Food News and Products

Quenching millennials' thirst for juices, smoothies

Young customers love their fresh juices, and restaurants are uniquely positioned to grab a share of this market, according to a new report.

A just-released report from flavor consulting firm Fona International provides insights into millennials and their attitudes toward the all-important juice and smoothie category. The report, “Millennials and Juice Beverages,” points out that millennials lead the pack in juice and smoothie consumption, using them as meals or snacks and and for heath and hydration.

Excerpted From Restaurant Hospitality

Poke is catching on outside of Hawaii

Poke, one of my favorite dishes, is traditionally a dish of cubed raw fish tossed in salt, seaweed and roasted kukui nut, but it is proving to be a versatile template for innovation. Poke food trucks are operating in Seattle, and hip restaurants across the country are starting to add the delicacy to their menus.

The Hawaiian delicacy known as poke (POE-kay), a free-form raw fish “salad” is a dish anyone can make. And with all sorts of flavor possibilities, it is in demand in cities across the nation.

Poke may be a dish that has been eaten in Hawaii longer than just about anything else. So what was once a staple for Hawaiian fishermen and the first Polynesian settlers to the islands, poke (meaning “to slice or cut”) has now reached mainstream status.

In Hawaii, it’s everywhere: in fine dining and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, on food trucks and at plate lunch stands. At any grocery store, you will find endless varieties.

But poke, which can really refer to anything cubed, is also popping up in cities across the U.S. It’s most prevalent in areas where there is a large population of people who grew up in the islands but have transplanted to the mainland, areas like San Francisco, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles. Poke has even been spotted as far away as New York City.

The Hawaii chef credited with popularizing poke over the past three decades, Sam Choy, highly encouraged poke’s evolution. In 1991, he started the Sam Choy Poke Festival and Recipe Contest in Waimea on the Big Island to showcase the creativity of island chefs.

It was later that same decade that poke started showing up on menus across the nation. Chef Choy, who still eats poke almost every day, and has his own fleet of poke-serving.

food trucks in Seattle, says the reasons for its popularity are many. Even the simplest poke dish can be presented in a mouth-wateringly colorful way. There was a time when it was mainly seen at parties and special celebrations but today, poke is everywhere. Long enjoyed as a pupu (appetizer), it is now also thought of as main dish material. It’s being enjoyed atop a bowl of steaming rice, as dressing for a bright green salad or nestled into a crunchy taco shell.

Excerpted from the San Francisco Chronicle