Wrap this roll! Chewing on the growing popularity of wraps and rolls

Delicious and filling Kathi rolls and Frankies have been around since ages yet they are as popular with GenX as they were with our grandparents. For many, wraps and rolls are nostalgic of school days when moms lovingly packed their tiffin boxes with a chapatti rolled with dry vegetable subzis and sauces. And on a global footing, countless choices of this simple household delight have found their ways among food and beverage outlets. The effortless snack-cum-meal indulgences with minimalist frills make appearances with equal aplomb in high-end restaurants and QSRs (quick service restaurants) as wraps and rolls.

The Kathi roll owes its genes to Kolkata while Frankie originated in Mumbai. Wraps are known worldwide by different names but the common factor running along each is the same! All of them sport roti /tortilla/taco temptingly cloaking tantalising veg or non-veg preparations with chutneys, sauces and marinades.

For people on-the-go

From Bademiya in Colaba to Rolls Mania in Powai and Wraps & Rolls in Bandra to Growel’s Mall in Kandivili and Subway outlets all over, one can find several QSRs catering an array of delectable rolls and wraps. When the name of the 24/7 coffee shop itself at Four Points by Sheraton Navi Mumbai is ‘Wrapped’, no prizes for guesses as all kinds of rolls and wraps are here!  “We do have a variety of offering in pasta, pizza, soup, sandwiches and burgers, still however there is an increasing demand for wraps due to the enhanced offerings with assorted flavours and proteins wooing the taste buds of consumers,” says Executive Chef Ashvini Kumar. Their signature rolls is Kolkata Kathi Roll besides finger-licking Spicy Tortilla wrap, Chicken Frankie, Tomato Pesto Chicken Burrito and Vegetab.

Vijay Kapoor, Owner of Noisy Café in Malad explains the idea and concept behind their wraps, “At Noisy Café we give a spin when we wrap desi and videsi ingredients with sauces from different regions of the world to suit a variety of palates, like the Spicy Mayo Tikki and the falafel, bell peppers and black olives in freshly made hummus in Falafel and Hummus wrap. It is wholesome for those with a time crunch.”

Talking about the Mangalorean filling in Chicken Sukka Roll, Chef Harman of Hoppipola restaurant in Khar and Powai avers, “We wanted to come up with something that was an absolute comfort food for busy folks but still had a twist to it. This roll has chicken, fresh coconut, onions in a flavoursome combination.”

 

Popularity meter

Satiating, handy, pocket-friendly, scrumptious, quick service and refreshingly re-inventive are the advantages which have made rolls and wraps survive the onslaught of exotic and innovative delicacies in the food segment. Rolls Mania, a brand which booted up as a kiosk in Magarpatta City, Pune 8 years ago, to their 110th outlet across the nation today, stands testimony to people’s fervour for rolls.

Be it their Fusion Bites or Double egg omelet roll, paneer hot garlic, cheese rolls or chicken fry/kheema / hariyali /mughlai wraps, Rolls Mania is the go-to QSR for rolls freaks. “Our patrons relish them with Butterscotch shake and cheese popper for a blissful finish. The huge popularity of the brand has sparked us to go global with the first set of absolutely self-funded international stores in Dubai and Doha,” reveal the Founders of Rolls Mania — Puneet Kansal, Gagan Sial and Sukhpreet Sial — who are proud of the success of their humble beginnings.

Speaking about the goodness of his specialties, Vijay Kapoor expresses, “The sell-out Peshawari Paneer comprises medium spicy desi feast in a wrap, loaded with the protein punch of cottage cheese cooked Peshawari style with the crunch of onions and tomatoes.”

Are they a healthy option?

Senior Dietician of Bhatia Hospital, Pooja Thacker’s take on their nutritional value is, “Wraps are of different types and are made up of corn, refined flour, wheat flour etc. Corn base rolls are empty calories. It is most healthy if you opt for a wheat base wrap and rolls due to its fibre content with protein rich fillings like egg and chicken rather than mutton for non-vegetarians. Tofu, soya or black beans as hummus and paneer base as filling is recommended for vegetarians. Opt for vegetable filling with less sauces and mayonnaise as they contain empty carbs and are high in fat content which is unhealthy for elderly people. Generally the quantity or portion size of vegetables is very less, in wraps and rolls. In order to make it more nutritious it is advisable to incorporate protein rich base items.”

Healthy whole wheat wraps of Barista’s creamy and peppery Malai Chicken lends a piquant feel on the palate while their Malai Paneer consisting of rich and buttery cottage cheese tikka for the vegetarians are simply irresistible with a glass of indulgent Brrista Caramello or Kesar Cappuccino! People are spoilt for choice with Kathi Roll, Kebab Rolls, Burritos and Tacos at ‘Wrapped’ and for some hearty filler, Chef Ashvini Kumar states, “Our wraps are packed with delectable and energetic fillings such as leafy salads, roasted chicken, and grilled vegetables for the health conscious eater.”

Anisha Maker, owner and chef at Garage Inc in Colaba who believes in supporting sustainable food, emphasises, “The Breakfast Wrap jacketing egg, bacon, baked beans and cheese is a complete meal. Our stuffs are freshly prepared including the bread for the roll. We only believe in the highest quality of products and use organic ingredients.” One has to be mindful of eating out frequently and however irresistible the rolls and wraps may be, especially for children, nothing can equal home-cooked food in taste and nutrition!