One of the things I love about food fairs is trying something new, and we are lucky in the UK as there is an abundance of flavour sensations with food influences from around the world.
When I have a stall at a market, I like to simulate the same flavour interest by changing the flavours of our Sausage Rolls and Scotch Eggs. These are my Tips when creating a new flavour.
1.Pick a Subject
Firstly, I look to see whether there are any special dates coming up, festivals, holidays, special events, and when we had a market on May the 4th (be with you) last year, I had terrific fun with the Star Wars research and playing with puns. January is Chinese New Year, and so one market I used this for a new flavour. Making a very British Sausage roll into a Chinese delight had me thinking.
I starting thinking ‘what is popular at a Chinese restaurant?’, and had a list of Black bean or Oyster Sauce, Chicken Chow Mein, Prawn crackers and prawn toast, and thought how those flavours would work with Pork. Then I remembered Sweet & Sour Pork – of course!, but what makes a good Sweet & Sour flavour?
3. Recipe build, review and refine
Sweet & Sour’s main ingredients are Pineapple & Ginger, so the question is how much do you use in a Sausage roll to get the balance right, too much Pineapple and its too sweet, too much Ginger and the taste can burn the tongue. You’ve got to start somewhere, so either take a popular recipe you either have in a recipe book or off the internet. It will likely give a suggestion if the pineapple is puree or fresh, and if the ginger is ground, grated fresh or crystallised. I went with fresh on both parts. If it says take 2 tsp pineapple to 1 tsp ginger, try that and see how much meat it needs to make it look like its fully infused. The processing of cooking it will change the flavour, so always taste it, and then you have time to amend the combinations to your own preferences.
4. Still stuck for ideas?
Look at similar companies and see what flavours are available already. Its not cheating, as you still have to come up with the recipe that works. If you see Bacon & Mushroom, there is always things to consider streaky or back; button, flat, porcini or chanterelle mushrooms. A recipe can have any twist you like, so have fun creating.