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Volume 6 | Issue 7

July 14, 2020

Middle Eastern Eats


SPOTLIGHT

Consumers are loving the craveable flavors of the Middle East and North Africa as more authentic elements of these regional cuisines emerge in fast-casual restaurants, midscale operations and beyond. The aromatic ingredients, seasonings and spices found in Levantine and Maghrebi cuisine—including za’atar, Aleppo pepper flakes, harissa, sumac, chermoula and rose water—add unexpected depth to entrées, desserts, beverages and more. Long-beloved dishes such as hummus, falafel and shawarma serve as an entry point to more complex flavors, as operators build upon familiar foundations. For example, topping a bed of hummus with spiced lamb and pickled vegetables rather than simply serving it as an appetizer gives customers a new way to experience dishes they already love. Adding what Flavor & The Menu describes as Middle Eastern “gateway flavors” to sandwich sauces, marinades or dips (including preserved lemon, cardamom and hyssop) is another great way to add interest and excitement without pushing customers too far out of their comfort zones.










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Our latest recipe video, KEFTA KEBAB WITH SHAKSHUKA SAUCE AND TZATZIKI, showcases the memorable flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine—including tender ground lamb and beef skewers enhanced with Custom Culinary® Master’s Touch® Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate, tzatziki and shakshuka sauce featuring Custom Culinary® Gold Label Ready-To-Use Craft Toppings™ Harissa. Watch the video!

Middle Eastern and North African flavors can be incorporated into menu items as marinades, finishing sauces, sandwich toppings and more. Try these suggestions featuring products from Custom Culinary®, ranging from authentic to fusion-inspired.


RECIPES FEATURING
CUSTOM CULINARY® BRANDED PRODUCTS


An assortment of vegetables marinated in Custom Culinary® Master’s Touch® Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate, Custom Culinary® Gold Label True Foundations™ Vegetable Liquid Stock Concentrate and seasonings makes for a delicious sharable appetizer. Drizzle with tahini-yogurt sauce featuring Master’s Touch® Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate before serving with Aleppo pepper-spiced pita chips.

VIEW RECIPE
Top a bed of housemade hummus (flavored with Custom Culinary® Master’s Touch® Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate) with sautéed lamb marinated in Custom Culinary® Gold Label True Foundations™ Beef Base. Serve with warm pita bread infused with Custom Culinary® Gold Label Ready-To-Use Craft Toppings™ Harissa.

VIEW RECIPE
Add North African flair to a classic grilled chicken, red pepper and mozzarella sandwich by using Custom Culinary® Gold Label Ready-To-Use Craft Toppings™ Harissa in two ways—as harissa mayonnaise and harissa vinaigrette.

VIEW RECIPE

Branded Products


Product No. 9815
Custom Culinary® Master’s Touch® Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate 

 
VIEW PRODUCT

Product No. 9678
Custom Culinary® Gold Label Ready-To-Use Craft Toppings™ Harissa
 
VIEW PRODUCT  
Product No. 5334
Custom Culinary® Gold Label True Foundations Beef Base

VIEW PRODUCT
 
Product No. 6810
Custom Culinary® Gold Label True Foundations™  Vegetable Liquid Stock Concentrate
VIEW PRODUCT

MENU INSPIRATION FEATURING
CUSTOM CULINARY® PROPRIETARY PRODUCTS



SPICY SCHUG SABICH
Grilled pita bread stuffed with a savory mixture of fried eggplant, sliced hard-boiled egg, tomato, red onion, cucumber, Custom Culinary® Fire-Roasted Schug Sauce and a drizzle of tahini.
 
CHEESY FALAFEL-BURGER
An extra-large, crisp falafel patty served on a toasted bun, topped with seared halloumi cheese, arugula, tomato, cucumber and a drizzle of Custom Culinary® Za’atar Yogurt Sauce.
 
SMOKY KEFTA POUTINE
Crispy golden steak fries dusted with savory smoked za’atar spice and piled high with mini kefta meatballs, crumbled feta cheese, robust Custom Culinary® Aleppo Pepper Harissa Sauce, tahini, sliced radishes and parsley.
 
CHICKEN SHAWARMA-RRITO
Parsley- and lemon-seasoned rice, juicy flame-broiled chicken shawarma, shredded lettuce, tomato and red onion rolled into a warm flour tortilla, then toasted on a griddle and drizzled with tangy Custom Culinary® Amba Sauce.
 
SAFFRON RICE PUDDING
Saffron-studded creamy rice pudding drizzled with a sweet and savory Custom Culinary® Cardamom Caramel, finished with a sprinkle of crushed toasted pistachios.


PROPRIETARY PRODUCTS* 
  • Fire-Roasted Schug Sauce
  • Za’atar Yogurt Sauce
  • Aleppo Pepper Harissa Sauce
  • Amba Sauce
  • Cardamom Caramel
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*Products are customized; please contact your Custom Culinary® representative for more information.

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Chef Talk

Chef Michael Hornback invites readers to take a trip through the history, showcasing both the diverse ingredients and the unifying threads between Afghan, Egyptian, Lebanese, Moroccan, Yemeni and other Middle Eastern cuisines.


ADDITIONAL INSIGHTS

Hungry for more?
Check out our FlavorIQ® video for insights behind this top trend.

WHERE INSIGHTS BECOME INSPIRATION
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.

 


Sources


 
Maeve Webster, “The value of Middle Eastern cuisine,” Flavor & The Menu, April 11, 2019.



 
Patricia Cobe, “Recipe report: Cook something new,” Foodservice Director, January 2, 2020.