Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

In a Pickle Add the bright crunch of an on-trend pickled element to sandwich builds

Sandwiches sing with the right pickled ingredient as a high-impact garnish

Sandwiches have always offered a familiar platform for creative signaturization, where chefs play with each layer, unlocking craveable flavor combinations. A pickled element introduces bright, beautiful acidity, along with a pleasing crunch and colorful pop.

If there’s any doubt that pickled ingredients beyond the pickle belong on sandwiches, look to the resounding success of the banh mi, that Vietnamese sandwich that sports pickled radish, carrot and onion. Now, everything is fair game when it comes to garnishing a sandwich with a pickled ingredient.

Fried chicken sandwiches practically beg for pickled onion. Fried fish sandwiches call out for pickled peppers, like jalapeño or Serrano. Porchetta sandwiches, which are seeing an uptick on menus today, need a pickled element to cut through the richness of the meat. Pickled red onion, radish or even peach work really well here.

What else works well in a pickle on a sandwich? Try these trend-forward ideas for big flavor impact:


  • watermelon rinds
  • grapes
  • nectarine
  • ramps
  • ginger
  • okra
  • cherries
  • green tomato
  • turnip

Consider adding the following to your pickled ingredients, adding depth and varied textures:

  • Chile purée, like guajillo or Calabrian chile
  • Fruit jams, like fig or smoked tomato
  • Vegetable purée, like smoked eggplant or sweet pea

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