With the arrival of autumn, food manufacturers are rolling out new products that fit the spirit of the season. With cooler, crisper air and the leaves changing colors, consumers are looking for flavors that offer a feeling of warmth and coziness. This feeling and vibe, though recently dominated by pumpkin-spiced everything, has inspired a wide variety of new flavor combinations for a diverse range of products from snacks and beverages to sauces and ready meals.
Fall Flavor Innovations to Be on the Lookout For
One of the best parts about autumn is that even the classic flavors that tend to define the season are versatile and easy to pair with. This is partly why fruits like apples and pumpkin are so prevalent in both sweet and savory food products. Also some of the most popular flavor innovations have been adaptations or variations on longtime favorite treats like baked goods or homestyle dishes or even cocktails. Below are some examples of the latest fall flavor combinations:
- Salted caramel and fruit: Caramel has been popular for a long time, of course, but salted caramel is a newer innovation that is a natural fit with fruits like apples that are somewhat tart; the union of salty, sweet, and tart makes this combination a unique and exciting flavor profile.
- Beet and mint: The firm texture and earthy flavor of beets are undoubtedly reminiscent of autumn, but they tend to be prepared in dishes that can end up being too heavy. An alternative is to slice the beets very fine and make a carpaccio-style dish topped with a mint and pistachio pesto dressing.
- Spinach and pear: Adding fruit to a salad may seem like a summer impulse at first glance, but the mildly sweet flavor of pear adds complexity to the familiar heartiness of spinach. Other fall flavors like dried cranberries and toasted hazelnuts can even further round out the dish.
- Broccoli and peppers: Broccoli can be eaten any time of year, but there’s something about meaty stalks and delicate florets that fits well with a hearty autumn meal. When properly seasoned, roasted broccoli can stand on its own, yet the flavors also pair well with spicy chile or serrano peppers.
- Spaghetti squash pasta: One way to explore new flavor combinations at the same time as cutting down on calories is to use spaghetti squash in place of pasta. Though a traditional tomato sauce can work well, the sweetness of the squash can also pair with saltier or more savory sauces like pesto or lemon-garlic.
- Cauliflower rice: Just as spaghetti squash can be a stand-in for starchy pasta, cauliflower can be made into a rice-like texture in a food processor. From there, it can be used as a side or as the base to a standalone dish with other fall vegetables like carrots and onions.
- Vegetable flatbread: Flatbread is a type of dish that can become a perfect vehicle for almost any flavors you want to highlight. With just some dough and cheese (or no cheese at all if you prefer), you’ll have a canvas to experiment with a wide variety of fall toppings like mushrooms and peppers, zucchini and shallots, or even a classic like tomato and basil.
- Cheddar apple pie: Sometimes innovation means bringing back forgotten flavor combinations as well; incorporating cheddar cheese with apple pie used to be somewhat common decades ago, but it has been making a comeback. The nutty, tangy cheddar flavor perhaps surprisingly is a natural companion to the classic sweetness and spices of apple pie.
- Fennel and orange: Fennel is a flowering plant in the same family as the carrot, but it has a flavor that is similar to anise or licorice. It can be prepared in various ways, but when sliced finely and used in a salad, the unique earthy flavor that fits well with citrus flavors like orange or lemon. These same citrus flavors can still work if the fennel is braised or sauteed.
- Brussels sprouts and maple: Brussels sprouts are a hearty vegetable that can fit into many autumn dishes, but one popular preparation is roasted sprouts and bacon. To take it up another notch, you can also glaze the bacon with maple syrup to give the dish even more flavor. Brussels sprouts are also great in a medley with other fall items like butternut squash and even apples.
High Quality Ingredients Make All the Difference
Autumn is a time for change, but if Halloween and Thanksgiving are any indicators, it’s also a time for otherwise unusual pairings to come together in new and different ways. The flavor combinations noted above are examples of ideas that people can explore at home, but they also can be found in the exciting products that food manufacturers are constantly innovating. Almost any of the fruits, vegetables, and herbs that we associate with fall can provide a nearly endless stream of possibilities.
At Silva, we work hard to produce consistently high-quality dehydrated ingredients that food manufacturers can trust. But beyond the always reliable food quality and safety, we are also driven by creativity and a sense of openness. This is why we are passionate about partnering with you to develop new recipes with exciting flavor combinations that provide your customers with excellent end products. To learn more about our offerings or working with us, please contact us today.