According to a report featured in the Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal Sentinel, U.S. restaurants and food makers are creating American originals based on international cuisine customs, incorporating the quality and craftsmanship expected in European products. Such trends include:
1. Icelandic skyr — While greek yogurt has dominated the yogurt market for the last couple of years, another yogurt-type food is making a splash in the U.S.: Icelandic skyr. Traditionally used as a way to preserve fresh milk, skyr is made from skimmed milk with the cream removed. The straining process gives it a creamy texture. It’s also low in fat and sugar, plus skyr is higher in protein than its Greek counterpart. Look for U.S.-made skyr at your local grocer—some foodies deem it to be the next Greek yogurt, so if your supermarket doesn’t yet have it, it likely will by the end of the year.
2. Artisan cheeses — Cheesemaking traditions in the Alpine region of Switzerland have been used for centuries to craft quality cheeses, but today the same techniques are followed in the creation of Roth Grand Cru Alpine style cheese created in Wisconsin. Made with fresh milk in large imported copper vats and aged a minimum of four months, the resulting cheese is mild, nutty and smooth.
3. Neapolitan pizza — The rise in the popularity of Neapolitan pizzas is evident in restaurants across the country, giving Americans a unique taste of this traditional Italian dish. Originating from Naples, Italy, a Neapolitan pizza features a thinner crust that is baked quickly at high temperatures, typically in a wood or stone oven. The toppings are minimal with the sauce often being the dominating feature. The classic pizza Napoletana margharita, created in 1889 as a tribute to the queen of Italy, includes tomatoes, mozzarella and crust made from wheat flour.
4. Fine chocolates — Thanks to a growing interest in dark chocolate and high-end desserts, American chocolatiers are giving their international counterparts a run for their money. Whether it’s a dark chocolate bar of 85 percent cocoa, a smooth and creamy truffle or a decadent chocolate covered caramel, the passion for fine chocolate is alive and well in the U.S. The confections can be found at specialty stores and even the candy aisle at your local grocer.
If you have a taste for international flavors, you don’t have to look beyond our borders to find the finest foods. From rich cheeses to fine chocolate treats, European traditions are thriving in the U.S. as food experts adopt these methods and make them their own.