Is harissa going to be the next Sriracha?


As food trends go, the rise and continued popularity of Sriracha has outlasted many flash-in-the-pan foods that have since lost their luster. The spicy condiment continues to find new devotees, and it has even found its way into other condiments (Sriracha ketchup, anyone?). So what is the poised to be the next Sriracha, taking the world by storm? The Washington Post's Jeff Koehler thinks he knows what it will be. He predicts that harissa is on the brink of food super-stardom

While its rise has not been meteoric, harissa's popularity has steadily grown in the past few years. Jamie Oliver has been using it for years, and in 2013 Yotam Ottolenghi featured it in an episode of his food show "Mediterranean Feast". Food & Wine magazine called it the "new Sriracha" in 2014, and US chefs have been reaching for the chile paste more and more frequently. 

Harissa hails from Tunisia, and Koehler describes the flavor as being robust, "with a nutty, pungent earthiness behind the heat." At its most basic, the paste consists of a particular variety of chile pepper, garlic, and salt. Most versions also include additional spices such as coriander, caraway, and cumin. 

Naturally, the EYB Library is choc-a-block with delicious harissa recipes like Melissa Clark's Harissa chicken, one of the most clicked recipes from last month's newsletter. The number of five-star ratings for dishes featuring harissa is huge; here is a small sampling of those recipes to whet your appetite:

Harissa from The Free Range Cook by Annabel Langbein (pictured top)
Moroccan-spiced chicken with dates and aubergines from by Nigella Lawson
Tunisian fish ball tagine (Tagine kefta mn hoot) from The New Mediterranean Jewish Table by Joyce Goldstein
World's best harissa from Balaboosta by Einat Admony
Spicy red lentil dip from Crackers & Dips by Ivy Manning
Roasted carrots with harissa aïoli and dukkah from Seven Spoons by Tara O'Brady
Soft zucchini with harissa, olives and feta from The Wednesday Chef by Luisa Weiss

1 Comment

  • KarinaFrancis  on  8/7/2017 at 9:24 PM

    I dont think it will bump sriracha. Part of sriracha's mega-stardom (aside from its deliciousness and versatility) is its consistency and its recognizable branding. Harissa varies so much from brand to brand, and if home made from recipe to recipe. I love them both

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