We’ve been tracking Peruvian food for a while now, watching a few culinary stars like aji amarillo (yellow chile pepper), ceviche and purple potatoes move onto American menus in creative, flavor-forward applications. A number of restaurants have helped move Peruvian cuisine into sharper focus, including Tanta in Chicago and Yuyo in Austin, Texas.
The spotlight on this region will certainly shine even brighter once Chicago’s Stephanie Izard (The Girl & The Goat, Little Goat Diner, et al) opens her Peruvian rooftop restaurant, Cabra, this spring. There’s definitely an audience for Peruvian food. Technomic’s 2018 Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report revealed that of those who eat ethnic foods, 53 percent have not tried Peruvian cuisine yet but want to.
Peruvian cuisine is now making inroads as chefs—like Izard—go deeper and pull out more of its craveable dishes. The “saltado” could be the next big opportunity for translation. The dish stars meat (sirloin, but easily adapted to other proteins) marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and spices, then stir-fried with red onion, parsley, tomato and french fries. These savory, complex flavors reflect the influences in Peru’s cuisine—from Spanish colonizers, indigenous populations and both Japanese and Chinese immigrants.
Butterball Foodservice’s version, the Pavo Saltado, demonstrates a creative way to leverage an emerging flavor trend while keeping it familiar and approachable. “Our take features the delicious flavors of the saltado and moves it from an entrée presentation of the stir fry to a sandwich,” says Heather Ness, Foodservice Marketing Manager at Butterball.
As other global handhelds like the Vietnamese banh mi and the Cubano find success on U.S. menus, it’s evident that the beloved format is a smart way in.
The star for this sandwich is turkey breast, serving up a lean, wholesome and familiar protein. Its familiarity and popularity balance the more adventurous side of a lesser known profile like the saltado.
“Also, as turkey carries flavor so well, it’s a great match for the big flavors in this dish—the vinegar, soy sauce and ginger really come through,” says Ness. Translating global flavors through familiar proteins, like turkey, forges a direct path to successful menu innovation.
3 Ways to Maximize Saltado
The flavors in the marinade for the meat, along with the combination of fries, red onion and tomatoes, make this a craveable flavor system worth exploring. Start with turkey saltado, then feature it in these additional trend-forward applications:
1. Peruvian Tostadas
Turkey saltado on a tostada spread with garlicky black beans and finished with pickled jalapeño
2. Saltado Salad
Crisp romaine topped with turkey saltado, corn, Cotija cheese and roasted purple potatoes
3. Saltado Stir Fry
Fried brown rice, turkey saltado, green onion and scrambled egg
More Latin American Super Stars
For more great ideas, visit ButterballFoodservice.com