For me it was French (or Catalina) dressing, Alfredo sauce, and yum yum sauce.

These were the flavors I tasted when I realized what sauces could do. They really make the dish, don’t they?

French/Catalina dressing made me actually eat my vegetables for once.

I shouldn’t eat the beloved Alfredo cream sauce on my Italian dishes as often as I do – but it’s an indulgence I can’t abandon. (I married an Italian, so I have it more often than the standard human.)

And yum yum sauce was the epiphany. THIS was when I could look back at my favorite condiments and sauces and realize the gravity of the situation: the sauce really makes the dish.

Look How Far We’ve Come

Life is much different now than the days of Alfredo, French dressing and yum yum sauce. And while my palate has matured, so have the palates of Americans. We no longer want a standard basil pesto, but we’ve stepped it up a notch: we’re looking for romescos or chipotle pecan pestos.

Tahini, a favorite ingredient at the 2019 Expo West, provides a great base to experiment on any type of food. Adding a fresh spritz of lemon, some zest and little olive oil makes a great dressing. Try throwing in some cayenne for a little extra kick.

Flavors like gochujang, Korean sauces, chimichurri, twists on ranch, curries and even Jamaican jerk sauces drive our thoughts and sauce exploration today. Consumers’ palates are ever changing and ever expanding – they can’t really help it. Blame social media and the internet for bringing us the photos of dishes around the world.

Dataessentials Spice Interest

What’s Next?

It’s non-stop enjoyment to explore the world of sauces, but what do we see happening next? I don’t think there’s any stopping the encroachment of the Asian influence on our culture. But how about experimenting with a unique twist? A miso caramel sauce for a sweet take, or a honey soy glaze, or even a jasmine dragonfruit vinaigrette for a different salad dressing?

How can we twist up some American favorites? How about a harrissa BBQ sauce, a creamy mango mustard, or honey rum and caramelized onion?

Because of the aforementioned tahini, I do believe Mediterranean foods are on the verge of another boost. Think brighter tzaziki sauces; herb-boosted sauces like chive, mint, parsley, and cilantro; and za’atar lemon yogurt sauce.

I’m lucky because I also get to taste some of the goodies created by Givaudan’s A-MAZ-ING Culinary Team: grapefruit chimmichuri, chermoula or smokey tomato aioli, persimmon honey sake dressing, or even the sweet tea & lemon glaze. (Is your mouth watering yet?) These concepts are great eaten like a Fun Dip – just shovel it in! Can you imagine how much better they would be on a rice or breakfast bowl?

Ashley is an avid fan of all things food, especially when it comes to the unique and ever-changing savory sauce space. She likes long Italian dinners, visiting local breweries, and enjoying a unique cocktail (preferably made with gin). The best thing she ever ate was a filo dough-wrapped Alaskan Salmon made by a family friend.

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