Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Author: Priscilla Martel

Gold-Plating Desserts

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends What could make a fudgy brownie even more delicious? How about a creamy, peanut-butter topping crowned with shaved chocolate? Photo courtesy Priscilla Martel. Operators delight all the senses with sophisticated sauces, thoughtful garnishes and textural surprises By Priscilla Martel From a stacked brownie sundae overflowing with salted caramel to a painterly composition of lime dacquoise with fresh cilantro and guava cream, consumers expect distinctive saucing and garnishes on their desserts, whether in fast-casual or fine-dining establishments. Hand-crafting and other contemporary influences are changing the way pastry chefs plate desserts. STATE OF THE SAUCE “Sauces...

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Flavor-House Formulas

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends “It is the flavorist’s desire to make a flavor that becomes a distinctive characteristic attribute of the brand,” says Firmenich Food Technologist David Watson. Photo courtesy of firmenich. Today’s menu developers can benefit from flavor collaborations at the source By Priscilla Martel Flavor chemists are credited for such creations as cookie-dough vodka and bacon bubble gum, but the flavor industry supports foodservice in many more ways than developing the latest buzzworthy flavor creations. Working with in-house or consulting chefs, flavor companies help operators create consistent and craveable signature dishes. Flavor scientists have a knowledge...

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Savoring Sweetness

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends Naturally flavorful sweeteners such as maple pump up the appeal of dishes like this pan-roasted maple-Dijon chicken with butternut squash and Brussels sprouts. Photo courtesy of national chicken council. A sweet foundation forms the basis for any palate pleaser — especially when combined with complementary flavors and forms By Priscilla Martel Sweetness is the most pleasurable taste — it’s the taste we crave from birth well into adulthood. In the United States, the world’s largest consumer of sweeteners, chefs and their customers embrace the sweetness found in everything from ripe fruits and honey to...

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The Bitter Truth

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends Greens with a touch of bitterness add a healthy and piquant accent that sets off other ingredients, as with this asparagus and fava bean salad at Philippe in Houston. Photo courtesy of KIM garver. Optimizing the flavor potential of bitter profiles By Priscilla Martel Bitter conjures up disappointment or treacley Mary Poppins with her spoonful of sugar. Bitterness as a taste often alienates, but it is an essential flavoring component that adds balance and sophistication to contemporary dishes and spirits. For the mixologist, beverage bitters are the seasoning that makes satisfying cocktails. For the...

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Savoring Sour

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends Zingy lime juice awakens the palate in Picca Peru’s ceviche, which chef Ricardo Zarate tempers with lemon juice or vinegar just before serving. Photo courtesy of cathy chaplin for picca peru. Sour flavors step out from their supporting roles and into the limelight By Priscilla Martel At the new and hip restaurant Picca Peru in Los Angeles, the house drink is the pisco sour and the raw fish is bathed in lime-infused tigre de leche. In Portland, Ore., Pok Pok Thai restaurant started selling its Som drinking vinegar nationwide this year. In the San...

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