Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

 

 

 

By Rob Corliss
May 17, 2022

 

Pizza is an easy bridge for blending the commonalities between Greece and Italy as bright Mediterranean tastes tell a compelling flavor story. Greek influence is simple and familiar yet yields a refreshingly new pizza experience. Red-, white- and olive oil-based sauces benefit from an infusion of Greek-centric stylings and can easily move between the lightness of thinner doughs or richer, more decadent offerings. Popular feta cheese adds recognizable tanginess and easily blends with mozzarella, pecorino, Parmesan or fontina, while less common manouri or kasseri cheeses introduce intrigue for guests craving discovery. Pizza makers can opt for pairing builds with traditional toppings or bring in Greek favorites like shaved gyro meat. Contemporary pizza requires a strong signature finale, thus completing a pie with a finishing flavor has gained prominence.  Avgolemono sauce, tzatziki purées, fruit vinegar syrups or citrus mists all are inventive approaches.

Here are ideas and menu examples demonstrating how Greek flavors work harmoniously on any style of pizza. The impactful flavors garner attention, pop off a menu board and give diners more reasons to love pizza.

IDEAS FOR GREEK-INSPIRED PIZZA BUILDS:

CHICAGO STYLE

  • White Greek Pizza: Deep dish crust + spinach + seasoned ground beef + spicy white sauce (olive oil-feta-manouri-mozzarella-garlic-red pepper flakes)

DETROIT STYLE

  • Mediterranean Pizza: Thick crust + oregano pepperoncini + brick cheese + pink sauce (tomato sauce-alfredo sauce) + cup-and-char pepperoni

ST. LOUIS STYLE

  • Crete Orchard Pizza: Cracker thin crust + tapenade-olive oil sauce + Provel cheese + orange juice mist

NEW YORK STYLE

  • Gyro Pizza: Hand-tossed crust + sun-dried tomato sauce + mozzarella-Asiago + shaved gyro meat

FLATBREAD STYLE

  • Tzatziki Chicken Pizza: Thin pillowy flatbread + garlic-lemon sauce + mozzarella-feta + roasted pulled chicken thigh + tzatziki finishing drizzle

STUFFED CRUST STYLE

  • Kasseri Stuf’t Pizza: Stuffed crust (kasseri cheese-garlic paste-oregano) + white sauce + mozzarella + charred broccolini + crisped prosciutto + fig balsamic syrup finishing drizzle

 

ON THE MENU:

  • Mediterranean: Roasted chicken, artichoke hearts, red bell peppers, green olives, onions, feta
    Little Star Pizza, San Francisco
  • Pizza Boat: Garlic, olive oil, mozzarella, kasseri and three toppings
    Napoli’s of Waldorf, Waldorf, Md.
  • Denny’s Greek Style: Canadian bacon, feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, pineapple, Greek olive oil
    Pizza Olympia, Anchorage, Ak.

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]