Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu
August 30, 2023

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Few products successfully complement global flavors as effectively and harmoniously as the potato. Using McCain Mini Mashers™ potato bites, chefs can fuse a variety of potato textures with popular or trending global flavor systems into one craveable bite, elevating the well-loved kitchen staple to new culinary heights.

The versatility of McCain’s new potato bites helps operators deliver fresh takes on the globally inspired classics diners have come to know and love.

“These poppable shareables are the perfect carriers for a variety of international flavors, and their ability to be sauced and tossed without losing form ensures quality results for diners,” says Mark Slutzky, Director of Culinary at McCain Foods. “They’re great with Parmesan, garlic, and other Italian staples. They also pair exquisitely with Mediterranean flavors and ingredients like feta—or Japanese dishes tossed with a sweet soy glaze. The possibilities really are endless.”
McCain’s Epic Throwdown was the perfect vehicle to showcase some of these endless possibilities. Four operator chefs were invited to create mouthwatering menu concepts spotlighting McCain Mini Mashers™ potato bites and wow a panel of expert judges. 

“With McCain Mini Mashers™ potato bites as the hero ingredient in handhelds, shareable appetizers, comfort food, and signature dishes, the Throwdown brought culinary inspiration to an entirely new level,” says Slutzky. “From gnocchi-based entrées and reimagined jalapeno poppers to a sweet and salty take on ice cream sandwiches, so many of the chefs’ creations have the potential to become menu mainstays. This is particularly exciting for menu developers searching for signature dishes to keep consumers returning for more.”


For the showdown of the challenge, chefs had to prepare a creative and original shareable. Here, we see the potential of McCain Mini Mashers™ potato bites come alive, as our four chefs take us on a culinary exploration, anchoring global or popular flavors and ingredients to a familiar platform.


McCain Mini Mashers™ Falafel

Brian Jupiter, Executive Chef and Partner at Pioneer Tavern Group, innovates the classic Middle Eastern street food but keeps chickpeas center stage. Deconstructing the traditional handheld falafel sandwich, Jupiter layered crispy, Cajun-spiced chickpeas and za’atar-spiced McCain Mini Mashers™ potato bites on a housemade pita topped with roasted garlic sauce, roasted tomatoes, and a drizzle of creamy tzatziki sauce.


McCain Mini Mashers™ Takoyaki

The Japanese-inspired creation of Victor Jacinto, chef at Courtside, weaves in the savory flavor of umami throughout the dish. McCain Mini Mashers™ potato bites are tossed in a miso-honey glaze and topped with togarashi, Kewpie mayo, nori strips and bonito flakes. The play between sweet, savory and spicy flavors is a testament to the McCain Mini Mashers™ potato bites’ ability to carry complex and trending tastes.


Bang-Bang McCain Mini Mashers™ Potato Poppers

Spike Mendelsohn, chef and owner of Vim & Victor, paid homage to the popular Thai-inspired app with a fresh twist and the right amount of kick. In this version, McCain Mini Mashers™ potato bites are topped with spicy Thai chili mayo that brings on the heat, roasted chopped cashews, and brightened with mint for a sweet, salty, tangy delight.


McCain Mini Mashers™ Chips Ice Cream Sandwich

In a bold move, Jen Carroll, founder and chef at Carroll Couture Cuisine, transformed McCain Mini Mashers™  potato bites into a playful dessert. Vanilla ice cream nestled between smashed Mini Mashers™ potato bites rolled in sprinkles or chocolate pearls, and sprinkled with flaky sea salt, creating an imaginative and unexpected treat that satisfies both sweet and savory cravings.

“McCain Mini Mashers™ potato bites deliver the versatility today’s high-volume kitchens need,” says Slutzky. “Simple to prepare, they possess cooking properties that enhance a variety of dishes across the menu. Couple those attributes with the ability to increase back-of-house productivity, and you’ve got a win-win solution for nearly any type of cuisine.”

To learn more about McCain Mini Mashers™ potato bites, visit https://mccainusafoodservice.com/innovation.


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