Looking for fresh inspiration? Add a touch of air and water

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Looking for fresh inspiration? Add a touch of air and water
Air and water are two of the most undervalued weapons in the product developer's toolkit, according to one expert on the development process.Speaking...

Air and water are two of the most undervalued weapons in the product developer's toolkit, according to one expert on the development process.

Speaking at the Food and Drink Innovation Network 'taste summit' last month, Sally Hookham - who heads up The Food Business consultancy, said: "Sometimes, if you just add more water to a soup instead of piling in more herbs, spices and flavourings, you can actually bring out the flavour more."

Likewise, simply adding more air could deliver significant improvements in appearance, texture and taste, she said, citing the example of two chocolate truffles with an identical composition but a completely different appearance and flavour profile owing to the level of aeration.

For those seeking more exotic sources of inspiration, she recommended experimenting with the following: white sarawak pepper and pears; chilli, sugar, salt and fresh pineapple; grated lime and chocolate; red or pink Bolivian salt on potatoes; vanilla extract and scrambled egg.

Anthony Palmer, UK market head at herbs and spices giant Schwartz & McCormick, also had new flavour combinations up his sleeve: pumpkin and turmeric; avocado and paprika; strawberry and tarragon; carrot and cinnamon; orange and curry; fruit preserves and rosemary; apricot and saffron; and pineapple and star anise.

Herbs and spices were seeing a resurgence at the moment, added Palmer. This was driven by more home cooking, the drive to replace salt or sugar with healthier flavourings and the growth of ethnic foods including Thai, Caribbean and South Americian cuisine.

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