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Create menu excitement with signature condiments

An operator doesn’t need a skilled culinary team or a big labor budget to create flavorful, on-trend condiments for appetizers, small plates, sandwiches and entrées. In fact, making stellar condiments can be as simple as combining mayonnaise with herbs, spices or other ingredients already on hand.

Using mayonnaise as the base of a condiment recipe and rounding out the flavor profile by adding fresh or prepared ingredients is an example of the speed-scratch approach that many operators rely on—a proven way to save time and labor in the kitchen while creating the flavors that please customers and drive repeat visits.

In addition to being quick and easy, kitchen-crafted, mayonnaise-based condiments are endlessly versatile. They can be customized to add value to dishes for any trend, whether it is global flavors, snacking or healthier eating.

In recent years, consumers have become eager to explore Asian flavors. In fact, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian are among the top-trending ethnic cuisines in the National Restaurant Association What’s Hot 2014 Culinary Forecast. Mayonnaise blends well with traditional Asian flavorings such as soy sauce, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder, sesame oil, ginger or miso. To instill Asian-inspired zest in a turkey wrap, for example, operators could flavor mayonnaise with five-spice powder or sesame oil. Alternatively, combining mayonnaise with Indian flavors such as garam masala spice blends can add an aromatic element to different plates.

One of the hottest trends in food these days—literally and figuratively—is heat on the palate. Spicy condiments are important flavorings in Latin, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Give heat-seeking eaters the sensations they want by mixing mayonnaise with a judicious amount of flavoring agents such as chopped jalapenos, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, sriracha, salsa, harissa, wasabi or gochujang. To give a hamburger a palate-tingling dimension, spread the bun with mayonnaise enlivened with salsa, lime and a dash of tequila.

Snacking is a way of life for many Americans today. Operators are finding a growing market for small plates with big flavors between lunch and dinner, at cocktail hour and late at night. Offering roasted brisket sliders with horseradish-Creole mustard mayonnaise, for instance, can be a great way to build traffic and sales during the off hours.

Seasonal dishes also benefit from house-made, mayonnaise-based condiments. For fall, create a signature sandwich spread with intriguing flavor and texture by mixing mayonnaise with dried cranberries and chopped pecans. In summertime, lend a lighter seasonal palate impression to sandwiches with a blend of raspberry or strawberry puree and mayonnaise.

Any mayonnaise-based flavored condiment fits the trend of lighter, healthier eating if operators use premium-tasting mayonnaise has half the fat and calories of regular mayonnaise—but all of the flavor, binding, cling and holding power. Substitute it directly for regular mayonnaise in recipes to add better-for-you appeal as well as winning flavor. 

This post is sponsored by Kraft Foodservice

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