Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Globe Trotting Commodity boards showcase how to harness trending global flavors

flavor profile.
PHOTO CREDIT: National Mango Board

Next-level Kabobs

These Lamb & Walnut Kofta Kebab Lettuce Wraps with smoked eggplant and walnut purée are a delicious expression of trending global profiles in a healthful application. This recipe also showcases the versatility of walnuts as a protein stand-in, adding both a unique texture and an elevated flavor profile. The kofta itself is a blend of lean lamb, California walnuts and herbs and spices such as cumin, sumac, coriander and mint, highlighting the appeal of Eastern Mediterranean flavors. Recipe creator Trent Page, chef de cuisine and general manager of Google’s YouTube Cafes, emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the needs of upcoming influential Gen Z consumers. “They are a true multicultural generation, where ‘ethnic’ cuisine is just ‘cuisine’ to them, and recipe mash-ups and global flavors will become more prevalent across foodservice lines.” Page notes the adaptability of the kofta recipe as another advantage for operators, perhaps as a burger or a meatball appetizer, or even in a taco.

California Walnuts

Pho Surprise

This Pho with Avocado Dumplings presents a comforting, traditional dish with a unique and surprising addition. The smooth texture of the avocado dumplings are a pleasing complement to the hearty beef broth and vibrant garnishes of red and orange hot peppers, napa cabbage, bean sprouts, scallions, basil and cilantro. The dumplings are prepared from a base of whipped avocado, tapioca starch and rice flour, and seasoned with lime zest, garlic and cilantro. “The smooth, creamy consistency of avocados works really well in these dumplings and brings an intriguing element that is totally one of a kind,” says Mark Garcia, director of foodservice marketing for Avocados from Mexico. “Taking basic ingredients that consumers love and incorporating a global twist works well as a way for operators to stand out. The avocado dumplings add the appeal of a beloved ingredient used in an innovative way.”

Avocados from Mexico

Doubling Down

Inspiration for trending global profiles can be found at every turn and this Samosa-Stuffed Idaho Potato is the perfect example. While the comforting baked potato provides the base, the filling is a reverse-engineered samosa, inspired by the popular potato-based Indian street food. Cumin, coriander, ginger and turmeric elevate the potato-and-vegetable filling while the bright cilantro chutney further emphasizes the Indian influence. “The stuffed potatoes can be hand-held, are easy to put together, and look great when filled with interesting ingredients” says Chuck Hatfield, director of culinary systems for Sodexo, based in Gaithersburg, Md. The recipe was developed as part of Mindful by Sodexo, a line of mostly vegetarian entrées that are foodservice friendly. “We played off the loaded baked potato, taking a well-known staple and making it healthier, as well as appealing to customer preferences for exciting global flavor trends.”

Idaho Potato Commission

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