Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development


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While just about every meat imaginable can be found on a pizza these days, this old-school Italian cut is getting a makeover as an on-trend pizza option. The fat-laden spiced sausage is piled into rich, meaty nests on many a pizza today, adding height, a light pink color contrast, and ruffled edges to capture a final char. In Los Angeles, Best Bet Pizzeria opts for big chunks of crispy mortadella for its Reverse Spumoni pizza, topping a Grandma-style focaccia crust with cherries, pistachio, whipped buffalo ricotta and cherry-amaro agrodolce.


On any pizza menu, there are a few must-haves, “consumers-will-riot-if-we-don’t-offer-them” options: sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, mozarella. But with a dynamic category like pizza, where its popularity demands new builds and constant innovation in order to stand out, a new generation of ingredients and toppings are keeping this Italian favorite fresh and on-trend. Let’s call these the “new classics.” They aren’t on every pizza chain menu (yet), but they are go-tos for hip pizzaiolos crafting unique pies across the country.

About The Author

Mike Kostyo

Mike Kostyo is the VP of Menu Matters. Mike has been a recurring guest on Fusion TV’s “The A.V. Club” show; has been featured on NBC News, CBS Radio and Gimlet Media’s “Why We Eat What We Eat” podcast; is regularly featured in newspapers and magazines; speaks at numerous conferences across the country; and was a judge on Food Network’s “Eating America.” For nearly 11 years, Mike was an associate director and trends expert at one of the industry's largest research firms. He has a master's in Gastronomy from Boston University, plus certificates in the culinary arts, baking arts, wine and artisan cheese production. [email protected]