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Volume 4 | Issue 05

May 4, 2018

Carnival Cuisine


Say the phrase “carnival food” and what comes to mind? Food on a stick, deep-fried anything and shareable snacks that make a visual impact. From the weird to the wonderful, over-the-top eats are making their way from the fairgrounds to the dining room. Research from Datassential reveals that 53% of consumers are interested in seeing amusement park foods at restaurants! While items like the fried ice cream cheeseburgers served at the Florida State Fair might not be making an appearance on your menu anytime soon, they can serve as jumping-off points for creative and whimsical dishes. The up-and-coming “eatertainment” channel capitalizes on the trend, serving up comfort food that emphasizes the interactive and social aspects of the dining experience (i.e. sharable fishbowl beverages, loaded tater tots and skewers). Operators in more traditional restaurant channels can put their own spin on these types of dishes. Think haute cuisine twists on such classics as funnel cakes, soft pretzels, cotton candy and hot dogs. Premium ingredients, signature toppings and dipping sauces can elevate these dishes to new heights—literally and figuratively! 


Bring the “wow” factor to dessert with our tower of Big Top Donut Holes, featuring Custom Culinary® Gold Label Crème Anglaise and Master’s Touch® Chipotle Flavor Concentrate. WATCH THE VIDEO. 

Finger foods piled high with savory toppings capture the spirit of carnival or amusement park fare—and impress your guests. Check out our recipe ideas.


Food Truck Poutine
Prepare with your choice of french fries or tater tots, topped with cheddar cheese and bourbon gravy featuring Custom Culinary® PanRoast® Brown Gravy and Custom Culinary® Gold Label Kentucky-Style Bourbon Sauce.
View Recipe

A Hot Mess
A grilled hot dog wrapped inside a large tortilla, topped with cole slaw, french fries, Custom Culinary® Gold Label Jalapeño Relish and cheddar cheese, finished on the griddle.
View Recipe

Triple Play Grilled Cheese
A three-tiered sandwich between slices of sourdough bread: one layer of pepper jack and cheddar cheese, a second layer of Custom Culinary® Gold Label Bacon Onion Marmalade and provolone cheese and a third layer of Custom Culinary® Gold Label Pale Ale Cheese Sauce and blue cheese crumbles.
View Recipe

Bavarian Brat-n-Bacon Dog
A soft, chewy pretzel bun loaded with a charbroiled bratwurst sausage, tangy sauerkraut, Custom Culinary® Gold Label Pale Ale Cheese Sauce, diced red onion and crispy bacon crumbles.
View Recipe

Sweet Treat Skewers
Indulgent bites of Caramelita chocolate blondies, mini red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, “death by chocolate” brownies and peanut butter crispy rice treats on a skewer, served with a side of Custom Culinary® Gold Label Crème Anglaise Sauce for dipping.
View Recipe


Sweet Heat Loaded Potato Tornado
Skewered golden brown twisted “tornado” potatoes, loaded with habanero jack cheese, bacon, blue cheese and a fiery Custom Culinary® Agave Habanero Sauce glaze.

Smoky Waffle Melt
Thick slices of American cheese melted between two Custom Culinary® Smoked Cheddar Cheese Batter waffles, stuffed with bacon, tomato and a tangy pickled Custom Culinary® Peppadew Jam

Funnel Cake Triple Stack
Two char-grilled beef patties topped with Custom Culinary® Blackberry and Peach Chutney, smoky cheddar, bacon, lettuce and fried onions, stacked between three funnel cakes skewered with a pile of onion rings.

Chicken-Fried Riblets
A rack’s worth of baby-back ribs tossed in seasoned flour and fried to a golden brown, dressed in sweet and savory Custom Culinary® Hoisin Szechuan Pepper BBQ Sauce and finished with green onion. 


Indulgent dishes grounded in premium ingredients help bring the carnival cuisine trend to life on your menu. Our products deliver those bold flavors with operational ease. 


  • Agave Habanero Sauce
  • Smoked Cheddar Cheese Waffle Batter
  • Blackberry and Peach Chutney
  • Hoisin Szechuan Pepper BBQ Sauce
  • Peppadew Jam
*Products are customized; please contact your Custom Culinary® representative for more information.


Download your free copy of our latest white paper: “Driving Traffic with LTOs.”  Download here.

Learn how to set up a profitable made-to-order noodle bar in your operation with our “Raising the Bar” guide.

Download the PDF here.


Chef Talk

Chef Michael Smith recounts his delicious trip to Seoul —from the jaw-dropping grocery stores to BBQ joints to street carts—and share how the memorable dishes he tried can inspire your own menu.

FlavorIQ® enables our customers' growth and success by approaching the creation of customized solutions with a bold mix of expertise, aspiration and curiosity. We develop unique products, menu concepts and "gold standard" flavor delivery systems, meeting the requirements of our customers today and anticipating their emerging needs, too. The opportunities we identify for operators and food manufacturers on a global scale are rooted in a deep understanding of the culinary arts, sensory science, consumer insights and food science. Our ultimate goal? Innovation without limits.