Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Flavor & The Menu
June 6, 2021

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Chef Mike Leccese is Vice President of Innovation for Haliburton International Foods, Inc., a Southern California-based specialty foods processor that specializes in creating customized, hand-crafted quality SKUs for multiple menu items—from Ready-To-Eat roasted vegetables to sauces, soups, IQF grains and legumes. We asked Leccese to describe a winning flavor build that showcases trend-forward flavors using Haliburton ingredients. For this, he chose Tacos Guisados, using the comforting, craveable braise as the star of the build, but highlighting the ways in which the ingredients come together for a “best” flavor build.

Describe the dish and how it’s put together:
“The Tacos Guisados feature beef slow-braised in Haliburton’s guajillo chile marinade, topped with Haliburton’s citrus-pickled escabeche, fresh avocados and cilantro, crumbled queso fresco and Haliburton’s salsa roja atop artisan sweet potato tortillas.”

Describe the overall flavor experience and layers of flavor:
“The savory, salty and fatty chile-infused braised beef is complemented by sharp, citrusy and acidic pickled vegetables to help keep the palate awakened. The slightly al dente texture of the pickled vegetables also helps provide some crunch. Salsa roja adds a bit of heat while also emphasizing the richness of tomatoes in the guisado. Creamy avocado and queso fresco hold the layers of flavor together while the sweet potato tortilla adds the finishing touch of sweetness to round out the bite.”

What makes this Tacos Guisados dish a “best flavor build” in your opinion?
“Old-age cooking paired with new wave ingredients and techniques help elevate this style of dish to a ‘best flavor build.’ The familiarity in the look and how the dish eats also helps consumers better understand the ingredients and how they flow together. Finally, the color and vibrancy of utilizing fresh vegetables for pickling, garnishes, and the tortilla help build contrast and uplift the guisado to give a ‘Wow!’ factor for the first visual impression.”

Does this menu item provide a solution to modern menu challenges?
“A guisado-style protein application is great in the fact that it can be easily cooked in a few simple steps while also providing long shelf life if properly handled and stored. The proteins can easily hold up for longer period of times while staying hot, and there is never an issue of losing texture since it’s braised and shredded or pulled. A guisado application can be used across multiple platforms such as soups, stuffed appetizers, sandwiches, flatbreads and bowls.”

For more flavor inspiration visit www.haliburton.net


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