The next wave of global cuisine set to make a splash on American menus can be found along the Mediterranean coast. Diverse cuisines—French, Italian, Spanish, Algerian, Moroccan and Turkish, to name a few—are united through shared ingredients like olives, wheat, grapes and seafood. Intense bold flavors found in ras el hanout, preserved lemons, roast lamb, anchovies and eggplant hit on today’s consumer desire for a unique dining experience.
Mediterranean fare is unique but with an element of approachability, making it ideal as a starting point for new menu items. In fact, 48% of consumers have already tried Mediterranean cuisine. Part of this appeal lies in the “crossover” foods and flavors that can be found in both up-and-coming Mediterranean and already-popular Middle Eastern cuisines, such as chick peas, harissa and lentils.
Egyptian, Greek and Levantine dishes and condiments showing strong growth on restaurant menus, such as falafel (up 33%), tzatziki (up 34%), tabbouleh (up 40% in QSR alone) and shawarma (up 37%)—demonstrate patron demand for cuisine falling under the Mediterranean umbrella. But the potential for culinary exploration of this region is unlimited. Take your patrons on a flavor adventure with memorable, authentic dishes they’re sure to love.