Test Kitchen

Fresh & Local: Tomato Takeover

tomato

According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, tomatoes are the second most consumed vegetable in the U.S., behind potatoes. As the backbone to countless sauces, soups, juices, condiments, and garnishes, tomatoes are extremely adaptable to any dish and can also stand alone, simply dressed with oil and seasoning. When utilized at their peak, tomato seasonality can make all the difference ...

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Essential Elements of Mediterranean Cuisine

mediterranean cuisine

The current consumer love affair with Mediterranean cuisine provides an opportunity to cast vegetables and grains in a refreshing new light on your menu. Some 28% of Gen Xers (ages 41-52) say they love Greek/Mediterranean food, ranking the highest of all demographics according to a report by Datassential. For more than half of a century, scientists have intensely studied the ...

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Get Spicy

spices

With spice and herb combinations that meld hot and sweet with tangy and savory, Mediterranean and/or Middle Eastern cooking boast a wide array of flavors and aromas. Different countries are known for their own traditional spice mixes and marinades, each presenting wonderful ways to wake up your menu. Berbere: a fiery hot Ethiopian spice mix with intense and exotic flavor ...

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Reimagining the Hot Dog

Some of today’s hot dogs still suffer from mystery-meat syndrome in an era when consumers are leery of processed food and demand to know (and pronounce) the ingredients in what they eat. But it’s not time to count out the famous comfort food of Americana. Today’s top dogs answer the call with sustainable and ethical ingredients, minimal processing, elimination of ...

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The Magnificent Meatball Sandwich

While its origins are unknown, the ubiquitous meatball itself is not. At one time, simply a cost-effective way to stretch certain cuts of meat, the humble meatball is now a menu focal point and top-trending ingredient. Meatball sandwiches began showing up on submarine-shaped buns in the Northeastern U.S., while regionally popular ethnic varieties crossed cultural boundaries to reach new palates. ...

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Chicken Sandwich Craze

To some consumers, a chicken sandwich is comfort food. To others, it’s health food. But for operators, it’s high profitability potential and creative opportunity. Inventive takes on chicken sandwiches appear in several popular New York restaurants like Marcus Samuelsson’s Streetbird Rotisserie and David Chang’s Momofuku. Samuelsson’s Crispy Bird Sandwich showcases chicken marinated in coconut milk, ginger, and an Ethiopian spice ...

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Trends: Purple Power & Street-Food Inspired Dishes

Purple Power As vegetable-centered meals continue to gain popularity, chefs are focusing on unique produce, particularly purple vegetables. Purple is the new green as a wide variety of purple produce provides diners with nutrients and antioxidants as well as bright and tasty options. Prepare oven-roasted slices of purple eggplant and serve over white beans with a lemon caper sauce. Offer ...

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Octopus: The New Calamari?

octopus

Octopus has been spotted on many food trend list predictions for this year, including Pinterest’s top 2017 emerging trends. Calamari is already a staple at many restaurants, making octopus a logical next tier item when considering innovative seafood dishes to keep your menu fresh. Part of the cephalopod family that also includes squid, octopus has meaty, tender flesh with great ...

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Lobster: The Maine Event

lobster

With its firm, white meat packed with rich, sweet flavor, lobster has a high value as a premium protein. More chefs are featuring this versatile shellfish on menus across the board, from fast-casual restaurants to fine dining. Lobster also has allure for health-conscious clientele due to the crustacean’s lower caloric content, saturated fat, and cholesterol. If you want your dishes ...

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