Fruitcake season is here, and with it, a golden opportunity for your restaurant to feature far out fruitcakes and attract the masses of holiday consumers to your eatery. While no one knows exactly how the dense, candied, nutty, sweet, and booze-soaked dessert became associated with the Christmas tradition, the fact is that customers wait all year long to indulge in the traditional treat. At the same time, they are ready and eager to sink their teeth into new and updated recipe.
From Fruitcake Classics to Flavorful Twists
Typically eaten by the slice and popularly given away as holiday gifts, new flavorful twists on the age-old dessert include recipes for fruitcake cookies, bars, mini-bites, shortbread, and even fruitcake waffles and donuts! Decadent no matter how they are prepared, let’s learn more about the culinary science and art of making magnificent fruitcakes. To do so, take off your apron, take a load off your feet, and prepare to take a journey into the past as we indulge in some fascinating fruitcake history…
History of Fruitcakes Across the Ages
Did you know that the modern-day fruitcake has been making the global rounds for millennium? Food historians have determined that the placing of cake loaves on the tombs of loved ones was customary as far back as ancient Egypt, over 3,000 years ago (perhaps as nourishment for the afterlife). But it was not until ancient Roman times that the fruitcake became popular and really took off. Touted for its portability and long shelf life – and hence frequently brought to the battlefields by Roman soldiers – the first fruitcakes were made of a pomegranate-pine nut-barley mash that was molded into a ring-shaped dessert.
Similarly, during the Middle Ages, fruited breads were widespread among Crusaders travelling the world and featured the addition of preserved fruits, spices, and honey.
Continue reading Holiday Fruitcakes for Your Restaurant Menu
Building a Great Seasonal Menu
There are a few reasons that, every once in a while, caterers must change their menus. Although it’s fine to keep the tried-and-true favorites – your signature dishes and the all-time crowd pleasers – the trick to being a popular caterer is to know how to go with the flow, how to stay ahead of the trends and, perhaps most importantly, how to create menus that are seasonal and timely.
Why Go Seasonal
Although it may be easier for caterers and restauranteurs to fall back on their greatest hits, a seasonal menu shows clients that you care about offering a special dining experience. Surveys have shown that this approach will boost business and have a positive impact on your bottom line – for several reasons. First, seasonal foods are usually less expensive than out-of-season fruits because of their abundance. Second, using seasonal ingredients can be a money-saving proposition; this is because using out-of-season fruits and vegetables leads to waste, as the lack of freshness of out-of-season ingredients increases the chance of decay, decomposition, and unusable products.
Continue reading Use a Seasonal Menu to Boost Profits and Introduce New Items
Chicken Still Rules the Catering Roost
While the latest and greatest trends must always be at the top of your catering menu, and your finger must remain firmly on the pulse of what trend-happy customers are looking for, one can never overlook the trend that seems to never go out of style: getting back to basics. Every few years the pendulum swings back around and basics like chicken – the All-American favorite – come back to top the list of trends to be on the lookout for. Right now, basic chicken recipes such as rotisserie and fried chicken are returning to the forefront of the catering world, so you can’t afford to overlook what has always been right in front of your eyes.
Chicken Remains Popular
The chicken industry in the United States is one of the most successful sectors in agriculture, with no signs of slowing down. Americans consume more than 80 pounds of chicken per person annually. Today’s chickens are healthy and wholesome – and affordable for just about everyone.
There are many varieties of chicken, including free range chicken, organic chicken, and conventional chicken; the difference between them is based on the basis of their breeding. While free-range chicken is allowed to roam freely in the pasture; conventional chicken (at the heart of ongoing controversy), is kept in cages and not allowed to move freely. Conventional chicken is also injected with hormones to fasten its growth and to make it unnaturally big. These are considerations when choosing chickens to feed a crowd (though your customers may dictate what kinds of chicken to use).
Continue reading Entice Your Guests with Rotisserie or Fried Chicken