Specialty Food Magazine

Winter 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1194330

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Page 56 of 115

The flavors and ingredients of the street-food stalls found throughout India are making their way onto U.S. restaurant menus. The Rise of Indian Street Food BY MARK HAMSTRA 54 SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM T he vast culinary landscape of Indian street food is expanding throughout the United States in a variety of forms, from kati rolls and dosas to various spicy, flavorful snacks known as chaat. Americans have been building up an appetite for these foods, says Akash Kapoor, founder and CEO of Curry Up Now, the San Francisco restaurant chain that is adapting Indian foods in familiar forms such as burritos and also is offering traditional Indian street-food snacks. "What was once described as exotic is now a commonplace food, and overall there's been a greater acceptance of ethnic food," he says. "There is a homey, comfort factor with Indian food, and it intrigues many people because it's different from other cuisines." Indian street food varies widely from region to region, and even from vendor to vendor within regions. It can incorporate fried dough with or without fillings, is often made with a medley of vegetables, spices, and sauces, and can include a range of flavorful, seasoned meats. It can take the form of dumpling-like creations such as momos served with spicy chili paste, kebabs on or off the skewer, and a variety of sandwiches filled with flavors that are likely unfamiliar to most U.S. consumers. Chaat refers to the Indian street "snacks" that are usually built upon a crunchy base and topped with chickpeas, potatoes, onions and/or various other ingredients, often served with chutneys or an umami sauce called chaat masala. Research firm Datassential reports that chaat is listed on only 1.8 percent of restaurant menus, up 3 percent since 2015 and up 30 percent since 2009. Only 12 percent of consumers are familiar with it, and only 6 percent of consumers report having tried it. GLOBAL EATS Akash Kapoor PHOTOS: CURRY UP NOW

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