Barbecue Flavors Explored

Independence Day is just around the corner, which means that people all over the country will be celebrating the birth of our nation with fireworks, fun, and most of all, food. Many people have the day off work and are ready for a relaxing summer day filled with the tempting aromas of charred meats and roasted veggies wafting from the grill, along with glasses full of cold, refreshing adult beverages. However, it’s those grilled barbecue flavors and aromas that most people clamor for this time of year, and that will keep the end consumer wanting more.


Even when it comes to new Fourth of July trends, they tend to be new twists on traditional favorites. This holiday is typically the time for barbecue flavors and picnic sides. Most people choose the same foods each year based on tradition, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want unique takes on their old favorites. In fact, more than ever, consumers are looking for innovative and adventurous food experiences. The challenge for flavorists and others in the food and beverage industry then is how to blend the old with the new to create irresistible products today’s food-conscious consumers will love.


When it comes to grilling burgers, the most popular Fourth of July food around, consumers are striving for unique toppings and new presentations. However, every good home chef knows that the perfect burger starts with the meat. A perfectly-grilled, juicy, flavorful hamburger just can’t be beaten. Sauces and marinades meant to be mixed in with the ground beef or seasonings designed for sprinkling on top during cooking are popular and include lots of different possible flavors such as cheese, onions, Worcestershire sauce, BBQ sauce, mushrooms, soy sauce, or even caviar.


For partiers who prefer a variety or aren’t big on red meat, chicken is a popular burger alternative. Nothing makes grilled chicken delicious like the perfect marinade. People love bottled marinades for their ease and convenience and look for dynamic flavoring combinations such as balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, thyme, and rosemary. However, other unusual flavors of chicken marinades are quite popular recently, such as the tropical taste of pineapple and soy sauce; spicy ingredients such as cayenne, smoked paprika, and horseradish; sweet chili-lime sauces; or tomato-based Italian options featuring olive oil, cloves, parsley, and other Italian seasonings.


Of course, we don’t want to overlook our vegan friends, who have discovered many ways for them to enjoy a cookout just as much as their carnivorous counterparts. Vegan burgers are all over the place and only becoming more popular. Even meat-eaters are offering more vegan options, making vegan fare one of the most promising areas in which to experiment with barbecue savors.


For meat-eaters and vegans alike, Independence Day is a time to celebrate and enjoy delicious, smoky, barbecue flavors fresh from the grill – giving flavorists the perfect opportunity to play around with these and other party-worthy tastes and ideas.