Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu
March 10, 2020

Sandwich inspiration is in rich supply today, found in a number of trending categories, including: global street foods, deli and diner fare, American regional favorites, comfort classics, or a creative mash-up of any combination of these glorious handhelds. The success of a sandwich hinges on craveability, of course—and one of the clearest pathways to craveability is through the sandwich’s condiments and garnishes. “As chefs, we know they play a huge role. We also know that today, the bar is set high, with diners seeking exceptional flavor experiences that leave a distinct, memorable impression,” says Robert LeSage, Corporate Chef for Haliburton International Foods, a specialty foods processor. “Modern sandwiches need to pack a lot of flavor while building the story through big punches of flavor.” To answer that call, Le Sage and the team at Haliburton developed five flavor-forward handhelds, leveraging customized, high-impact flavor building as a pillar of development.

Gochujang Fried Chicken Sandwich

The fried chicken sandwich still wears its championship ring, winning as a both a classic Southern build and as a global-mash-up. Unique and compelling flavor combinations help differentiate here. This Gochujang Fried Chicken Sandwich gets hits of bold flavor from a gochujang glaze, roasted red pepper-garlic aïoli and Asian slaw, dressed in a sesame-citrus vinaigrette. “We use dried California and chipotle chiles in the aïoli for a rounded, balanced level of heat with a back note of smoke,” says LeSage.

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Steak Melt

Comforting and satisfying, the melt is an American classic that invites bold flavor play. With a fire-roasted caramelized onion and mushroom blend, whole-grain mustard aïoli and savory au jus, this Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Steak Melt delivers. “This sandwich is all about umami,” says LeSage. “Our roasting capabilities are second to none, bringing the deep, savory notes of the onion and mushroom.”

Blackened Chicken Sandwich

Combining smoke, acid, heat and spice, this Blackened Chicken Sandwich demonstrates how condiments and garnishes can move a handheld to the next level. “The pickled red jalapeños offer a great pop of color, in addition to a good level of heat and acid,” says LeSage. “Smoked chile aïoli introduces a creamy mouthfeel and mild smokiness, and the seasonings on the chicken, when blackened, add another layer of toasted smokiness.”

Mac & Cheese Sandwich

Taking American classics and reimagining them as a unique sandwich build finds that sweet spot of intrigue and familiarity. The Mac & Cheese Sandwich sees tender brisket topped with creamy mac and cheese, fire-roasted red bell peppers and roasted garlic aïoli. “It’s decadent and rich, perfect for a late-night menu or barbecue spot,” says LeSage.

Italian Pork Belly Sandwich

Bold flavors are an essential part of the modern playbook. In this Italian Pork Belly Sandwich, assertive flavors in the Italian vinaigrette counter the meat nicely, with anchovy paste, capers and vinegar adding savory, piquant notes. “We also include our roasted garlic aïoli to give the sandwich that craveable depth of flavor and moisture,” says LeSage.

How Can Haliburton Help?

Haliburton provides custom solutions by working hand in hand with the chefs in developing new products. “First, we listen to what their needs are on the specific project and develop the requested product accordingly,” says LeSage. “Then, we make adjustments/revisions to the product if needed until the customer is happy. We pride ourselves on being a trend forward, innovative custom food product manufacturer with clear and concise communication from inception to execution in our state-of-the-art production facility.”

Clean Mission

With consumers being more aware and cautious of the foods they are consuming, one of Haliburton’s main goals when creating products is to keep the list of ingredients as short and clean as possible. With over 100 million pounds of kettle capacity and three large IQF vegetable processing lines, the company is the only ready-to-use certified food partner in the country.

Learn more about Haliburton’s capabilities on creating high-impact ingredients for your menu.

Slideshow: 5 Modern Handhelds

Flavor-forward condiments and layers are key to craveable, signature sandwich builds. Watch the slideshow for on-trend handhelds featuring Haliburton International Foods’ custom culinary creations, showcasing easy solutions to signature builds.

For more inspiration, visit www.haliburton.net, for ways Haliburton can help with turnkey ingredient solutions.

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