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As sweet and salty switch places,eating out gets exciting and unpredictable.

Written by Debjani Paul | Published: April 6, 2013 2:46:27 am

As sweet and salty switch places,eating out gets exciting and unpredictable.

What if the sky were red instead of blue? What if pigs could fly? What if ice cream was spiced? Siddharth Shirole and Jay Joshi may not have followed the exact train of thoughts,but it certainly was the “what if” question that prompted them to launch their line of spiced ice creams,or Spice cream as they call it. Zaika Spice Cream,with branches in Kothrud and Fergusson College Road,offers ice creams in unusual flavours such as black pepper,nutmeg and honey clove cinnamon. “Ice creams mostly have had fruits and dry fruits. So the duo thought of ways to make a truly unusual ice cream and hit upon the idea of spices,” says Vaibhav Shirke,the eatery’s manager.

“People would say what kind of ice cream has spices in it? Ice creams are supposed to be sweet,” says Shirke. But the Spice cream is sweet and more. The honey clove cinnamon flavour,one of their bestselling items,is a smooth invention. A hint of clove and cinnamon not only lends a fantastic flavour to the ice cream,but also gives an invigorating scent to it. Contrary to common assumptions,the spices in the ice cream only help with the heat,so that the ice cream is just as cool. “First,we started serving the Spice cream at our restaurants,but they became popular so we opened separate outlets. Now we have about 10-12 flavours,” Shirke adds.

Spice cream is not the only food item that overturns traditional ideas of what tastes sweet or salty or spicy. At the Sus Road-located Rice Boat,dosas have taken on a new avatar with a sweet dosa offering. Though dosas have traditionally been eaten with sweet items such as sugar,honey or jaggery,it’s only here that they also come in chocolate,blueberry,fig and honey. Owner Thomas Samuel takes great pride in discussing the new menu and says,“I wanted to give the dosas a new identity. Otherwise wherever you go in the city,you’ll get the same dosa and the same chutney,but here you can try a dosa with hazelnut-flavoured chocolate. Doesn’t that sound interesting?”

Each dosa is stuffed with a flavour such as chocolate paste or sauce,or even blueberry crush. The fig and honey,and coconut and jaggery varieties though have fresh ingredients. Explaining the new trend of chefs experimenting with the ideas of sweet and savoury,Thomas says it gives every chef an opportunity to break barriers and be truly creative.

“At the same time,people are always looking for a new food experience,” he says.

At Mad Over Donuts (MOD),the real star of the show may yet be their line of spicy doughnuts,which has piqued the curiosity of several patrons. They are in complete contrast to the conventional idea of doughnuts as a sweet snack. Spice surprise has a dollop of salsa sauce on top of a bed of cheese,Mamma Mia has Italian herbs and sauteed garlic with cheese and Pi’Dazzled combines the doughnut base with pizza topping such as sauce,herbs and chilli flakes.

Sugar rush may be a thing of the past,with waffles and pancakes eatery Peter’s Pan also bending rules with chicken and cheese waffles,onion and corn pancakes and chicken,cheese and mushroom French toast.

“We had started out as a waffles and pancakes place,but people can’t eat sweet items all the time. So we decided to experiment a little and come out with other options,” says Mir Saifee Shaikh,CEO of Peter’s Pan’s parent group,Orange Peel Foodworks. He adds that the chicken and cheese waffles are their third highest selling item because they work well as a quick snack.

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