The trend for hot and spicy foods in Australia has grown considerably over the past ten years and it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.
With Australian population growth from approximately 21 million in 2009 to an expected 25.9 million by the end of 2019, coupled with a constant change in demographics, there is a higher demand for food cultures from around the world here on our shores.
Hot and spicy foods are nothing new in the food industry, but we have seen a boom in cultural food from Mexican, with brands like Guzman Y Gomez and Zambrero dominating the QSR market, through to Thai, Chinese, Indian, Korean and Vietnamese. With this boom, there's a push for hotter and hotter profiles mixed with flavour, now a big driver in these markets. There is a clear demand for more spicy foods and for more refined palates in this space, and surprisingly, children and teenagers are moving the category in a way we would never have seen in past years.
Not just about heat, does the flavour count too?
Currently, a lot of focus and discussion around chilli talks about the heat but there is so much more to explore. The MOST POPULAR fresh chillies consumed in our market are shown below and are all grown here in Bundaberg.
Mildest chillies for a spice introduction
The Poblano Chilli is the mildest in the family and is a very versatile and a great introduction to spice. They are best known in Mexico and are used widely in Mexican restaurants and chains. Poblano looks like a dark green capsicum and is often roasted or baked. They are also fantastic in a Salsa Verde blended with Tomatillo and Jalapeno. They measure between 1,000 – 2,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
Compare that to the Bell Pepper, which has no heat and measures at 0 SHU or a Jalapeno Pepper which measures around 8,000 SHU, and you will get an idea of the Poblano heat level.
Lots of heat and a burst of flavour
Habanero Chillies are one of the hottest chillies consumed every day in Australia. These can be found in many sauces in your local grocery store as well as major quick-service restaurants that are getting more adventurous with the everyday burger. While this Chilli is hot, it also has a sweet and fruity flavour and lends itself well to blends with fruit such as mango and pineapple. Habanero Chillies measure up to 200,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
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