on menus and store shelves. Look for black sesame tahini, habanero jam, black garlic purée, Mexican hot chocolate spreads, sambal oelek or piri piri sauce. A great one to try at home, is a new take on an old favourite – White BBQ Sauce is a mayo and vinegar-based condiment (no tomatoes in sight!) – that can be spooned over grilled or smoked chicken. Drizzle it on salad greens, too…its fresh new taste will leave you wanting more! Another ‘new sauce’ style solution that makes potatoes pop, are wedges smothered in a hot and spicy Crosse and Blackwell drizzle.


5. Beef is back

Red meat has returned to our tables with a vengeance, thanks to the rising popularity of the Paleo, Atkins and Banting diets. One of the core aspects of this style of eating is beef and thanks to South Africa’s sunny skies and wide open spaces we have an abundance of delicious meat options at our disposal, ready to be fried or braaied to crispy, golden perfection. However, as good as a steak is on its own it’s even better accompanied by a delicious sauce to balance its hearty composition, so how about letting Crosse & Blackwell give this delicious dish the perfect ‘lift’ it needs?


6. Rethinking Pasta

Today’s pastas are less influenced less by Italian grandmothers and more by popular plant-based and clean-eating movements which means that pasta is cruising into new territories with something for everyone. Alternative grain noodles made from quinoa, lentils and chickpeas (which also happen to be gluten free) are quickly becoming favourites, while grain-free options, like spiralized veggies and kelp noodles are also on the rise. Pasta on its own can be very bland but the modern additions to this pantry staple, are much more simple and authentic than the thick and heavy sauces of old. Fresh ingredients like: garlic, baby tomatoes, olives, basil and a small amount of diced anchovies for flavour, are all you need to start a trend. Even better, add a tablespoon of mayonnaise to ‘smooth out the edges’ and you’ve created a modern pasta dish that’s full of flavour. To experience a recipe that screams ‘pasta with pizzazz’, here’s a recipe for when the sun comes out!