"Research shows that consumers are trying to incorporate more global flavors into their favorite home cooked meals," Atkins said. "This year, contest finalists used Sriracha to give their original recipes a punch of flavor and, in some cases, put an Asian twist on classic comfort food."
Experiment with Sriracha by trying the following Bake-Off® Finalist recipes:
2. Food mashups strive to prove two is better than one
From chicken and waffles to the cronut craze of 2013, people have long loved to combine two tasty favorites to create a new, single dish. This year, finalists used food mashups to bring new life to classic recipes by incorporating surprising ingredients and flavor combinations.
"Playful food interpretations were on the minds of many contest finalists this year," said Atkins. "With mashups, there's no need to choose—you can indulge in multiple flavors like sweet and salty, in one bite."
Discover fun flavor combinations with the following Bake-Off® Finalist recipes:
3. Make vegetables a treat, not a trick
Many families are trying to incorporate more vegetables and greens into their daily diets. This year, Bake-Off® Finalists found fun and unexpected ways to showcase vegetables in their dishes, making them delicious enough to persuade even the pickiest of eaters to take a bite.
Of this trend, Atkins said, "To make vegetables more palatable, home cooks are adding more veggies to dishes their friends and families already love like pizza. Another way to enhance the taste of vegetables is by incorporating familiar and well-liked flavors, like a garlic or bacon."