G.ustatory F.lavor S.ensations

15
Oct
2013
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What’s the first thing you do when you have a really good meal?

You tell someone about it.

“Have you tried their soup yet? It’s fantastic.”

“Take a bite. No seriously, you need to try this!”

“I’ve had that special before. It is so good I’ll split it with you.”DSCN2455

You keep going back because you crave the house-baked croutons. Before your friend can finish the question, what’s your fav…you boast over a bowl of loaded baked potato soup. Your eyes always linger over to the Lorraine quiche and quinoa salad.

What you may never see is the binders full of recipes for all the baked goods you most likely try to resist. But who can resist a cookie that takes you back to when Mom always let you lick the batter off the spoon? How can you really know warmth without having a cup of chicken noodle soup on a windy day?  What if next time instead of saying, I’m trying to be good, you say, I’m trying to treat myself today.

They’re sweet treats for a reason, and ours our made from scratch. Majority of the menu at our store is made from the same recipes our grandmas handed down to our moms, then on to us. Other favorites were found during hours of Pintrest practices and the fine combing of Food.com.

It’s too easy to fall into the routine of the same menu and product. There will always be your favorites, but moving forward is a must. This is what brings us to the Gordon Food Service show every year. We like to see the new ways our existing product can be used to liven up your lunch, or see new products that will help replenish our hearing of hearty requests.

DSCN2452This September I went down to Louisville for my first, and hopefully not last, GFS show. They wanted a new eye and set of taste buds to help in recipe research, private party possibilities, small plates, and anything that could help us just mix up yet maintain the menu they’ve had for 11 years.

Some things we didn’t know we needed until we  tried our celery sticks in edamame hummus. We watched a presentation on ways to pump up wraps, like using cinnamon chipotle cream cheese or crushing chips onto roast beef. Steve’s already tried his hands in bacon jam and I’ve made a test batch of jalapeño and cilantro ranch.

There were so many samples and venues to consider I should’ve reconsidered a second break. I was full all the next day. There were over 100 stations to check out, and even though a lot had the same kind of item each one was unique. I had a spiritual moment over beef brisket. I didn’t know how many types of mustard there could be, or how much I’d like poppy seed and lime oil.  They say no man is an island but Tiffany could’ve fused with the islands of brownies, cookies, and cheesecakes. And the cheese…SO MUCH CHEESE. I don’t think I’ve eaten so much cheese in a day, no in a week’s time!DSCN2437

Now I know it seems like all we did was drive out of state to pick and choose tiny portions of our lunch that day but different stations like this have great ideas for private parties like showers and birthdays, and catering events through our sister store Midday Deli. Currently they offer a baked potato bar that I didn’t know was possible until I started working here. Imagine making it easy on kids to have a build your own mac and cheese bar at their next birthday party. You have not had mac and cheese until you’ve tried Reuben or Bacon Maple macaroni and cheddar. Picture your girls’ night out at Painting with a Twist, with yummy espresso rubbed Brie with red seedless grapes and pita chips from Lulu’s to snack on.

GFS offers a lot of prepared products heat and serve goodies, and yes, we make most all of our items in house, so how does spending a day at the food show help?  We pick the food trends, new and exciting ingredients and flavor profiles that will most complement our menu. We sniff out good recipes from employees, customers, relatives, the web, etc.  Then the hard work comes in—someone has to taste all these new recipes right? So be brave. Try that crazy creative special. We won’t judge you drooling over a breakfast sandwich or quiche with corned beef hash. We’re excited for new soups, like Pork Salsa Verde, or Sausage Kale Potato. We can now even sell it to you in half gallon size. Thanks to the awesome new soup boxes we found it will be easier for you to take home for dinner, or to a lunch meeting at the office. Chances are with all the time and research behind these new items, they are going to be a new favorite. So grab an old favorite or try something bold and new, but stop in, grab a cup and ask us what we’ve learned.

Amanda Drozd, Lead Barista and Author    DSCN2433