Center of the Plate Blog

Industry Musings

Archive for October, 2010


Fall Seafood Flavors

It seems fitting that National Seafood Month is in October as autumn is the peak time to enjoy root vegetables and delectable spices. And BTW, Nautifish is very happy! Cooler temperatures also create heartier appetites seeking more satisfying and filling tastes which open up possibilities on your menu for intense seafood flavors. You may look to stick to traditional tastes or expand your horizons with more profound and unconventional dishes which still feature the tastes of the season. This month, tailor your menu or specials to include a few seafood options that are not only a nod to the celebration of seafood this month but which also mirror the bold flavors and colors of fall. 

Appetizers are an easy and fun way to incorporate harvests from the sea into your overall menu. The choices they create can enhance your choices while unique tastes and flavors can enhance any dish. Seafood pizza can be a good choice as a bar appetizer or may also delight more sophisticated diners depending on the toppings you choose. Chowders, soups and heartier salads are good choices as well. Warm up diners who may have spent the day out in chilly weather with clam or seafood chowder, seafood soup or stew. Customers looking for lighter fare may appreciate a salad topped with shrimp, lobster or smoked scallops. This can be served as an appetizer or a larger version may be presented as an entrée for those looking for a healthier option.

If you’re not carrying it already, fish and chips needs to be on the menu; a simple dish with hearty and satisfying flavor. It can be served in the traditional style with ale-infused batter, a side of malt vinegar and sweet potatoes encompass fall essences. The dish may also be kicked-up a notch by being baked in honey and vinegar and served with peas for a nod to more traditional English-fare. And please, don’t forget Nautifish. We have all the items to make this a best seller on your menu!

However you choose to celebrate National Seafood Month at your restaurant, let Nautifish and AGAR help you with fresh seafood, spices and harvest vegetables to create dishes that compliment your menu and highlight the tastes of autumn.

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The Beauty of Pizza

No one really needs a reason to love and appreciate pizza, however, October is National Pizza Month so what better time to find ways to add variety to this delectable item on your menu. There are no rules with pizza and many creations encompass innovative and creative thinking with unique flavors generated from distinctive arrangements.

Different styles accommodate different dining atmospheres and with a multitude of possibilities and combinations, you are bound to find a creation for even the pickiest eaters. You can add a slight twist to the conventional favorite with a wood-fired pizza that adds smoky flavor to a traditional taste.

Pizzas that encompass the essences of American cuisine can be pleasing additions to bar menus or also served as entrees. A pot-roast pizza or bistro-chicken pizza topped with succulent, roasted chicken and herb-and-garlic potatoes can be a comfort food that reminds diners of delicious Sunday dinners. For a bit lighter fare, a BLT pizza may act an appetizer or a lighter meal. A crispy, thin crust acts as a tasty foundation for lettuce and tomato accented by bacon creating the flavor and profile of long-time favorite. A Thai-curry pizza with tandoori chicken, bamboo shoots or cilantro, provide an ethnic and exotic menu choice with a hint of sophistication. Hey, this wholesale food distributor has all the ideas!

Have fun this month adding to your pizza menu. Let AGAR provide you with quality ingredients, toppings and produce to create the best product and concept possible.

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National Pizza Month; More Ideas

National Pizza Month is in full swing and restaurants all over the country are inviting diners to enjoy this favorite food in many different ways on their menus. You have your dough and your sauce but how can you make a difference in the crowded world of pizza?

First I just have to say, there is no one in this New England region that has more experts about pizza than AGAR. Let us help shape your next pizza journey.

Picking great cheese can give your pizza gooey goodness and exceptional zest. Conventional pizza cheeses like provolone, mozzarella and parmesan can provide a chewy, mild, full-flavored pie to enhance other seasonal tastes. However, if you are looking for a bolder topping base, look to incorporate goat cheese, asiago, romano, Monterey jack, muenster, gouda or even blue cheese. These full-flavored, strong blends can provide creamy, melted, savory tangs.

Pizza toppings can dictate the personality of a pizza. To satisfy hearty appetites, a harvest pizza may be topped with different meats infused with flavors that are signs of the season like: apple wood smoked bacon, sausage with a hint of maple or ground turkey seasoned with sage. This time of year offers a wide array of fresh produce that make great pizza toppings and can be combined with meat or stand alone to create an option for vegetarian or heart-healthy diners. Toasted pumpkin seeds, roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions or figs are a few of many choices you may consider…or seek out local produce indicative to your region.

With so many choices and combinations, your restaurant can easily create a harvest pizza that well represents your aesthetic. Let this wholesale food distributor assist your establishment in celebrating National Pizza Month with fresh ingredients, vegetables and additional accoutrements to create a festive and seasonal atmosphere for diners.

Check out my quick video with our CEO Karen Bressler on more ways to celebrate national Pizza Month:

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What’s New With Nautifish Seafood…

This wholesale food distributor aims to provide a complete line of quality seafood products tailored exclusively for the New England restaurant operator. Since seafood is an incredibly popular item in this region, we feel it is important to create greater awareness of the sustainability issues which affect the oceans while providing new Nautifish products; especially during National Seafood Month in October. Nautifish is always coming out with new ideas and products to keep customers coming back for more.

As New England’s largest independent food distributor, AGAR looks to create a wide range of food solutions for those in our industry while also offering ideas to issues that affect our industry. We look to foster the greater good and the desire to replenish what man takes from the sea. Two ways we are trying to make a difference are through our Nautifish brand and the awareness it creates and by donating money to Ocean Alliance, our charitable partner in the brand.

AGAR thinks National Seafood Month is a perfect time to indulge and enjoy great bounties from the sea while also taking a moment to reflect on sustainable issues of the deep.

Take a look at the video below as our own Paul Elias takes a moment to ask me what’s new with Nautifish…

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More reasons to celebrate National Seafood Month

It is easy to be creative with seafood dishes as there are many options to choose from that can meet the needs of most dining establishments. Take time to consider what will work best for your restaurant and have fun creating innovative or traditional meals your customers will enjoy. A shrimp taco dish is a flavorful appetizer or entrée choice while lobster stuffed mushroom caps can be served as a happy hour special or as a compliment to a lavish dinner. Many diners may be drawn to a filling entrée dish like surf and turf but others may prefer something a bit more progressive like grilled salmon fillet with wasabi cucumber sauce.

Since health experts recommend Americans eat fish twice a week to improve overall health, be sure to include a few nourishing seafood options on your menu. By adding fresh, seasonal veggies to a succulent scallops or a delicious white fish can make for a wholesome dish that also celebrates the fall harvest. Delectable vegetables can set the tone for a dish; tomatoes and asparagus can provide a full yet light flavor where zucchini, squash and pumpkin can make a dish rich, nutty tasting and filling while also providing a tribute to magnificent autumn tastes.

 Nautifish Seafood

Whatever your menu choices include, this wholesale food distributor can help you with their large variety of fresh, affordable and high quality seafood along with options from their NautiFish line. Celebrations like National Seafood Month give your establishment an excuse to feature dishes that will delight the desires of many diners and will introduce other to new tastes. It can also provide insight and feedback into seafood dishes that may compliment your menu all year long.

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National Seafood Month, Did you Know?

October is National Seafood Month and although this wholesale food distributor offers fresh, delicious seafood all year, having a reason to observe great tastes from the sea gives your establishment an opportunity to incorporate a few diverse menu options that are a nod to the 31-day event. AGAR’s seafood the NautiFish line can assist you in drawing customers into your restaurant as they realize new tastes in ocean derived dishes either in the form of an appetizer, main course or bar fresh cocktails like a Seafood Martini. Whether you own a polished restaurant or casual bistro, there is always room on your menu for specials that feature flavorful, healthy and sumptuous seafood. 

 Nautifish Seafood

The commemoration of seafood initially lasted only one week when it was started by the National Fisheries Institute during the 1940’s. In the 1950’s the festivity transformed into a month-long celebration that invited those who love ocean delights to enjoy favorites like shrimp, salmon, scallops and crab. Draw customers into your restaurant this month and all year long with seafood features that compliment your menu. A popular addition to any menu is a hot, delicious beginning such as clam chowder or lobster bisque. Both help warm the core of diners as temperatures outside begin to drop and both can be used as a prelude to a wonderful meal. Clam chowder typically satisfied the wide range of appetites where lobster bisque will please more sophisticated palettes or those looking for a more extravagant taste. Both are now available here at AGAR.

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Wholesale Food Distributor Celebrates National Pizza Month

Most everyone looks forward to eating pizza and there is no better time to do so than National Pizza Month celebrated in October. Let this wholesale food distributor help your restaurant bring Italy to the tables of your diners with our premium toppings and ingredients. There is no food distributor out there that is better positioned to help build your pizza business. Our items and expertise can assist you in creating pizzas that will compliment your overall menu and draw diners in to enjoy flavorful tastes during the 31-day event. Most think of pizza as delicious but also causal, however variations on crust, toppings and ingredients can create a pie that will meet any restaurant’s needs.

A few simple facts about pizza provide insight into how much Americans look forward to enjoying the cheesy, triangle slices. Pizza is the most popular ethnic food in the United States with Americans consuming around 350 slices each second, or 100 acres per day. The love of crispy dough, cheese and tomato sauce begins early as a recent Gallup Poll reported that children in the United States ages 3-11 prefer pizza over all other foods for lunch and dinner. National Pizza Month started in 1987 and has quickly become a great excuse to eat more pizza. Thoughtful choices and additions to your menu during this event can draw sophisticated diners, casual eaters and families looking for a way to please the kids into your establishment.

Pizza can be a fun appetizer addition, bar munchie, entrée or heart-healthy choice on your menu during October.  Light, thin pizzas with crusts that have been brushed with olive oil are great appetizers or a good base for healthier menu options. Crispy crusts topped with mushrooms, flavorful cheese, artichoke hearts and basil infused tomato sauces can make for a delicious prelude to a meal. A thinner crust can also provide a foundation for a healthy pizza that features lowfat cheese, chunky tomatoes, spinach, along with wedges of onions and pieces of peppers.

You can look to satisfy heartier appetites a traditional pizza. You may also be looking for creative options like a pizza that commemorates the tastes of autumn with toppings like pumpkin, zucchini, corn or other favorites. To please families and children you can feature a pizza bar or a list of items that allow guests to build their own individually sized pie topped with a variety of fresh items.  

However you choose to encourage your diners to celebrate National Pizza Month, be sure to let AGAR help you with our large varieties of high-quality, affordable and fresh options that can construct a pie that will please eaters ranging from the most sophisticated to a young child.

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