By Rob Corliss
January 9, 2020
Fruit is garnering increased attention across the menu, perhaps driven in part by the influx of plant-based innovation. Chefs with a keen eye see the benefit of translating the success of other trends in fruit-forward applications. In many cases, sparking consumer interest is easier with a craveable fruit application than with a vegetable.
There aren’t many trial barriers to fruit.
Anytime you can extrapolate deeper flavor from a food product, you are creating dimension and culinary intrigue. Operators can apply the same flavor techniques used on vegetables or meat/seafood to fruit—introducing guests to beloved flavors in a new and unexpected form. Here’s a list of easy fruit-forward menu-development ideas grounded in a familiar base:
- Wood-fired roasted fruit, chopped and blended into a tomato salsa or pesto
- Caramelized seasonal fruit blended into a smoothie or as layers in a smoothie
- Pickled fruit as a taco or bowl topper
- Smoked fruit in a barbecue sauce
- Macerated fruit as a pancake, waffle or French toast topper
- Salted/spiced/vinegary fruit in a glaze/purée (think chamoy)
- Infused fruit in cocktails as a flavoring or edible garnish
- Residual cooked fruit juice reductions turned into granita or sherbet (think of the remaining liquid from cinnamon and orange poached pears)
- Compressed melon as a salad component