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How to use frozen fruit all day in globally inspired dishes

Versatile ingredients make menu variety easy
Photograph: Shutterstock

As global cuisines rise in popularity, it makes sense that more foodservice operators are working hard to get new and exciting dishes onto the menu. But operators have to be budget-conscious, too—using versatile ingredients with a long shelf life is key to expanding the menu. Frozen fruit, in particular, offers operators the long shelf life they need and the versatility they want to create numerous dishes across dayparts.

Consumer interest in global flavors

According to Technomic’s 2020 Global Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report, 27% of consumers say they are eating more unique types of global foods now than they did two years ago, and 35% say they enjoy eating global dishes that feature a twist on the original recipe. For operators, this leaves room for a big opportunity—offering traditional global recipes as well as recipes updated for modern/American palates means there will be something for every level of adventurous diner on the menu.

Why versatility matters

With variety in mind, being able to offer a range of global dishes is key to keeping diners interested. But with COVID-19, the supply chain for ingredients can be a little unpredictable for foodservice facilities, so it’s important for operators to choose recipes that use ingredients that have a long shelf life. Frozen fruit, for instance, helps ensure that ingredients won’t go bad before operators can use them. And because operators can order it in bulk without worry of spoiling, operators can be confident that they’ll always have the foods they need on hand to make the dishes they want to make.

Being able to source a variety of frozen fruits from a supplier can make things even easier; Dole Packaged Foods, for instance, offers Chef-Ready Cuts—sliced, diced and cubed fruits perfect for an array of dishes; Chef-Ready Frozen Fruit Purees, ideal for sauces, drinks, smoothies and so much more; Smoothie Cuts—ready-to-use bulk IQF fruit, chopped for easy blending; and IQF fruit, available in varieties such as sliced apples, sliced peaches, mixed berries, mango chunks and much more. With the variety of cuts and fruits available, operators will be ready to get cooking.

Menu inspiration

Fruit is perfect in dishes all day long, making it a shoo-in for operators looking for versatile ingredients. At breakfast, for instance, it’s perfect in the Bihari dish Dahi Chura, a traditional Indian breakfast of flattened rice soaked in milk, then mixed with yogurt, jaggery (a coarse dark brown sugar), mango cubes, ground cardamom and chopped pistachios. At lunchtime, Indori Poha, a sweet and spicy Indian street snack, gets great flavor from tropical fruit. Added to the dish of flattened rice cooked with fennel seeds, garam masala, green chiles, fresh ginger, garlic, onions and turmeric, it’s the perfect flavor complement to this complex dish. Garnished with cilantro leaves, this dish is a satisfying, sweet and savory bite.

On the dinner menu, fruit is a welcome addition to Japanese ramen. Vegetarian Pineapple Shio Ramen, topped with pineapple pieces, pineapple-braised jackfruit, a soft-boiled soy egg, chili threads and nori, offers diners an updated version of a comforting, familiar favorite. Finally, at dessert, serve up Strawberry Milk, a Korean-inspired beverage of sliced strawberries cooked down with sugar and vanilla until jammy, then swirled in a tall glass filled with ice, whole milk and diced strawberries. Garnished with fresh whipped cream and crushed dehydrated strawberries, it’s a pink drink customers will come back for time and again.

Frozen fruit makes putting global dishes on the menu a breeze, and makes it easy for operators to riff on traditional dishes as well, all while offering a long shelf life. To learn more about Dole’s frozen fruit options for foodservice, visit dolefoodservice.com.

This post is sponsored by Dole Packaged Foods

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