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How to work global cuisines into everyday menus

Insights and 1 other category | 30 June 2021 | Martin Eshelby

Global cuisines have long been part of the UK culinary DNA.

We all have our favourite cuisines, and there’s something comforting about having that go-to dish at your favourite restaurant. But as opportunities to travel and socialise have been limited over the past year, many of us have been seeking adventure through food.

So, it’s no surprise that over half of UK adults (53%) say they’re more open to experimenting with food choices now than they were before the pandemic*.

Plus, 67% see world cuisine foods as “a fun way to travel through food”**. And as ingredients from the global larder become more readily available from suppliers, we’re seeing a wider range of cuisines and authentic dishes gain popularity.

With travel still off the cards for many of us at the moment, here are some of our tips and dishes to help you give your menu a global feel.

Think about street food options

Street food options are great for to-go options or sharing plates. With the summer of sport around the corner, they’ll be a big hit. One delicious option is our crispy chicken wings coated in sticky Thai sauce. Or try adding sesame seeds, kimchi and BBQ sauce to a burger to give it a Korean twist.

Bahn Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that could be a great way to spice up your lunch menu or food-to-go offering. We recommend filling a fluffy baguette with toasted chicken, fresh lemongrass mayonnaise and crunchy veg.

Experiment with different flavours

Middle Eastern flavours are becoming really popular, with places such as Honey & Co and Yotam Ottolenghi leading the way. They lend themselves well to plant-based dishes, so this cuisine is a great way to tie our growing 2021 trend ‘Careful Consumption’ into your menu offering too.

Middle Eastern spices can add real flavour and texture to a very simple salad, Try adding harissa to a roasted veg and giant cous cous grain salad, and top it with a delicious tahini yoghurt dressing. Or have a look at our Lebanese Chicken Flatbread recipe which is packed full of flavour and spice.

Mix up the cuisines

Mixing up cuisines is also a great way to enhance your menu offering and create unique dishes.

Who said burritos need to be Mexican? Use noodles, veg and spicy Szechuan sauce as a base, stir fry plant-based proteins or tender pulled meats and wrap up and fry into a crispy golden burrito.

Give a familiar favourite a global twist by adding Caribbean flavours to a flavourful burger. Try marinating chicken thighs with a jerk seasoning and coating in a ginger beer batter, all served in a burger bun with mango salsa & jerk mayonnaise.

And don’t forget, you don’t have to travel thousands of miles to give your menu a global twist. You can still reduce your carbon footprint and minimise costs by sourcing key ingredients such as meat, fish and meat alternatives closer to home.

To find out more about which cuisines are gaining momentum and popularity, and find a whole range of new global recipes from our chefs at Bidfood, head to our 2021 food and drink trends page.

You can also download our guide here.

Sources:

*Bidfood consumer survey, UK, April 2021

** Mintel, World Cuisines, UK, May 2021

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