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It’s a texture thing

Global flavors aren’t the only elements keeping plates interesting these days. At a recent short course for the Institute of Food Technologists, Sloan Trends pinpointed texture as one of the next major food trends. It’s easy to see why: consumers today look for key texture descriptions when making food choices. For example, words such as “rich” or “creamy” indicate an indulgent food experience, while “ripe” or “juicy” designate foods that are fresh or natural and “crisp” or “crunchy” point to a more sensory food experience.

Combining different textures in unexpected or non-traditional ways can also elevate a dish and generate excitement. Here’s a sampling of how different food textures are being incorporated into today’s menus:

Girl and the Goat
Chicago
Wood Grilled Broccoli: rogue smokey bleu, spiced crispies; $10

Cutting Board
New York
Fried Crispy Calamari: curry capers aioli, creamy spicy mayo, marinara; $6

Swensen’s Ice Cream Parlor & Restaurant
Coral Gables, Fla.
Sticky Chewy Chocolate Sundae: sticky chewy chocolate ice cream, hot fudge; $6

22nd Street Landing
San Pedro, Ca.
Hawaiian Style French Toast: King’s Hawaiian bread crusted with macadamia nuts and cornflakes, caramel sauce; $15

Race Street Café
Philadelphia
Deconstructed Quinoa Napoleon: crispy quinoa cake, Portobello mushrooms, roasted peppers, sautéed spinach, fresh mozzarella, tomato ragout with sweet potato mash; $15

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