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Ketchup to dessert, sriracha poised to be 2015's 'go-to' flavor

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Ketchup to dessert, sriracha poised to be 2015's 'go-to' flavor

Favored flavors can come and go like fashion trends, but every now and then a taste comes along that's so versatile and memorable, it earns a lasting place in culinary tradition. With its zest and spice, sriracha is poised to secure its status as a top flavor for 2015 and beyond.

The sizzling flavor, which traces its roots to a classic Thai hot sauce of the same name, has been on the American culinary scene for about two decades. Between 2008 and 2012, the use of sriracha on restaurant menus increased by 153 percent, making it the fastest-growing flavor, according to Technomic's Flavor Consumer Trend Report. You can incorporate this powerful taste into your home menus this spring and summer with a few tips and tricks. 

The year's hot condiment

While the original sriracha sauce was often incorporated into dishes as an ingredient, contemporary variations have turned it into a versatile condiment. Iconic American ketchup maker Heinz has recently launched Heinz Tomato Ketchup Blended with Sriracha Flavor. The company known for its line of flavored ketchups and the beloved original now offers the sriracha-flavored condiment in the familiar upside-down 14-ounce squeeze bottle. The flavored ketchup makes it easy to enjoy great sriracha flavor on dishes from burgers, hot dogs and French fries to eggs and chicken! 

Great for every course

Few flavors or ingredients can measure up to use in virtually every course, but sriracha certainly can. It's an adaptable ingredient for everything from hors d'oeuvres and appetizers to main courses, side dishes and even desserts. It adds a distinctive zing to any dish and works with sweet flavors as well as it does with savory or spicy profiles.

Straight sriracha - or the new offering from Heinz - makes a great dipping sauce for a variety of starters, including raw veggies. Blend it with hummus or chicken dip for an exciting variation on favorite dips. Added to deviled eggs, sriracha adds subtle spice and color. For main dishes, sriracha works well with virtually any kind of meat, poultry or seafood. Incorporated into brine, it imparts flavor and moisture to turkey, and enriches the flavor of beef skewers when used as a marinade.

Sriracha can even elevate breakfast - and not just as a topping for scrambled eggs. It's easy to find recipes online that incorporate sriracha for everything from muffins to oatmeal. And when used in desserts, the heat of sriracha is the perfect foil for sweet ingredients, creating a multi-layered depth of flavors.

Restaurant creativity 

Convinced you want to explore sriracha but unsure of your creative skills? Draw inspiration from restaurants across the country that have been offering inventive presentations of sriracha for years. From fast-food chains and pizza franchises to fine-dining establishments, restaurateurs have embraced sriracha. Some of the most eye-catching and taste-bud stimulating offerings include:

* Macaroni and cheese

* Pizza crust

* Vinaigrette for watermelon salad

* Brownies

For an easy way to incorporate sriracha into your menu, try this recipe for a Sriracha Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich from Heinz:

Ingredients:

12 each ciabatta rolls, toasted

12 each turkey sausage patties, 2 ounces, cooked, hot

4 cups caramelized onions, hot 

2 each fresh avocadoes, 12 wedge cuts per avocado

12 each fried eggs, hot

6 ounces aged white cheddar cheese, 1/2-ounce slices 

3/4 cup Heinz Tomato Ketchup Blended with Sriracha Flavor

Directions:

To assemble, layer the following atop each toasted ciabatta roll heel:

1 each turkey sausage patty 

1/4 cup caramelized onions

2 wedges avocado

1 each fried egg

1 slice cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon Heinz Tomato Ketchup Blended with Sriracha Flavor

1 each toasted ciabatta roll top

Serve immediately. 

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