Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

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Innovating Within Ubiquity Breathe new life into late-stage trends with creative flavors and forms

Tapping into Alfredo’s built-in appeal requires the simplest of touches—perhaps a hint of Gorgonzola or an infusion of spices, like ancho or smoked paprika.
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4. Buffalo Roams

This classic, craveable combination of hot sauce, butter and cayenne is undergoing a thorough exploration of its flavor system today. “We’re seeing play with Buffalo cauliflower bites, sweetbreads, pig wings, hummus, or adding Buffalo chicken to dishes like poutine and pasta,” say Datassential’s Darr. At A&E Supply Co. in Brooklyn, N.Y., an iceberg wedge salad is dotted with bits of Buffalo chicken confit. And Rebel Republic Social House in Redondo Beach, Calif., serves Buffalo Sprouts—roasted Brussels sprouts with house hot sauce and crumbled blue cheese.

At En Su Boca in Richmond, Va., Salt Brined Chicken Wings Al Pastor star a housemade Buffalo sauce, pickled jalapeño and Fresno chiles, with a drizzle of lime crema.

At En Su Boca in Richmond, Va., Salt Brined Chicken Wings Al Pastor star a housemade Buffalo sauce, pickled jalapeño and Fresno chiles, with a drizzle of lime crema.

Boundless Buffalo

By Eric Stangarone

Few food items garner the fervor, ritual and messy fingers that surround this piquant combination of aged cayenne pepper, vinegar and butter. Here are five menu ideas that offer Buffalo’s classic flavor profile, beyond the wing:

  • Toss with cornmeal-crusted buttermilk Buffalo fried oysters, whipped blue cheese and micro celery.
  • Go high-minded, but distinctly American, with Buffalo sous vide veal sweetbreads. Marinate cleaned sweetbreads overnight in buttermilk and hot sauce, sous vide, then finish in the fryer.
  • Update grilled chicken breasts with a blue cheese-stuffed Buffalo Cordon Bleu. Use a Buffalo compound butter for the last-minute nappe.
  • Season cauliflower, tofu, seitan or other non-meat options with Buffalo-inspired dry rubs or Buffalo-splashed vinaigrettes, always garnishing with something crispy and fresh, usually sauced with something creamy and lactic.
  • Offer something lighter and gluten-free with Buffalo-braised chicken lettuce cups, creamy blue cheese (or ranch) vinaigrette made with yogurt, and a mirepoix of celery and carrot.

 

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About The Author

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Katie Ayoub is managing editor of Flavor & The Menu. She has been working in foodservice publishing for more than 16 years and on the Flavor team since 2006. She won a 2015 Folio award for her Flavor & The Menu article, Heritage Matters. In 2006, she won “Best Culinary Article” from the Cordon D’Or for an article on offal.