No plane ticket? No problem. For a trip around the world, look no further than your spice rack. There you will find cinnamon from Sri Lanka, Aleppo pepper from Syria, saffron from Spain, and so much more. Not only have spices brought people from diverse cultures together, under both positive and negative circumstances (explorers navigated the world in search of these “exotic” ingredients, forming beneficial trade partnerships, but also giving rise to colonialism), they have also changed people’s eating and cooking habits.
In kitchens across America, it really is a small world after all. Citing Mintel data, flavor expert Azeem Mateen noted that 74% of U.S. households have either prepared or cooked ethnic foods at home and 59% eat ethnic foods because they like to try new flavors.
Building on his beginnings in Naples, Italy, watching and helping his grandfather make gelato using fruits and nuts as ingredients, Angelo Quercia, owner of Angelo Gelato Italiano, continues to use those same ingredients but today combines them with modern-day flavorful twists. Melding the familiar with the unexpected, that’s his contemporary approach to flavoring gelato. It is also a technique employed by a growing number of dairy product formulators in an effort to liven a dairy base to appeal to today’s consumers’ adventurous palate.