Predicting food trends is right up there with the weather and the stock market. I've always loved bacon, but who knew it was going to be EVERYWHERE almost to the point of bacon shortages? What we can do is try to predict anyways! Here is a list of chiles that we carry that have been popping up more frequently lately and could become quite popular over the next few months.
Aleppo Chiles (or Halaby Pepper) are known to be one of the best kept secrets among chile heads. Usually they are found crushed with the seeds removed and provide a flavorful departure from the more common crushed red peppers. It falls in the 2,500 - 5,000 SHU range on the Scoville Heat Unit Scale. That makes it a medium range chile and provides more of a balance between the heat and the flavor profile. The heat builds slowly hitting the back of your mouth first with a hint of sweetness, then dissipates into a tinge of sour and sweet. It's similar to a fruity raisin with an undertone of earthy cumin and just a hint of salty vinegar.
You can use Aleppo Flakes on your kitchen table to easily add to pizza, salads, pasta, baked winter squash, deviled eggs, potato salad or mix it in with chicken or tuna salad. Use it on the grill too with burgers, chicken, steaks or pork chops.
Hatch Chiles (or New Mexico Chiles) come from the area surrounding Hatch, New Mexico which is the self proclaimed Chile Capital of the World. "Hatch Chiles" refers to the five or six chiles that are grown in the around Hatch. New Mexico chiles have an earthy, sweet flavor with hints of acidity, weediness and dried cherry undertones. They are often confused with their close relative the Anaheim Chile (or California Chile) but are a bit hotter at 800-1,400 SHU and more flavorful than the California Chiles.
New Mexico Chiles can be added to your recipes either dried, sliced or pureed. You can grind them at home with your own coffee grinder or you can re-hydrate them by pouring hot (not boiling) water over them and letting them sit for 10-15 minutes. You can use the chiles in salads, dips, and on sandwiches. If you don't own a grinder you can also buy it already ground.
Korean Chili Flakes
Korean Chili Flakes (or Gochugaru) are a natural to become popular along with Korean food in general. Americans have been interested in heat for years because of Mexican food, but the Chile Heads looking for something new have turned to Asian cuisine. Korean food tends to be bold and the flavor borders on intense.
Korean Chili Flakes provide the flavorful heat found in Kimchi and several salad-scallion recipes. Many cooks in the west will try to substitute other chili powders or chili flakes in their Kimchi, but for that authentic taste you have to use Korean Chili Flakes.
Like I said, predicting food trends is nearly impossible. However, we hear through the grapevine to keep your eyes open for these popping up in recipes, grocery stores and on menus in the near future.
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