September 07th 2018
Thanks in part to our multicultural society and the ability of the Internet to help us discover the far-flung corners of the world, today’s consumer has more exposure to international food than ever before. And they want to try it.
According to data from Technomic, 50% of Canadians consider Middle Eastern cuisine to be mainstream ethnic. This tells us it’s becoming increasingly familiar, but that there’s still plenty of room for growth! How can your product take advantage of this expanding market? The answer might be with an irresistible and totally authentic spice blend called baharat.
There are few “exotic” spice blends as aromatic and adaptable as baharat, making it the perfect gateway to discovering the joys of Middle Eastern and North African cuisine! The word “baharat” loosely translates to “spices”; perhaps the vague name is why there are so many variations?
It seems like every country in the region, from Tunisia to Turkey, has its own baharat blend. They vary slightly in content, but a typical mix contains cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and paprika. If you know the Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout, then you’ve tried a close cousin to baharat. It’s an inherently warm and flavourful blend, and the heat can be ratcheted up and down according to one’s preference.
Traditional uses for baharat range from tabbouleh and grilled lamb kofta, to chicken kebabs and stews. It’s also found in rice and vegetable dishes, and on beef and fish. Any of these would make great frozen products, or you could offer a marinade or glaze to use on the product of the consumer’s choice.
To help consumers new to the cuisine discover this incredible flavour, however, it may be better to offer a more familiar vehicle for this unfamiliar flavour. A baharat-seasoned nut mix would be a great alternative to the usual salted mix for bar rails and parties. It’s especially wonderful with grilled meat and breaded fish, so spice up a burger for a thrill on the grill, or a Middle Eastern fish taco. Or, target the curious crowd with a baharat jackfruit pulled “meat” pita, or even a spiced baharat cake with brown butter icing. It’s really that versatile!
With our flavour expertise and access to seasonings from around the world, together we can assemble a baharat flavour profile that fits your product and your target, and retains its authenticity. It’s an exciting but accessible way to extend a product line or launch an entirely new one. Are you ready to go beyond ordinary flavour?