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Buffalo flavor is what’s hot

Photo courtesy of Flickr / littlesister

blog by S.J. Velasquez  • 

It’s no coincidence that Buffalo-style cupcakes, pop and potato chips are taking American digestive systems by storm—in terms of cuisine trends, red-hot is the new black.

Whether it’s chiles in chocolate or picnic dips doused in hot tabasco sauce, spicy flavors are taking over dinner and dessert. A new report by Packaged Facts confirms what Buffalonians always knew to be a culinary truth: hotter is better.

From “Heat and Spice: Culinary Trend Mapping Report”:

“Today, heat and spice are having a moment as restaurant chefs and domestic cooks alike seek out these ingredients to create full-flavored food, often built from authentic regional recipes, and quite often budget-friendly and healthful to boot.”

How does the study determine the popularity of spiciness? Basically, it lists the levels at which spiciness has been introduced to common cuisine, deeming spiciness a hot trend—pun intended. These are the levels at which hot flavors have saturated the typical human diet:

Stage 1: “Gaining traction”
New types of spices and flavors introduced to new dishes. Smoky flavors are no longer limited to savory suppers. Maybe hints of smokiness are found in desserts, for example. Peppers once found in certain geographic regions are being found outside of home territory.

Stage 2: “Gaining more traction”
Homemade condiments such as gochujang, a spicy Korean sauce, are available pre-made at stores.

Stage 3: “Spicy sips”
Spices are now found in beverages. Take Lloyd Taco Trucks’ Aztec hot chocolate, which infuses an undeniable spicy touch to a traditional sweet, rich cocoa drink.

Stage 4: “Healthful spices”
It’s not just for dinner anymore. Spices are now viewed as a dietary supplement to aid in digestion, detoxification and for other health benefits.

Stage 5: “Buffalo flavor”
The Buffalo wing, a once regional bar food favorite, is now recognized worldwide as a savory snack. According to the study, “with the love of this tailgate and snack food favorite growing even stronger, the American consumer is open to using buffalo [sic] sauce in a myriad of [sic] applications, even dessert!” Perfect examples are Buffalo wing cupcakes and Buffalo wing pop. Even Pizza Hut introduced a sandwich-like Buffalo-style dish, based on both the popularity of the Buffalo-style everything and a market trend toward sandwiches.

Photo courtesy of Flickr / littlesister.

TAGGED: buffalo wings, buffalo-style, hot sauce, pizza hut, spicy, survey

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