One of the biggest food and beverage trends of the past year is alcohol-free beverages, with sober curious consumers driving demand for sophisticated soft drinks. This category is expected to continue its massive growth in the new year, with Baum + Whiteman, The Takeout, Whole Foods Market and the Specialty Food Association all including booze-free beverages in their 2022 trend predictions.
Several chefs surveyed by Food & Wine mentioned the growing popularity of zero-proof cocktails with flavor profiles that can hold their own against drinks made with liquor. “These new drinks are no longer simply a mix of fruit juices but feature an elevated eye appeal with fresh, seasonal ingredients,” said Fernando Soberanis, executive chef of Laurel Brasserie & Bar in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Looking to grow your non-alcoholic beverage menu? Try this Sparkling Coconut Water Raspberry Lemon-Verbena Mocktail!
As the snow starts to melt (depending on where you live), springtime is the perfect time to incorporate berries into your menu. When I think of spring, my mind immediately turns to creative applications of berries (like pickling) in dishes with fresh seafood that can provide a much-needed break from heartier, fall/winter-focused dishes, and ease any menu fatigue diners may be experiencing. Pickled berries are easy to make, store well for days, and add tang and excitement to the plate. In this Seared Seabass with Arugula Salad recipe, I’ve seared a seabass filet and placed it on top of an arugula salad chock full of pickled strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, and tossed it all in a delicious lemon ginger vinaigrette.
Now that spring is upon us; let’s think berries to dress it up! Incorporating berries into salads is very popular on spring menus across the country. One way to elevate your salad menu is by incorporating berries not only as a fresh ingredient, but also as part of the dressing. These dressings are simple to prepare and packed with flavors. For example, using a creamy Italian dressing as a base, you can elevate a salad with three different dressings. Simply blend the ingredients in a bar blender and season with salt and pepper to taste. Be creative, use the berries in combination with other vegetables to change the flavors and complexity of your dressings and sauce – enjoy!
3 Ways to Berry Vinaigrette:
2022 started with an exciting bang! I opened my newest concept, The Delta, on January 1 and we have been incorporating house preserved and pickled berries since day one in both our culinary and cocktail programs. We have blueberry pickled onions all over the menu; the sweetness and intense color help create an amazing flavor combination with the red onion. We also invented a fun dessert that is both sweet and tangy called Pickleberry Pie, which incorporates sweet-pickled blackberries and blueberries topped with a tarragon and goat cheese whipped cream. The combination is a rich, sweet, and tangy flavor explosion that our guests love!
Spring is an exciting time for fresh berries. California Giant Berry Farms berries are versatile and can be used for savory and sweet recipes. We plan to continue incorporating different preservation methods such as pickles and jams, but also fresh preparations for our spring cocktail and culinary menus.
Unload all berries immediately into a cold room, roughly 32°F. Never allow a shipment to sit outside of a cold atmosphere.
Check for maturity, ripeness level, quantity, packaging, size, count, weight, and grade. Report any discrepancies immediately.
Store unwashed, in clamshells away from sources of moisture; moisture will cause rapid breakdown of the berry.
Don’t wash berries until ready to serve and use a gentle spray of cool water.
Don’t remove green caps from strawberries until after rinsing. This helps to retain flavor inside the berries.
1 lb. • 2 lb. • 3 lb. • 4 lb.
6 oz. • Pint • 18 oz. • 24 oz. • 2 lb.
6 oz. • 12 oz.
6 oz. • 12 oz.
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