by Cally Ip & Rhia Harry

How to celebrate world cuisines in your menus

How to celebrate world cuisines in your menus

In today’s culinary landscape, the world is your oyster, quite literally. With globalisation and cultural exchange at an all-time high, there’s never been a better time to celebrate the rich tapestry of global cuisines. Whether you’re creating dishes for breakfast, lunch or dinner, incorporating flavours from around the world into your menu can elevate your culinary experience to new heights.
World cuisines are the marker of future menus as diners look to expand their palettes and explore cuisines from around the world. Let’s embark on a flavourful journey and discover how to celebrate world cuisines in your menu.

Research and education

Before diving into the depths of global flavours, take the time to research and educate yourself about different cuisines. Explore the traditional ingredients, cooking techniques, and cultural significance behind each dish.
You can delve into cookbooks, travel blogs, or even take cooking classes to deepen your understanding.

Start with familiarity

Introducing new flavours can be intimidating, both for you and your diners. 35% of respondents state that they find British Fusion appealing because it’s a way to try new flavours in a format they are familiar with.* Begin by incorporating elements of global cuisines into dishes that are already familiar to your audience.
For example, you can infuse Italian pasta dishes with Moroccan spices or add Asian-inspired sauces to classic American BBQ dishes.
If you’re looking for some inspiration from the market, Hash Hut in London’s Seven Dials Market are currently serving nacho cheese hash browns and Donia is serving a lamb caldereta pie fusing Filipino and British flavours.

Embrace diversity

One of the most beautiful aspects of world cuisines is their diversity. Don’t limit yourself to the well-known cuisines; instead, explore lesser-known culinary traditions from regions such as West Africa, the Middle East, or Southeast Asia.
Experiment with unique ingredients like za’atar (Middle Eastern savoury spice mix), miso paste (Japanese soybean paste), or yaji (Nigerian spice mix) or Berbere spice blend to add depth and complexity to your dishes.
If you’re looking for inspiration on how to add authenticity to global dishes, look no further – find ideas here.

Seasonal and local ingredients

Sustainability is top of mind for consumers, and while it’s essential to stay true to the authenticity of global cuisines, don’t hesitate to incorporate local and seasonal ingredients into your creations. This not only adds higher quality to traditional dishes but also supports more sustainable farming practices and reduces your carbon footprint.
Rustic and Rural is one of our key trends this year, which highlights dishes with ingredients that have provenance. Nearly half of consumers appreciate the heritage associated with these types of dishes which they perceive as higher quality.*

Create fusion dishes

Fusion cuisine is a beautiful amalgamation of different culinary traditions, resulting in innovative and exciting flavour combinations. Nearly 20% of UK consumers would be encouraged to eat at a restaurant offering fusion cuisines*.
Experiment with fusion dishes by blending elements from various cuisines. For example, you can create sushi tacos by combining Japanese sushi rice and fillings with Mexican taco shells and toppings. This is a great way to get diners embracing new flavours in a familiar format.

Interactive dining experiences

Turn your culinary exploration into an interactive dining experience for your guests. Consider hosting themed tasting menus or food festivals dedicated to specific regions or countries.
This allows diners to immerse themselves in the culture and flavours of a particular cuisine while fostering a sense of community and adventure.

Get inspiration from celebrity chefs

Taking inspiration from chefs of different cultural backgrounds can provide invaluable insight and expertise. Check out chefs who specialise in specific cuisines to gain knowledge and get inspiration for your menu development.
This not only adds authenticity to your offerings but also introduces your audience to new perspectives and culinary traditions.

Keep an eye on our Trends page

The world of cuisine is constantly evolving, and so should your menu. Stay curious and open-minded, always on the lookout for new ingredients, techniques, and flavour combinations. Encourage creativity among your team and embrace feedback from your diners to refine and improve your offerings continually.
If you want to learn more about world cuisines, check out our Flavours less Travelled page here where you can find more insight, recipe inspiration, and which cuisines are currently trending.

In conclusion, celebrating world cuisines in your menu is not just about food; it’s about embracing diversity, fostering cultural exchange, and creating memorable culinary experiences. By following these tips and infusing your menu with global flavours, you can take your culinary journey to new and exciting heights. So, what are you waiting for? Let the culinary adventure begin!
For more information on how to create Menus of the Future, check out our support hub designed to help caterers here.
Explore recipe and product inspiration for world foods here: World Foods Wholesale – Bidfood

* Bidfood & CGA by NielsenIQ Trends 2024 bespoke consumer survey, sample: 2,003 UK consumers
** Mintel Menu Trends Spring Summer UK 2024 Report

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