Restaurants can differentiate themselves and their menu offerings with a variety of quality and unique condiments. Ketchup, mustard and mayo have long been standard fare to enhance burgers, but these condiments are getting a makeover with new flavor profiles. Take ketchup for example: this staple has been updated with unusual twists, such as smoky and spicy.
It doesn’t even have to be tomato based: more establishments are experimenting with different produce, such as cherry, banana, blueberry, and even beet. While imperfect fruits can be salvaged and transformed quite easily into ketchups, the condiment doesn’t have to start with fresh.
Dried fruits work well too, such as peaches, prunes and figs. Herbs are also showing up in the mix of spreads and pestos. But a common denominator is that it’s housemade. Technomic research shows that six out of 10 consumers believe condiments and sauces are very important to the quality of a sandwich. For a luxurious and rich touch, compound butters are another way to pump up the flavor. A mixture of butter with herbs or spices is simple to make but goes a long way and gives a unique flavor to a burger.
It can range from basic (garlic-herb) to more sophisticated (truffle or even seaweed-cheese butter). On-trend aioli can also find a home atop a burger.The versatile garlicky sauce is becoming more ubiquitous on menus and offers an alternative to regular mayonnaise. Spice it up with hot sauce or experiment with different flavor profiles that go beyond garlic like a curried aioli.
Ethnic flavors continue to be popular among consumers, and fusing global flavors is an effective way to tantalize customer palates. Going along with the fermented trend, Korean kimchee offers a new level of flavor to a standard burger. Or go Indian with red onion and chutney (use masala spice in the patty). For those cutting costs or looking for perfect condiment portioning.