Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
October 25, 2022

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Operators are leveraging the bocadillo, the classic Spanish sandwich finding its way to restaurants across the U.S., and making it work as a bar snack or shareable. The operational execution is as simple as preparing a full-length sandwich, then slicing it into smaller portions.

Here we look at how chefs can capitalize on three top trends, incorporating charcuterie, Latin/tropical comfort, and veg-centric ingredients, into the smaller format bocadillo build. All feature a traditional baguette and minimal, high-quality flavor components.



Charcuterie, especially when cross-utilizing existing menu ingredients, is ideal for small-bite bocadillos where make-ahead preparations can benefit back-of-house operations.

  • Three-Peat: Mortadella-Genoa salami-prosciutto + provolone + baguette (dotted with balsamic syrup)
  • Rillettes Roulette: Pork rillettes + charred shishito peppers + pickled red onions + baguette (spread with pepper jelly)
  • Capi Cool: Spicy capicola + marinated artichoke hearts + shaved manchego + baguette (rubbed with garlic)



Spark interest with more adventurous sandwich eaters via the craveable duo of tender meat chunks paired with an intriguing lip-smacking sauce, touting bold Latin flavors and the joyous brightness of the tropics.

  • Chimi Barbacoa: Chopped barbacoa + cream cheese chimichurri + baguette
  • Milky Mojo Carnitas: Mojo carnitas + whipped ricotta-chamoy spread + baguette
  • Hot Berry Chicken: Pulled guajillo-garlic roasted chicken + strawberry-habanero queso blanco + baguette



Leverage the fervor surrounding plant-based offerings with full-flavored vegetable-centric sandwich plays, which highlight exciting trend-forward flavor combinations.

  • Miso Eggplant Bocadillo: Roasted Japanese eggplant + yuzu-pickled watermelon radish + miso hummus + baguette
  • Mediterranean Crisper Bocadillo: Tempura broccolini + buffalo mozzarella + romesco + baguette
  • G. Shroom Q Bocadillo: Cornmeal-fried oyster mushrooms + creamy yellow mustard white cabbage slaw + smoky barbecue sauce + baguette


Smoked Brisket and Charred Radicchio Baguette

Boca Bites InnerPhoto Credit: Smithfield Culinary

A decidedly American take on the bocadillo, this Smoked Brisket and Charred Radicchio Baguette is easily cut into shareable minis, giving diners a satisfying bite of comforting brisket with sophisticated flavors.


GET THE RECIPE FOR Smoked Brisket and Charred Radicchio Baguette



About The Author

Rob Corliss

Rob Corliss is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu.