Move over pumpkin! The season’s new favorite flavor is caramel and it’s taking the food industry by storm. Within the last 4 years, this decadent confection is appearing on 10 percent more menus, with guests ranking this textured sweet treat in their top three restaurant dessert flavors. Caramel is simply perfect for dipping, drizzling, and sizzling on entrees, beverages, and more!
Chefs are whipping up a new tradition – burnt caramel. You may be shocked by anything burnt being a top food trend, but John Melfi, executive chef at the Oval Room in Washington, D.C., explains the “many levels of burnt, from lightly caramelized to totally blasted, he aims for moderately burnt, so it’s a deep, dark brown color.” He then takes that “moderately burnt” caramel and serves it with a lemon ricotta bombolini – “the light and citrusy fried dough is a perfect counterpoint to the rich caramel.”
People today can’t live without their sweet and salty cravings, so why not combine the two and serve salted caramel? From the influence of New York pastry chefs to food magazines, leading chains and a growing variety of retail salted caramel products, this surprisingly tasty pairing has been catapulted into the mainstream market with no chance of slowing down. According to Datassential MenuTrends “in the last year alone, salted caramel has grown 43% on dessert menus.”
An overall love for caramel seems to be a common theme, so attract consumers with a sweet tooth by offering Marzetti® Carmel Apple Dip recipes for any course. Start off with Sweet Potato Bake combined with butter and lime juice or perhaps a Baked Acorn Squash entrée. Try a Caramel Banana Malt Shake, and invite guests to indulge in Caramel Apple Crisp (shown) for dessert.