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Tasty Trends: Spring Menu Trends

By Gianna Duda

Photo by Camilla Stejskal

Boston’s cold weather is finally dissipating and bringing in some much-needed warmth and sunshine to break us into the spring season. As a way to celebrate the changing of the seasons and our escape from the everlasting tundra, Boston-area restaurants are highlighting spring trends to catch up with the weather. Revitalizing, yet mouthwatering flavors from distinctive––and maybe even strange––combinations will add an element of excitement to your next dining experience.

With every new spring menu comes room for innovation in designing dishes, both in taste and aesthetics. Each new creation a chef produces lately seems to have a specific detail or niche that sets it apart from the rest of the pack. Chefs make their dishes with such attention to detail that they are almost like one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Unique flavors, recipes and presentations are what make or break an artisanal creation.

The most frequent examples of these artisanal creations are cocktails, ice creams and salads. Chefs aim to create a refreshing flavor by using seasonal fruits and vegetables to welcome the new time of year. Spaces like Café ArtScience and Bee’s Knees Supply Company use innovative flavors to create dishes with a boost of intense flavor in both high-end and café-like settings.

Sriracha, the ever-popular condiment, has made the spring menu circuit this year. The Thai chili sauce has a unique enough flavor to convert those who originally were reluctant to even give its bold taste a try. This spicy dressing originally started out as a fix for those who have needed an extra bite with their meal. The kick is described as one that is sweet and tangy with a strong bite of garlic.

Amy Katsamakis (COM ’18) loves using Sriracha to make her meals more interesting.

“I don’t even typically like spicy foods but it really makes a dish more flavorful,” said Katsamakis.

Now, chefs are embracing the savory piquant flavor by featuring the sauce in main dishes, appetizers and salads. Local places such as Sweetgreen and Mei Mei use Sriracha as both a condiment and a relish to enhance the taste of a salad––or really any piece of food.

In many cafés, it is also highly likely that you will find a separate menu for juice. The juice trend has been around for a while now and it does not seem like it is going anywhere. Originally achieving popularity because of their easy and filling recipes, juices and smoothies are now gaining traction in the food industry because of the ability to take them on the go. Juice seems to only be growing in popularity as more and more eateries are jumping on the bandwagon to offer a tasty meal-replacement blend.

However, you can only have so much juice. When you need a more satisfying and substantial meal, Bryan Brager (CGS ’17/Questrom ’19) believes that Southern comfort food is the way to go.

“My favorite meal after a long day’s work is having scrumptious yet tender fried chicken served with a fluffy side of mashed potatoes,” said Brager. “There is nothing better in this world, it is so delicious.”

While it has always been true that there is nothing quite like a bit of good old Southern hospitality, recently there has been an influx of Southern comfort foods gaining appeal in restaurants across the nation. Specialty restaurants that are dedicated to the food you know and love are popping up everywhere. Everything from barbecue, classic Southern vegetables, buttery biscuits and fried Nashville chicken can be seen in kitchens across Boston.

If these options seem too overwhelming, there is a new, popular way to enjoy good food.

Netflix and chill? More like food and chill. Postmates, Grubhub and even Uber are paving the way for the eating-at-home movement. New apps are constantly popping up and pushing the newest deals in food delivery and the best food from your favorite restaurants and food stores. Any new spring trend is likely to appear on an app ready for delivery in minutes.

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