Spice has long been an essential part of any meal, but consumers have gotten more adventurous as they desire sensorial eating experiences. The often-noted conventional wisdom that we eat with our eyes is never truer than when we bite into something that looks different than it tastes. This experience produces a sense of curiosity and playfulness.
As heat continues to push beyond the singularly spicy, exploring Chinese cuisine is a celebration of the complexity heat can elicit. Sensorial heat is especially an integral part of Sichuan cuisine for its use of Sichuan peppercorns which deliver a distinct hot, tingling sensation.
MaLa, “Ma” meaning “numb” and “la” meaning “spicy” in Chinese, is a popular seasoning that delivers both a hot flavor profile and tingling sensation to the tongue. Created by simmering Sichuan peppercorns with chilies and spices in oil, it’s often blended with butter to make a hot pot base. The butter base is so popular it can be found as a packed retail item in China. Chongqing style hotpot is known for its heavily flavored broth and tingling hot spiciness. Made with the butter base, the soup base has a very rich taste to perfectly complement the red-hot chili.
Try it and apply it!
Feeling inspired? To learn more about the future of flavor, contact your McCormick account representative or contact us today.