Unexpected ingredients add a splash to salad bars


From T. Marzetti® Foodservice. 

If the current culinary interest in yuzu is any indication, today’s diners are seeking fresher flavors and cleaner eats. Yuzu, a bumpy, big-seeded citrus fruit, is turning up regularly as a tart and tangy ingredient in appetizers, salad dressings and marinades due to its nutritional benefits and tasty flavor.

Here’s how operators can combine seasonal ingredients such as yuzu with other clean label meal components for an easy way to bring health and flavor to the top of the menu.

Healthy and delicious

It’s no secret that diners want foods they will enjoy eating. However, just delicious often doesn’t cut it anymore, especially in healthcare dining. Menu options must be delicious and nutritious to earn industry and customer approval, which helps explain the increasing popularity of yuzu—it’s both.

Like other citrus fruits, yuzu is a rich source of vitamin C and carries anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Completing the double threat of key attributes, chefs also praise yuzu for its subtle, sublime flavor: along the lines of a lemon or lime crossed with a tangerine, but without any of the astringency.

Emphasis on seasonality

Yuzu is grown domestically in California and is available fresh from October through December. Between seasons, operators can get yuzu as a paste or in bottles, but with diner interest increasingly centered around fresh, clean, seasonal produce it may be best to menu this tangy fruit when it’s in season.

Salads especially are a great way to incorporate the simple, clean flavors of yuzu and other trend-forward seasonal produce. Try offering different combinations of berries and delicate greens on salad bars in the spring and summer and root vegetables with heartier greens in the fall and winter. Responsibly-sourced produce is fresh, clean and supports patient, visitor and staff health, which means the only thing operators have to worry about is the ingredients in the toppings.

Clean label applications

With main ingredients accounted for, sauces, dressings and marinades often come under fire for containing artificial ingredients and preservatives. Brightening salad toppings and other dishes with a splash of yuzu doesn’t do anything to boost clean label credibility when sauces are teeming with all of the things healthcare diners in particular are conscious of avoiding.

If your healthcare facility has a salad bar, consider stocking it with Marzetti® Simply Dressed salad dressings. Available in 32 oz. bottles and gallons, these dressings are made without MSG, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavors, soybean oil, or gluten. In eight delicious varieties that meld wonderfully with yuzu’s citrusy notes, clean-label dressing with a selection of rotating seasonal, healthy and trend-forward ingredients bring flavor and nutrition to healthcare dining.

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