The Florida Department of Citrus is finding ever more creative ways to
promote the leading star in the state's produce lineup. Florida citrus is a $9
billion business annually; the department is always looking for ways to spur
sales to new heights.
In late November at the 2010 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Show
in Bartow, FL, chefs from around the world competed at the second annual
USA Culinary Cup Challenge for prizes and medals. The FDOC sponsored
Florida citrus juices and fresh Florida citrus as featured ingredients in all
The dozen five-member culinary teams had five hours to prepare a four-
course meal under strict guidelines for 55 diners while American Culinary
Federation-approved judges watched.
Team Universal Orlando, representing the Universal Studios theme park, took
top honors for a Florida Citrus Trio menu featuring Florentine Crusted Orange
Cake, Florida Citrus Terrine and a Mojito Sorbet with Vanilla Bean Sauce. The
winning team members were Mark Wachowiak, Raffy Pambuan, Michael
Harman, Robert Martinez Jr. and Pete Imlah.
"The USA Culinary Cup Challenge provided the opportunity for chefs to
demonstrate the versatility of Florida citrus and citrus juices as a featured
recipe ingredient. We were amazed and inspired by the innovative menu items
they created that showcased both the sweet and savory flavors of Florida
citrus," said Leigh Killeen, director of marketing for the FDOC.
Meanwhile, earlier this fall the FDOC made a push to help the foodservice
industry utilize more Florida citrus products in the street food category with a
new cookbook designed specifically for mobile purveyors.
Gourmet street carts are popping up across the nation, in some cases offering
culinary equivalents of fine sit-down restaurants in a fraction of the time and
cost. According to the FDOC, these so-called global comfort foods are more
than mobile food destinations — they are the source of trend-setting flavors
that brick-and-mortar restaurateurs are copying.
In response to the mobile street food trend, the FDOC released its Taking
Florida Citrus to the Street recipe book and CD in October, offering recipe
suggestions and information for operators to optimize the use of Florida
citrus on menus while growing sales and profitability.
Recipes cover the culinary gamut, from homemade sodas featuring Florida
juices to ethnic-inspired entrees like the Korean Taco with Florida Citrus
Kimchi, the Citrus Mojo Pork Cuban Sandwich, Duck Bahn Mi with spiced
pickled orange, and even the Dogzilla, a bacon-wrapped hot dog slathered in
orange Katsu sauce.
Dessert selections from the book include the Belgian Waffle Ice Cream
Sandwich with Florida orange caramel, peanuts and salted caramel ice cream
and Crepes with Florida Orange Chocolate Sauce and Toasted Hazelnuts.
“As customers continue to seek new, exciting foods when eating out, these
recipes create an opportunity for operators to expand menu offerings that
satisfy this need,” Ms. Killeen said.
For a free copy of the recipe book and CD, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recipes can also be found on-line at www.floridajuice.com.
(For more on Florida citrus, see the Dec. 6, 2010, issue of The Produce News.)