Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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category spotlight of regional f lavors also has the potential to produce something spe- cial. "Producers should look to what is in their backyard, too," notes Polcyn. "For example, if you live in Florida, local citrus can be a great addition to a salami." At Formaggio Kitchen in Boston, customer interest in mak- ing regionally specific recipes has put duck confit in the spotlight. "Its popularity has increased ten-fold," says Julia Hallman, general manager, who agrees that experimenting with regional f lavors and recipes is trending. Highlighting heritage. Products made from heritage breeds—ones that were once raised by our forefathers and are humanely raised and bred for certain traits and consistency of taste and flavor—are getting a lot of attention. "These traits are important to customers. Ten years ago, no one asked for 'organic' pork or where it came from—but now transpar- ency is top of mind," notes Marshall. This makes sense, as health claims in deli meats overall are trending up. According to Nielsen, antibiotic- and hormone-free claims are up 15 percent in volume, products labeled with no artificial preservatives are up 7 percent in volume, while all natural is up 2.5 percent in volume. "As a customer, you know [that a heritage breed] is not run of the mill 'commodity pork,' notes Marshall. "It adds a specialness, and something to talk about." Marshall likes La Quercia for its sus- tainable practices and quality American prosciutto. Caputo also acknowledges that customers "really want to find something that is far better tasting than what is available in the grocery store." Caputo's offers Salume Beddu, for example, which is made from heritage Midwestern pork. While there is something of a customer learning curve with specialty meats, hand selling and sampling quickly removes barri- ers. "Once they taste and hear a bit about the meat, the artisan, and maybe a bit of history behind it, they connect in a pretty meaningful way and it feels like they are participating in something more than just eating," explains Caputo. Housemade meats. The National Restaurant Association ranked "housemade charcuterie" as number four on its "What's Hot 2017 Culinary Forecast." But its appeal extends into other areas of spe- cialty foods as well. "Both restaurant diners and customers of specialty shops pretty much expect housemade options when it comes to charcute- rie—it's a way for the customer to enjoy something special and a way for a chef to showcase his talent and get around some of the USDA barriers when it comes to a packaged product," notes Zingerman's Marshall. Formaggio Kitchen offers 20 housemade charcuterie items and the housemade pates lead in popularity. "The difference in taste between a freshly made pate with locally sourced ingredients PLATING AND ACCOMPANIMENTS These days, charcuterie boards aren't just highlighting meat—they're being combined with cheeses as well as savory and sweet items for added convenience and to even make satisfying meals. "Larger platters served on wooden boards are starting to become substitutions for dinner—very European in style," notes Evelyn Ignatow of Hyde Park Gourmet in Cincinnati, Ohio. She's seen a distinct increase and demand for heartier charcuterie boards in her catering department, ones that display everything from San Daniele prosciutto, to truffle salami and 'nduja spreadable sausage, to fresh figs, roasted red pepper spread, and candied walnuts. "When developing a 'mix and match' or themed charcuterie plate, restaurant, deli, and specialty food owners need to remember that it is going to be an ultimate menu item for sharing," says Arlene Spiegel, restaurant, retail, and foodservice consultant. Spiegel notes that smart operators will offer a wide array of meats, cheeses, spreads, pickled items, and breads as well as vegan cheese and gluten-free crackers, to allow customers to create their own experience. "Boards can also be themed to celebrate the meats, cheeses, condiments, and breads of a particular region. Cool condiments making their way onto boards: • Capp'Aris Caperberries (below) • Corazon del Sol Quince Paste • Fieschi Confettura di Cipolline Borretane • Lo Brusc Montagne de Lure Honey • Les Trois Petits Cochons Organic Pâté de Campagne (below) • Pickled Pink Spiced Watermelon Pickles (below) • TBJ Gourmet Bacon Jam (below) (continued on p. 86) 60 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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