Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

 

 

 

By Rob Corliss
June 26, 2022

 

The uptick in banana pudding adaptations has brought fresh banana to the dessert forefront. This has awakened consumers to search for the creamy lusciousness of banana in other crave-worthy desserts. Look no further than the Banana Cheese Pie at Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa, which features a banana-cream cheese mousse in an almond praline crust with fresh bananas and whipped cream. Or look to the Banana Fosters Affogato at Restaurant Revolution in New Orleans, featuring brown sugar biscotti, roasted banana, dark rum and espresso.

Now reimagine these with a global spin that further elevates comfort with a lively contrast of alluring textures and vibrant tastes. Caribbean, Asian and Latin flavors all lend deep character to banana-inspired desserts. Operators can merge these influences with traditional dessert forms to deliver next-level excitement.

Here, we outline inspiration via “Try This” ideas and menu sightings to spark your operation’s dessert menu development and further patron affinity for banana.

CARIBBEAN INSPIRED

TRY THIS:

  • Hummingbird Banana Shortcake: Miniature hummingbird cake round (fresh banana-crushed golden pineapple-toasted pecan) + whipped cream cheese meringue “frosting” dollop + caramelized banana slices
  • Guava Bananas Foster Trifle (in a cup): Dark rum-soaked yellow corn cake cubes + guava jelly + banana custard + bananas Foster sauce + whipped cream

ON THE MENU:

  • Passion Fruit Semifreddo: Banana-rum namelaka, toasted meringue, macadamia praline — Mister A’s, San Diego

 

ASIAN INSPIRED

TRY THIS:

  • Sticky Banana Fritters: Lychee-banana sticky rice fritters + powdered sugar + toasted sesame-walnut syrup
  • Miso-Banana Blondie Bar Bites: Classic blondie base with chopped roasted banana + white miso caramel + mini white chocolate chips

ON THE MENU:

  • Buko Pandan: Coconut- and pandan-infused mousse with layers of softened wafers and sliced bananas inside — Baonanas, Jersey City, N.J.

 

LATIN INSPIRED

TRY THIS:

  • Latin Halo-Halo: Banana ice cream + nopales-lime granita + evaporated milk + flan + roasted banana slices + mango-chamoy + toasted shaved coconut + black tapioca pearls in hibiscus syrup
  • Screaming Banana Cream Pie-wich: Spiced banana cream custard + dulce de leche ice cream + soft dark chocolate cookies

ON THE MENU:

 

About The Author

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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. [email protected]