Finding Flavor with Unexpected Spices
From savory to sweet, fresh, and complex, nothing enhances the natural flavor of food and beverages quite like spices. Spices are the ultimate way to elevate the flavor of any recipe or snack with minimal effort and maximum health benefits. However, most manufacturers and home chefs alike tend to stick to the same handful of spices. Consumers looking for more unique and niche flavor experiences will appreciate the use of lesser known spices. Advanced Biotech takes a look at three underrated spices that can help to make food more interesting and healthier.
Commonly used in Indian, North African, and Mediterranean cuisine, fenugreek is often found in ground form and is known for its unique bittersweet taste. Comparable to maple syrup in flavor, fenugreek is ideal for sweet and savory recipes like chutney, curry, and sauces. Fenugreek also works well in sweet applications and adds an herbaceous sweetness to yogurts, oatmeal, and even ice cream. Studies have shown that this exotic spice may also have health benefits ranging in everything from anti-inflammation to diabetes prevention.
Juniper berries are an aromatic herb that grows on various evergreen trees and bushes throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. More commonly known as a popular scent for candles and body lotions, juniper berries can add depth and dimension to drinks and dinner alike. A welcome addition to spiced rums and gin, juniper adds a touch of botanic sweetness to cocktails. Dried and ground, juniper berries also pair well with unconventional proteins like duck and venison and elevate grilled meats such as steak and chicken. Rich with health benefits, juniper berry has been used since ancient times to boost stamina, relieve digestive pains, and act as an antiseptic.
Native to southwest Asia and the Mediterranean, anise is a spice that is made from the ground fruit of the anise plant. Sweet and herbal, anise is often compared in flavor to fennel or licorice and can be used in a variety of applications such as cocktails, baked goods, candy, soups and teas. The possibilities are endless and the list of health benefits are long, as anise is said to relieve gastrointestinal issues and act as an anticonvulsant.
As consumers continue to look for complex flavors and are drawn to ingredients with added health benefits, these lesser-known spices fit the bill for a new flavor trend, Manufactures looking to attract young and health-conscious consumers should consider experimenting with these niche spices.