In this age of social media, guests have access to more information about food than ever before. All of a sudden, American diners can easily compare local flavors with dishes being served abroad. Somehow, chefs must strike a balance between following international trends, and impressing guests with innovative flavor combinations.
How does your restaurant stand out on the global stage? It’s time to get inspired by the unique flavors that chefs are developing all around the world.
Something Elder, Something New…
Ever since the Royal Wedding, lemon-elderflower pastries have become the latest craze. This flavor combination isn’t limited to cakes – although that’s where we saw it on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day. These aromatics are starting to appear in every type of dish, from cocktails to pork loin. Their sweet, musky scent reminds diners of spring and celebration. Chefs and mixologists around the world are using this trend to remind guests that there’s always something to celebrate, even if it’s just another workday. Festive, innovative flavor combinations are a great way to keep your customers coming back for more.
What flavor combinations does your restaurant serve? Don’t be shy about incorporating lemon and elderflower into your menu – but even beyond this popular flavor profile, there are countless ways to impress your guests with aromatics. This is a great opportunity for restaurant operators to collaborate with chefs, choosing a few unique herbs and other flavors to spruce up your menu.
Millennials around the world are getting excited about fermented ingredients. Symrise, a German flavor and ingredients supplier, recently found that food and beverage product launches featuring fermentation have seen an annual growth of 29%. Their research may be focused on Germany, but it’s easy to see the same trend in the U.S. as ingredients like kombucha, sauerkraut, and even yogurt become more visible in both grocery stores and restaurant menus. These foods aren’t just delicious; they’re also extremely healthy, as they replenish the good bacteria in the digestive system. As consumers continue to focus on eating nutritious food, we can expect this trend to grow over the next several years.
It’s easy to incorporate fermented foods into any menu – from a side of bread and butter pickles at a deli to the banchan at a Korean BBQ. Even sourdough bread is technically fermented, so bakeries can get in on the fun! Make sure to include a note in your menu describing which items are fermented, so guests can easily identify dishes they’ll consider healthy.
When your restaurant starts experimenting with unique flavor combinations, the sky really is the limit. Marketing has a huge impact on these tastes, so make sure your designers are on hand to update you menu. Who knew hay-flavored ice cream could be so delicious…and popular? Tell the world about your newest discoveries, and soon guests in London will be comparing their local food to your restaurant’s Instagram.