Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
January 9, 2020

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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

About The Author

Rob Corliss

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.