Foodies let their taste buds venture off the beaten path
Are you a foodie? Let’s examine what the word really means. Merriam-Webster defines the term “foodie” as, “a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads.” So, to set the record straight, you technically can’t be a foodie simply because you like to eat a lot. And actually, a recent USA today article, “Foodies enjoy different tastes than the rest of us,” delves further into this citing that foodies actually prefer bitter, sour and umami (savory) flavors over the typical preferences of the general population, which favors sweet and salty tastes.
As restaurant owners, what can you learn from your average foodie and how can you use this information to help your business? We already know that foodies like to try new things, and their taste buds seek unusual flavor profiles. And even more importantly, it is also a good assumption that foodies are trendsetters – making efforts to try the new and often unexplored cuisines, proudly announcing to their peers and strangers (blogging, Yelping and Tweeting are a foodie’s best friends) of the daring, exotic, and crazy dishes they’ve so bravely eaten. So look at your menu. What kind of dishes do you have that are worthy enough to entice this coveted target market?
Looking for menu ideas? Check out our list interesting ways you can add some foodie flair to your current dishes.
- Make it hot: add some spice to your menu. If you serve burgers, for example, try dishing out a spicy-style burger by incorporating some habanero or Thai chili peppers into an aioli as a unique spread. Works for sandwiches, too!
- Pucker up: twist up some menu items by adding a sour touch. Have a signature fruit cocktail? Try introducing exotic citrus fruit into it, such as yuzu, kumquats or loquats whose flavors are described as sweet and sour. Refreshing non-alcoholic sour beverages using these ingredients also work well.
- Bitter is better. Try creating a kale salad with your chef’s special house-made vinaigrette. Bittermelon soup would be sure to awaken anyone’s tastebuds. And if baking’s your specialty, create an intense bitter dark chocolate cake topped, topped with chocolate covered coffee beans – a real gourmet treat.
- The fifth taste: Umami. These flavors can be achieved by utilizing various ingredients such as soy sauce (don’t forget miso), fish sauce, fermented veggies (think kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut), mushrooms, cheese, seafood, beef, and pork. Check out StarChef.com’s list of top umami-rich ingredients for more ideas. Imagine the multitude of ways in which you can integrate these items into your current dishes.
Still stumped? Remember: the key is to think outside of the box! If you’d like to have your menu analyzed, contact Synergy Consultants.