Culinary Trends for 2015, Part Two

Harissa is the new sriracha and millet is the new quinoa

Today we talk about two more trends to round out the forecast of what’s tasty and new in the culinary world for 2015.

What’s hot: Harissa is the new sriracha

Watch any cooking show and you’ll see sriracha as an ingredient to appetizers and main dishes. Even the chain Subway offers a chicken sriracha melt. Sriracha became the new Tabasco. And now for 2015, harissa becomes the new sriracha.

Harissa combines dried chiles, caraway, garlic, coriander, paprika, olive oil, and tomatoes into a spread. While popular in countries like Tunisia, it’s not well known in America. With the American love affair for spicy foods, harissa could be a slam dunk. One investigator found harissa on three percent on U.S. restaurant menus in 2014. That may not sound like much, but it represents a 180 percent gain over the three prior years.

Grain for grain: Millet is the new quinoa

In the past few years, quinoa has exploded onto the menu in restaurants and in healthy-lifestyle recipes. Investigators forecast that another grain, millet, will become the new quinoa. Millet has not been an ingredient Americans place in their grocery baskets. Rather, this grain has been used in birdseed. What makes millet a good projected foodstuff is that it satisfies a number of needs: It’s gluten-free and offers plenty of protein and fiber. Some pundits call it a superfood, because it retains its alkaline properties even after cooking. It can reduce inflammation associated with wheat allergies and sensitive digestion. Further, it’s not imported. Colorado, for example, is one of the world’s largest regions for growing millet.

Plentiful protein: The pea is the new soy

While not a sexy ingredient, there’s good news for pea lovers. The American diet, craving more proteins, has a new source of protein to look forward to in 2015: pea protein. Industry experts expect pea protein to replace the desire for soy protein, which is on the decline. Pea protein may show up on the ingredient list for cereals, protein bars, even drinks. The possibilities are endless. For those who never cozied up to the pea, more sophisticated processing techniques are improving its flavor. One of the benefits pea protein offers is that it’s not genetically modified but it is plant-based. Another is that it’s vegan and vegetarian-friendly. Many health food suppliers offer pea protein in powder form for purchase.