A versatile plant ingredient that turns heads
As flexitarian diets become more mainstream, plant-based foods remain one of the hottest topics in the industry. With the growing demand for meat replacement options, it’s important for chefs and operators to develop menus to ensure they have options for everyone.
“The food paradigm is changing and new food preferences are driven by multiple factors,” says Brad Barnes, director of counseling and industry programs at the Culinary Institute of America. “There is now a whole different set of considerations when creating menus, such as sustainability, healthy practices and allergen awareness. These new demands require different approaches, processes and ingredients, such as plant-based foods. ”
At the same time, plant-based foods still need to offer flavor to gain repeat customers. No one knows this better than Michelle Wolf, co-founder of New Wave Foods. She embarked on a mission in 2016 to create plant-based shrimp that would taste great, be eco-friendly, and could be used in a wide variety of menu applications. After recently raising $ 18 million in Series A funding from those who have tried and loved the product, New Wave Foods is bringing its plant-based shrimp to foodservice operators, seeking to provide a worthy and sustainable seafood substitute. most popular in the industry.
“We’ve spent five years developing our plant-based shrimp to make sure they’re the best they can be,” says Wolf. “So I can tell you about the environmental benefits or the plant-based flexitarian dietary needs that this product fulfills, but, at the end of the day, if it doesn’t taste delicious, diners won’t want it, and operators do not go to the menu. That’s why we’re very excited to bring this to the market. ”
New Wave shrimp are made from seaweed and other plant-based ingredients, and Wolf says plant-based shrimp perfectly mimic sea shrimp in taste and texture.
Chef Barnes, who helped design the product and cooked it in every way possible, says he’s particularly impressed with its versatility. He recommends serving these plant-based shrimp in hot dishes like bruschetta, nachos, tacos, and dishes that use fried shrimp, but the possibilities are virtually endless. Barnes also appreciates the durability of the product and claims that unlike other plant-based proteins, it is easily handled by even inexperienced kitchen staff.
“The product really meets the delicious brands to the point that I can’t think of a restaurant that wouldn’t benefit from this product,” says Barnes. “It’s an easy to cook ingredient with a long shelf life that works well with most diets and diners will love the taste.”