Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Play Around With Textures Ideas for easy textural enhancements

The Liège waffle pops at Sweet Combforts at Trade Food Hall in Irvine, Calif., star pearl sugars, which yield a caramelized texture that contrasts nicely with the pillowy waffle.
PHOTO CREDIT: Sweet Combforts

Look at existing menu items that could use an update or increased “Wow!” factor, and then see if it makes sense to add a textural component via pearls, dusts, crystals or powders. Create a menu item that lets your guest apply a selected powder (or similar application) to their food—something that they can dunk or roll in as they eat. Seasonal limited-time offers are a prime way to incorporate an exciting texture play.

Consider these textural enhancements:

  • Beet powder mixed with carrot juice, orange juice and ginger for a refreshing and healthful beverage
  • A michelada glass rimmed with fresh lime juice and then ghost-pepper sea salt for a blast of salty heat with every sip
  • Sugar pearls with Liège waffles for signature caramelized pops of bursting flavor
  • Cheese powder tossed on Buffalo-glazed chicken wings to add extra indulgence and an actual finger-licking-good experience

Snap, Crackle and Pop – modern pearls, dusts, powders and crystals introduce captivating texture, making texture one of our top 10 flavor trends for 2019.

From the Jan/Feb 2019 Top 10 Trends issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read the full issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription.



About The Author


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.