Foodie Friday: Global Food Trends–5 Exotic Flavors Going Mainstream

Map of world made from different kinds of spices on wooden backg

In the ever-changing culinary scene, it’s always exciting to learn about emerging food and beverage trends. Lately, the buzz is all about global flavor profiles with spices, sauces, and bold flavors from around the world. Today, we’re taking a closer look at 4 international taste sensations that are quickly becoming mainstream foodie favorites.

Japanese Kojikoji

As we’ve mentioned before, fermented foods are stealing the food-scene show with intense flavor, abundant health benefits, and a certain cultural mystique. Koji is a Japanese rice treated with koji, or Aspergillus oryzae, mold that’s used in miso and soy sauce. The result? A rich, fragrant umami sensation that lends distinction to anything koji touches—marinades, vinaigrettes, vegetables, and more. 

African Offerings

Despite widespread appreciation for European, Latin American, and pan-Asian cuisines, many dishes born in the rich traditions of African countries are largely unknown to many North Americans. Fortunately for our appetites, things are changing as foodies discover more and more delicious culinary possibilities from the Plateau Continent. Keep an eye out for names like berbere, harissa, dukkah, ras el hanout, tsire and other spice mixes that give familiar dishes a powerful punch of traditional African flavor.

berbere spice

Special Sauce—Beyond Sriracha

In the garlicky wake of the Sriracha craze that’s swept the food scene over the past few years, heat-seeking foodies and sauce savants are looking to other ethnic food staples to bring the flavor as well as the familiar green-capped Thai chili sauce.


Other trending candidates for New Favorite Condiment include Chimichurri—an Argentinian sauce made with garlic, parsley, and oregano; Piri piri—a citrus-spice sauce that originated in Portugal but became popular in several African countries; and Raita—a cool and creamy mix of cucumber, yogurt, and spices perfected by culinary artists in India and Pakistan.

Choice Chickpeas

Gluten-free foodies, rejoice! The inventive chefs and bakers of Italy and France offer satisfying delicacies such as panelle, panisse, socca, and cecina—all of which deliver hearty, starchy goodness with naturally gluten-free chickpea flour. Fans of alternative flours and protein-packed eating will love the possibilities of these snack-worthy European mainstays.


Go enjoy some global goodness this weekend! Bon appetit, and happy Foodie Friday!

And, of course, for something a little weird…

BuzzFeed Video has a very entertaining series of taste tests, and several of them feature people trying unfamiliar ethnic foods and sharing their reactions. Here’s a link to Americans trying Thai snack foods for the first time, and just to balance out the perspective, another video with Italians trying out popular American snacks. Enjoy!

Posted in: Food and Drink, Food Experiences, Food Trends, Foodie Friday

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