Wednesday, December 28, 2011: 02:27:45 PM

Food Processing Trend

Desserts, alcoholic cocktails on a high

Festive season brings wide array of dessert recipes, modern and traditional foods to the forefront

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The holiday season, especially the winter holidays, brings to mind a wide array of desserts and comfort food that are a part of the celebrations. Be it Christmas or New Years, families across the globe prepare desserts and therefore the use of processed food products goes up significantly. Syrups, jams, biscuits, cakes, jellies, gelatine and other processed foods form an integral part of several dessert recipes. Also circulating on the Web are recipes and processes that help make the perfect family meal.

 
Among the common recipes, there are Christmas cakes, soufflés, cookies and puddings that require great precision in terms of preparation time and technique. Mumbai based food expert Meena Ganguli explains, “I do not rely much on recipes and prepare dishes from experience. I use traditional baking techniques and use mostly homemade ingredients.”
 
In recent years, a large number of foreign food brands have come into the market which is reflected in the array of desserts available today. For example, before the influx of foreign ingredients into the Indian market, food products like marshmallows were a rare treat. However, today the dessert is readily available and is a common component of Christmas themed desserts.
 
Sweet desserts
 
Being a diverse country, India has its unique dessert recipes that are prepared during the festive season and since it is a land of various festivals, one can enjoy such diverse treats almost throughout the year. A number of brands like Mrs Bector’s Cremica have realised the massive potential in the confectionary market and have come up with products such as syrups that form an important ingredient in several dessert recipes.
 
Some dessert chefs will argue that international desserts provide textures and flavours that are far complex than their traditional Indian counterparts. In spite of this, a large number of culinary experts would recommend homemade desserts as they provide a glimpse into the history of dessert making. Evident from the works of some of the renowned pastry chefs in India, traditional desserts have an important role to play in the development of modern desserts which have a strong influence of the micro-cuisine concept prevalent in Europe.
 
Alcohol
 
Consumption of alcoholic cocktails also goes up during the festive period and spirits like vodka and tequila gain huge demand. Cocktail recipes traditional as well as new and innovative become top searches during the period. Among some of the names that have gained popularity this year are Sparkling Sunrise and LA Water, both of which are vodka based drinks with a fruity and tangy twist. Though the typical Indian drinker prefers creating his/her cocktail recipe, people are opening up to the concept with the entry of several new liqueurs in the Indian market. Food expert and consultant Avijnan Sengupta says, “There are new liqueurs in the market, which have made cocktail-making an easier job. Earlier bartenders were forced to use alternative ingredients in a cocktail to replicate the flavours of a particular liqueur. This is also because the Indian consumer wants to experience the real deal and is ready to pay any price for it.”
 
Therefore, be it desserts or the latest cocktails, it is the changing consumption patterns of the Indian consumer that is dictating the trends of the food and beverage industry today.    
 
Tias Chakraborty

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