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Butter, That's Boring!

Jun 20, 2014

We’ve all been there. You sit down at the table in a restaurant and consider what your immediate future has in store for you. What will you drink? What will you eat? Will you save room for dessert? Then it appears. Bread. With butter? With olive oil? With Ancho-Chipotle White Bean Spread? Didn’t see that one coming!

With the rising cost of dairy products, and restaurants looking to be rescued from drowning in the sea of sameness, chefs are turning to alternative spreads in place of butter for the bread basket. These can be savory, sweet, healthy, vegetarian or vegan. Some might even include butter, cream cheese, or yogurt with some interesting flavors and ingredients to stretch the dairy dollar.

Some great alternatives might include flavored hummus, baba ghanoush, edamame or bean spreads, and fruit butters like apple with fresh thyme, or pumpkin with toasted cumin. Remember that bold flavors are still a key component to today’s sought-after tastes – so bring on the flavor!

Custom Culinary® offers several frozen, ready-to-use sauces from our Gold Label line that can be used to make simple, flavorful spreads. One of my favorites is a bold Spicy Red Pepper Sauce, which features: African bird’s-eye chili peppers, roasted red peppers, red onion, pineapple and citrus to create a unique flavor combination and vibrant color. When folded into a creamy hummus, you can create a flavorful spread with subtle heat. Another hugely popular Gold Label sauce is our Latin-Style Citrus Chili Sauce. Ancho and chipotle peppers with the addition of garlic, lime and cilantro, make for a wonderful Latin flavored sauce which would be the perfect addition to a white bean puree. And an eggplant puree blended with our Gold Label Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce, makes a truly authentic Mediterranean spread.

Don’t be afraid to change up the bread offerings too. In addition to a great crusty baguette, flatbreads, cracker breads, pita chips, and pretzel breads will offer a varying degree of crispy and crunchy notes.

The possibilities for unique, flavorful spreads that can accompany bread baskets are endless. Experiment, use your imagination, and have fun! Try serving two or three different spreads for extra perceived value. Exploring the boundaries beyond butter doesn’t need to be costly, in fact, this value added proposition may steer patrons into splurging on dessert!