Chefs agree that our palates have become more adventurous and accustomed to unusual and intense flavours. In line with food trends, diners are demanding new and exciting flavours in interesting dishes. Responding to this need, Delite Foods presents its Dash Of Flavour range, which adds intense, delicious flavour notes to any dish, without a hefty price tag.
The Dash Of range includes more than 60 flavours, with more in development. In addition, there are the Dash Of Colour products, which are water-soluble gels. Delite Foods is already known as the leader in sugar-free foods, having produced these since 1991.
The flavours are designed to meet the needs of three main sectors—consumers, restaurants and catering. The creative team behind Dash Of, headed by Brian Lanton, explains that with the flavours consumers can instantly boost the quality of any dish, just as they would with more traditional herbs and spices.
The Dash Of flavours are 100 per cent vegetarian and vegan, even flavours such as the Seafood Bisque. ‘It may seem strange to want to add a meaty flavour to a vegetarian dish, but most meat alternatives on the market are already doing this, as meaty flavours add a round, umami note to all taste sensations,’ says Lanton.
In addition, almost all of the flavours are suitable for halaal and kosher diets.
The difference between dash of flavour and ‘essences’
Lanton explains: ‘Essences are highly diluted and in general very simple, unsophisticated flavours. The main differences between Dash Of and essences are that the Dash Of flavours are much more complex and also much stronger.
‘That is why they are used by the drop, not by the teaspoon.’
He adds, ‘We decided to develop the Dash Of range because the limited range of diluted essences was simply inadequate to meet the needs of the modern cook. ‘Food trends called for new and exciting flavours, but there was nothing available to create these. We have many years of experience in flavour manufacture and food formulations, and we thought we should share this with others who appreciate good taste impact.’
The Dash Of products are also great for times when an ingredient is missing in the market or the kitchen. For example, green limes are not always available in South African supermarkets, but the Dash Of Lime oil is available all year round. A catering kitchen may need to reduce costs but maintain taste impact, in this case the Dash Of Mushroom is a quick way to add this flavour note, cutting the amount of expensive mushrooms required.
The Dash Of team recommends the following flavours are must-have additions to a catering kitchen: Fried Red Onion, Smoke and Vanilla Custard. Lanton chooses Vanilla Custard over traditional vanilla essence because of the richer, eggy notes which make all baked goods more flavourful.
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Lanton recommends: ‘These are the core flavours for a restaurant kitchen: for bakery and desserts, flavours such as Vanilla or Vanilla Custard as well as the Chai/Bunspice, Condensed Milk and Buttercream.
For savoury dishes, flavours such as Fried Red Onion, Garlic, Smoke, Mushroom, Curry Spices and Parmesan add quick touches of flavour for very little cost. The Citrus Oil Flavours such as Lemon, Orange, Lime and Naartjie/Tangerine are superb for all applications. The Alcoholic flavours such as Dark Rum, Gin, Whisky and Brandy give a wonderful touch of flavour to sauces and desserts, without the actual addition of high alcohol contents.’
Chefs have endless possibilities for experimentation. Add savoury notes to desserts, or sweet notes to savoury foods. ‘Try the Chai Spice in a meat sauce or in mince for a hamburger or meatballs. It’s just Wow!’ Lanton enthuses.
Other examples of applications for the Dash of Flavour include novel fruit-flavoured cupcakes such as Mango, Guava and Litchi, seafood paella enhanced with Black Olive and Curry Spice, or Cauliflower with a Parmesan or Gorgonzola-flavoured white sauce. For desserts, a few drops of Lime Oil give cheesecakes an extra zing. Use Garlic, Butter, Black Olive and Fried Red Onion in ciabatta dough to create a wonderfully aromatic, Italian-style bread.