Nashville hot — typically a spicy coating containing both hot sauce and cayenne pepper — as a flavor has exploded on restaurant menus through the convergence of two big trends.
It was driven in part by the “chicken sandwich wars,” in which a number of quick-service restaurants experimented with their own versions of the Southern classic that is both portable and craveable. Meanwhile, consumers’ tolerance of and appetite for spice has grown: According to market research firm Datassential and its FLAVOR database, 61% of consumers say they like or love spicy foods.
But Nashville hot is not just for sandwiches. All varieties of chicken — America’s favorite protein — can be given the Nashville hot treatment, whether it’s fried pieces or a whole rotisserie bird.
And of course, don’t forget about plant-based options. Nashville hot cauliflower and other vegetarian versions can offer a welcome bold flavor to those who choose to forgo the meat.
Click through the gallery to learn more about this Flavor of the Week and see how one restaurant is using pour over coffee on its menu.