Editor’s Note: In The Kruse Report, a feature on NRN.com, food trend expert Nancy Kruse looks at what’s shaping menus across the country.
The presence of flatbreads on restaurant chain menus jumped a whopping 80 percent between 2008 and 2010, according to foodservice research firm Technomic Inc.
Whether tortillas, focaccia, or some other iteration of the genre, flatbread hasn’t been out of style since before the pita first took the market by storm back in the 20th century.
That slightly exotic flatbread offered a break from same-old sandwich bread, with the added benefit of hand-held convenience. Pita’s popularity opened the door to the wrap craze, which took tortillas from Mexican to mainstream. It also paved the way for focaccia, a staple Italian bread that that went from flat to fluffy when it became a trendy sandwich carrier.
The current flatbread boom has a distinctly 21st century vibe, as the product shows up across menus and around the clock.
Culinary takes include contemporary pizzas, such as the balsamic onion, portobello and Gorgonzola flatbread at BRAVO! Cucina Italiana; and the Four Cheesy California flatbread at Jamba Juice.
But flatbread can be found in sandwich form, too, such as the bistro steak melt flatbread Sammie at Quiznos.
Contact Nancy Kruse at [email protected].