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The Seasonality of Food

Preparing roasted vegetables with garlic and herbs on the baking tray. Autumn-winter root vegetables.

There are few things as effective in evoking the feeling of the season as highlighting the seasonality of the food served at an event. While the availability of food differs as the weather shifts, there are other ways to express these trends by way of ingredients and overall style. Let’s be honest – there’s nothing better than hearty, warm foods for winter such as soups or casseroles. We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of seasonality so you can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to crafting menus and food purchasing.

Why is seasonality important?

Believe it or not, this is actually a trend that most of us in the food and beverage industry follow without thinking. We associate certain times of year with certain foods, which fluctuates depending on weather and holidays that are celebrated. Think about the tried-and-true pumpkin spice for fall or the grilling of fresh vegetables during summer.

So, why is this important? Well, as customers focus more on local and organic items, menus become seasonal by default. You can further meet the needs of your clients by knowing your region and exploring new ways to prepare ingredients that will help keep your menu fresh and exciting.

The pros of seasonality (and how you can maximize flavor)

Let’s take a look at our current climate for example. Everyone gravitates toward comfort foods during winter and luckily, those are the easiest finds when sourcing products locally. It’s beneficial to build relationships with local farmers or suppliers to ensure you get the products you want and need. Don’t forget to mention the origin of the products on your menus; many guests enjoy knowing the backstory to the items served!

If you’re searching for ways to break up the monotony of commonly used seasonal foods, think outside of the box. Consider seasonally mixing up a portion of your menu while keeping your signature items that are a hit with customers. This gives customers new options by inserting the spice and comfort into unlikely places (such as a savory edge to a seafood dish). You may find yourself with a clientele that will look forward to those new favorites in the next year.

The seasonality of food doesn’t have to be pigeon-holed with strict constraints, like holiday-inspired pies for dessert or turkey as the main protein. You can have all the creative freedom without the cliché. Remember,  it’s incredibly helpful to know your audience and satisfy seasonal wants by opting for well-loved selections!

Trip Wheeler is the President of SB Value, a group purchasing program designed to reduce catering, kitchen, and food-service costs by leveraging the collective buying power of thousands of companies.

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Trip Wheeler

Trip Wheeler is the President of SB Value, a group purchasing program designed to reduce catering, kitchen, and food-service costs by leveraging the collective buying power of thousands of companies

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