Meat+Poultry - July 2018 - 75
with a carrot-ricotta filling, street tacos topped
with barbecued carrots, and salads dressed in
a carrot vinaigrette. A vegan deli in New York
features a bagel topped with spice-rubbed, coldsmoked carrots as a substitute for lox.
Restaurant operators may look to campus
dining halls for inspiration, Kruse said.
"Campus dining far and away leads in terms
of creative use of vegetables, and the reason
for that is as a percent of population, the
greatest number of vegetarians in this country
live on college campuses," she said.
Americans are "committed carnivores," eating
more meat and poultry than ever, according to
US Dept. of Agriculture data.
"We love meat, but we would like it if you
could make us feel a little better about it,"
Kruse said, pointing to McDonald's recent
national roll-out of fresh beef in Quarter
Pounder burgers. "Tell me the story that makes
me comfortable in making the choice I really
want to make anyway."
Prime rib is the meat of the moment,
popping up on fine-dining and fast-food menus
alike. Jack in the Box recently offered the
Prime Rib Cheesesteak, featuring garlic butter,
peppers, onions and provolone on a toasted
baguette. "A number of talented young chefs ...
are putting some extra culinary thought behind
the basic prime rib," Kruse said.
Americans seek to sate a growing appetite for
global cuisines in restaurants, where unfamiliar
flavors may be expertly prepared in familiar
formats, such as pasta or burgers.
"This is for so many of you your absolute
ace in the hole, because not only do consumers
have a high degree of interest in trying new
ethnic foods; they look to you as the point of
introduction," Kruse said.
A deeper exploration of Mediterranean
cuisine casts a spotlight on such Middle
Eastern dishes as shakshuka and tabbouleh.
An emerging flavor technique in upmarket
restaurants is cacio e pepe, a staple of Roman
cuisine combining cheese and black pepper.
Fare from the Far East continues to grow
across dayparts, as US restaurants dish up
savory Chinese crepes, Indian curry meatballs
and masala chai ice cream.
"We love meat,
but we would
like it if you
us feel a little
better about it."
- NANCY KRUSE