Dairy has always played an integral role in a balanced and nutritional diet. High in protein and packed with important vitamins and minerals, diners of all ages often rely on dairy to help them sustain a healthy lifestyle, with the natural goodness providing them with all kinds of fantastic health benefits.
A notoriously strong source of calcium and vitamin D, dairy also produces high levels of potassium, phosphorous and vitamin B12, which are all particularly important for younger diners developing strong teeth and bones. Additionally, dairy is an important source of protein for those sticking to a vegetarian diet, providing the nutrients they would have received by eating meat or fish.
For caterers putting together an exciting and diverse menu, the versatility of dairy products can provide valuable inspiration and lead to some truly mouth-watering creations. If you want your business to be the cream of the crop in 2019, these are the dairy products you need to order from your food wholesalers and add to your menu.
Although it’s perhaps most commonly used to top bagels and sandwiches, soft cheese (or cream cheese) is a versatile addition to any caterer’s refrigerator. Rich in nutrients, protein and adding a splash of flavour to a range of dishes, this spreadable cheese can be used to add a rich texture and taste to certain items on your menu.
From mouth-watering dips to delectable desserts, soft cheese offers an unmistakable tang to every recipe, while it’s often used to enhance the flavours of quiche, pasta, moussaka and a variety of soups. Despite rarely being the main ingredient in a dish, soft cheese will bring a certain sense of culture to your menu and can be used to improve the taste of breakfast, dinner and dessert recipes.
Versatile, packed with nutrients and offering excellent value for money, natural yoghurt can become a key component of many of your healthier dishes. Often used to make delicious and fresh Greek-style desserts, natural yoghurt can also be used to create mouth-watering marinades, tantalising toppings and satisfying smoothies.
Adding a rich and creamy texture to a range of dishes, natural yoghurt is commonly used as a healthier substitute for cream; thickening up chillis, stews, curries and soups, and supplying an unmissable tangy flavour. Natural yoghurt is one of the most adaptable ingredients found in the kitchen – and no caterer should attempt to get by without it.
For caterers who rely on delicious dips and dressings, soured cream is an absolutely essential addition to the kitchen. Of course, caterers of Mexican cuisine will already be familiar with its distinctive taste, texture and other qualities, and diners will naturally associate soured cream with burritos, nachos and tacos.
However, soured cream can become an integral part of every caterer’s menu, helping to create all kinds of mouth-watering sauces and dips to complement your most popular dishes. For example, a good dollop of soured cream could provide the ideal accompaniment to chicken wings, chilli con carne and baked potatoes, ultimately providing the finishing touch to your delicious recipes.
Additionally, soured cream can be used to create unique salad dressings and tangier desserts; providing the unmistakable texture of natural yoghurt but also adding its own unique zip of flavour. In fact, it can be used in so many different things, we can almost guarantee you’ll use up the whole container in no time at all.
Made through a delicious combination of yoghurt, soured cream, double cream and buttermilk, crème fraiche has continued to grow in popularity over the past few years. Now a common feature in some of the most modern and innovative recipes you’re likely to find, this is yet another versatile dairy product which acts as a happy medium between yoghurt and soured cream.
However, crème fraiche is much creamier and thicker than both of those ingredients, which makes it absolutely perfect for creating desserts, dips and sauces. The distinctive flavour helps caterers to create their own unique dishes, with crème fraiche now featuring heavily in tasty salads, pastas and all manner of meat dishes, such as roasted chicken.
Once your kitchen is packed with these versatile and delicious dairy products, you’ll have taken the first steps towards creating a vibrant and diverse menu.