Look to fermented ingredients as flavor boosters for brines, dipping sauces and toppings.
Appetizers are a restaurant’s first tangible food impression and should emulate your hospitality and culinary ethos. These small bites/small plates offer operators an easy avenue to incorporate attention-grabbing flavors. Chefs are digging deep into their culinary toolbox and pulling progressive flavor combinations and techniques into the mainstream. Fermentation is one of those exciting areas of discovery play a larger role on modern appetizer menus. Operations are providing guests a variety of new culinary experiences by delivering compelling fermented creations.
What follows is a showcase of fermented/pickled inspiration meant to spark your menu development. These all address relevant trends and demonstrate how to make innovative menu items approachable.
- Pub Bites: Hand-breaded baked potato wedges + pickled red onion mustard and hand-breaded fried chicken tenders + smoked apple sauce
- Salt & Vinegar Fries served with kombucha ketchup and fry sauce
Ferment Brewing Company, Hood River, Ore.
- Louisiana Boudin Croquettes: Housemade boudin, horseradish rémoulade, fermented red pepper, pickled red onion
Sovereign Remedies, Asheville, N.C.
- Lechon Kawali: Whole pork belly, brined then deep fried, served with choice of dipping sauce – spicy soy, Mang Tomas sauce
- Mynamar Chutney: Simmered tomatoes, onions, garlic, Thai chiles, Burmese shrimp paste and fish sauce, served cold with English cucumbers
Burma Love, San Francisco
- Eggplant & Whey Dip: Roasted eggplant, crispy onions, cured whey yogurt, mint oil
Sofreh, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Market Beans: Lavender pickled peaches and goat cheese
Loring Place, New York
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- Chicken Katsu Sliders: Petite fried chicken cutlet + pickled daikon slaw + red miso barbecue sauce + milk bread bun
- Kimchi Three: Yellow watermelon/ginger/gochugaru; kombucha cabbage/Asian pear/goji berries; bitter melon/perilla/crispy shallots
Mission, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Garlic Bread: Pickled garlic butter and Sullivan Street Bakery bread
Eating House, Miami
- Sgagliozze: Fried polenta, whipped sheep cheese, agrodolce Fresno peppers
- Cumin Roasted Beets: Candied ancho pepitas, Greek yogurt, pickled shallot, sherry gastrique
Nada, based in Indianapolis, Indiana
- Heirloom Pumpkin: Roasted pumpkin with toasted peanut salsa macha, pickled cranberries, “mimolette” cheese and green sorrel
Rolf & Daughters, Nashville
- Oyster Mushroom Montadito: Roasted oyster mushrooms with whipped goat rodeo chèvre cheese and tempranillo reduction on sourdough toast
Morcilla, Pittsburgh, Penn.