From the River Walk to The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas has a flavorful culture and history that lives through its people and its food. Flavors of the traditional American South, Latin America and new, trending combinations line the colorful streets of the seventh largest city in the country, making it the perfect place to search for new ideas and explore different trends as we brainstorm new flavor concepts for 2021.
The diverse cuisines we encountered in San Antonio speak to many food and flavor trends on the rise this year. A few curious combinations caught our eye, such as the Red Chili Mint Squash from Tre Trattoria, a Tuscan style restaurant at the San Antonio Museum of Art, with a spicy and refreshing, vibrant flavor sensation. Similarly, we explored a few new cheese applications through a Pimento Beer Queso from Southerleigh Haute South, with the beer lending a distinct flavor twist and the inclusion of chicken giving more body to the southern cheese dip. New variations of pickled ingredients were uncovered as well, from onions and jicama and nopales, reflecting the growing popularity of pickled foods and flavors. The possibilities are endless!
Latin influence and international cuisine reigned supreme on this trip with dishes such as a yuzu turmeric “leche de tigre” paired with scallops from Botika, blending both Latin and Asian flavors. Tastes of the American South met Middle Eastern flair in dishes from Supper, with za’atar and cardamom seasoned green beans, corn bread and broccoli salad. However, the fan favorite of the trip was a taste of Mexican cooking in the Smoked Carrot Taco from omakase style restaurant Kumo, with smoky sweet flavors from the hickory smoked carrots paired with a tart and savory lemon ricotta requeson, all topped with fresh mint leaves. Account Manager/Chef Aspen Burkhardt adds, “The mix of salsa macha, lemon requeson and mint together with the earthiness of the smoked carrot and blue corn tortilla was very well executed” adding that it was her favorite dish of the trip.
When it comes to new applications and fun twists on our favorite flavors, cheese delivered great inspiration according to Jessica Nagel, Marketing Manager. Influenced by pimento beer cheese, lemon requeson and huancaina sauce (a Peruvian cheese sauce with Aji Amarillo chiles), Jess hopes to explore more flavor combinations inspired by some of these cheese-y San Antonio finds for LifeSpice. While we miss the San Antonio sunshine, these fun and vibrant flavors will serve to inspire all year long and bring a little bit of warmth into our everyday creations.