PMA Foodservice Conference Highlights

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Wed. July 30th, 2014 - by Jordan Okumura-Wright

MONTEREY, CA - Along with the record-breaking year for July’s PMA Annual Foodservice Conference, the event hosted an array of new, innovative products and initiatives that continue to raise the bar in foodservice and retail.  Here are a handful of my favorites.
Fresh Origins, a company whose portfolio offers an extensive variety of Micro Greens and Edible Flowers, showcased a new summer items.  The company featured Micro Carrot Grass, a unique product that adds fresh carrot flavor to any recipe.  Petite Sorrel Green Apple™ was also featured and presents a fresh, tart, green apple flavor profile with a distinct crunch.  Fresh origins program also offers the edible Pink Begonia Flower, which brings a visually stunning, tart and juicy addition to menu items. Fresh Origins
 Fresh Origins Micro Greens and Edible Flowers
Tanimura & Antle also recently introduced a new lettuce variety, George T s Special Colossal Romaine Heart.  The new variety honors company co-founder George Tanimura, who is celebrating his 100th year in 2014. This new seed variety combines Iceberg and Romaine Hearts, and offers a superior flavor, improved sustainable value and impressive per-head yield. Tanimura & Antle
 Tanimura & Antle George T s Special Colossal Romaine Heart
In addition, USA Onions brought a fresh new initiative to the table, as well as a great flavor experience to the foodservice floor.  This year, USA Onions is promoting new recipes that provide an onion-packed twist on All-American comfort food.  Sherise Jones served up Caramelized Red Onion and Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in Monterey; one of ten recipes that capture the flavor of comfort food enjoyed nationwide. Keep an eye out for Shrimp and Grits with Crispy Fried Onion Strings, Texas style Savory Onion Cornmeal Waffles with Jalapeno Honey, Maine Lobster Salad Rolls with Onions Buttery Croutons, and Manhattan Grilled Steak with Blue Cheese and Onion Sauce.  I’ll be looking forward to Chicago deep dish pizza style grilled cheese as well.  I always suggest adding Sriracha to everything if you need to take the spice up a notch. USA Onions
 USA Onions  new recipes
California Specialty Farms highlighted some great, versatile offerings.  The company truly is “Where Produce Meets Art.”  California Specialty’s "Heart Beets" are prepared with 3 kinds of beets: Purple, Golden and Candy Stripe, and also come combined with potatoes to make a Yin/Yang offering.  They also dare to be visually intriguing with potatoes in the same heart creation, along with Stars, Shamrocks, Yin/Yang designs and other shapes.  The company packs them in 12-count cryovac sheets, so that virtually any size restaurant or end-user can order just what they need.  Retail is available in a 4 count clamshell.  Each design is 1 ounce in weight and can be simply heated throughout and served.  These are perfect for weddings, graduations, holidays, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and much more. California Specialty Farms
 California Specialty Farms Heart Beets
Classic Salads brought new kale products to the table this year, and include the company’s Winter Mix; a great source of vitamins A & C, foliate, iron, potassium, and vitamin K. The brassica family consists of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and other hearty greens that are included in this mix. The Chopped Kale mix is another new offering and a great source of iron and calcium, as well as vitamins K, A & C, folate and protein. This mix offers several varieties of kale. Packaging for these items include foodservice conventional 2# bags as well as organic 2# re-sealable clamshells.  In addition, Classic Salads has introduced organic 5 oz. clamshells showcased under the "Classic Salads" brand.  Kale is trending everywhere and Classic Salads is staying at the top of the game. Classic Salads
Classic Salads new kale products
Check out even more great PMA highlights in this PMA TV episode:
Next up for me, PMA Fresh Summit.  See you there.