Fall is around the corner and it’s time to let those seasonal spices shine. Grow sales and spice up menus by creating cost-effective dishes around fall flavor trends.
Sugar & Spice…& Salty
The craze for foods that combine sweet elements with either spicy or salty ones is at an all-time high right now, and fall is a great time to explore the trend. Hot honey or salted maple syrup are both great for incorporating these combo flavors into your menu. Consider serving with fried chicken or as an accompaniment to your cheese board. They can also help liven up a breakfast dish, like a stack of pancakes or biscuits.
With a feature story on curries of the world in a recent issue of Food & Wine, you can be sure that foodie folks will have curry on the brain. Fortunately, curry is a low-cost dish to make, and can enhance a wide variety of dishes with its blend of spices. Try to find a curry that makes sense in the context of your menu, and then offer it as a seasonal special, perhaps including other autumnal ingredients like pumpkin or kale for a spicy soup, or curry-spiced roasted root vegetables for a healthy but more flavorful side to your autumn comfort food.
Fun with Fungi
Mushrooms are currently trending as consumers seek out ‘meaty’ meat alternatives. King oyster mushrooms are nice for searing and serving with a wine sauce for an elegant dish with a much lower cost than a cut of beef. Look for ways to treat mushrooms like meat, such as a mushroom piccata or roasted maitakes with wild rice.
Seeds are super hot right now as a substitute to nuts and a smart, delicious way to include crunchy texture in dishes. Fennel, sunflower, mustard, and pumpkin seeds can do just that while also bringing in another layer of flavor. And they’re extremely affordable and long-lasting. Consider adding pumpkin and sunflower seeds to housemade granola. And reach for the coriander and cumin when you want to add a seedy crunch to dredges and even salsa, like a riff on salsa macha (another trending ingredient).