Americans seek to sate a growing appetite for global cuisines in restaurants, where unfamiliar flavors may be expertly prepared in familiar formats, such as pasta or burgers.
“This is for so many of you your absolute ace in the hole, because not only do consumers have a high degree of interest in trying new ethnic foods; they look to you as the point of introduction,” Kruse said.
A deeper exploration of Mediterranean cuisine casts a spotlight on such Middle Eastern dishes as shakshuka and tabbouleh. An emerging flavor technique in upmarket restaurants is cacio e pepe, a staple of Roman cuisine combining cheese and black pepper.
Fare from the Far East continues to grow across dayparts, as US restaurants dish up savory Chinese crepes, Indian curry meatballs and masala chai ice cream.
What’s next? Kruse predicted Israeli cuisine will become a new favorite, enticing American consumers with bright, fresh flavors.