Retro Comfort Foods Add Nostalgia To The Foodservice Menu

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Research shows that diners still seek comfort foods this season. Dishes that are tied to an era, specifically the '50s through the '80s, like meatloaf, casseroles, pies and breads are predicted to appeal to multiple generations.

Apples are a signature way to tap into this trend with creative applications that will differentiate menus this fall and winter, so Peach Glen, Pa.-based Knouse Foods offers an assortment of recipes and apple products to help foodservice professionals create American retro foods with a modern twist. Simple adjustments to ingredients can transform traditional dishes into more contemporary meals. Flavorful alternatives like using apple butter and applesauce increase moisture and taste, reduce fat and add to the nostalgic element to classic recipes, such as: Acorn Squash Sausage Bake -- An all time fall/winter favorite, acorn squash is enhanced with an apple sauce sausage filling for slightly sweet and savory flavors; Boston Baked Beans -- Apple butter adds the right thickness and richness to this hearty side dish; Savory Meatloaf -- Applesauce adds moisture and a twist to this traditional meatloaf recipe. Italian seasonings and a mustard-catsup glaze maintain the old-fashioned elements that make this dish a classic; Caramel Apple Gingerbread -- Gingerbread is a must for any holiday menu. The rich, fragrant aroma of ginger is balanced with sweet apple pie filling for a dessert that goes back in time; and Lucky Stars Ginger Apple Tart -- Apple pie fashioned as a contemporary tart. The combination of crystallized ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla boost spicy flavors.

"Comfort foods shine during the fall and winter seasons, adding retro American classics to the menu with a twist is a great way to highlight culinary creativity with mainstays like meatloaf and apple pie," says Todd Michael, director of food service sales for Knouse Foods. "Using apple ingredients like applesauce and apple butter provide an inventive way to boost the traditional element of dishes and help chefs and operators remain on-trend, profitable and innovative."

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