The International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas is the largest congregation of Pizzaiolos in the world. It’s no question that the collective ingenuity of the world’s greatest Pizza people sets the cutting edge of the industry.
We took note of what restaurant owners from all around the world were talking about — and these three subjects were booming:
1. Sauce is Boss — Unique Sauces
There are multiple ways to attract a loyal crowd to your restaurant. One emerging trend is the addition of unique, savory sauces to option alongside your bready entrees and sides. Pizza crust can be good on its own. At the same time, many customers are warm to the idea of dipping their crusts, breadsticks, and knots into something new for a unique restaurant experience.
Special sauces can act as an inexpensive differentiator that turns a new customer into a repeat customer — and people talk.
2. Turning Up Your Pepperoni: Cup and Char
The pepperoni looks just like its name. We already well know that pepperoni is America’s favorite pizza topping. Cup and Char pepperoni, also known as Full Curl or Roni Cup pepperoni turns fully upward at the edges at high temperatures. As a result, the pepperoni edges get a crispy, bacon-like flavor.
The Cup and Char style originated in Buffalo, New York, but exploded on social media popularized in large part by the social media account of famous Prince Street Pizza. Other’s took notice, including prominent outlets such as PMQ and NYEater.com. Read more about how Roni Cup and Char Pepperoni’s took over NYC’s Pizza market here.
The pattern was inescapable at the Pizza Expo. Among the dozens of booths sampling their ingredients, toppings, and pizzas, more than half were sampling their products using the Cup and Char style of pepperoni.
3. Pinsa Romana Dough
Roman style pizza crust is making a comeback. The newest trend in dough-making comes from a retro-form of crust that was briefly in vogue decades ago before picking up steam again in recent years. This year was a culmination of that momentum, as multiple vendors showcased their Roman-style doughs and preparation methods.
The Roman-style crust, or Pinsa Romana was showcased in the August edition of PMQ. As described, Pinsa Romana flour is made with 80% water along with welcome additions of Soy and Rice flour, which creates a healthier, airier, and more digestible dough than traditional high-gluten dough.
It’s also extremely versatile, which is an added benefit for more innovative chefs. One exhibitor (Pinsa Romana Americana) sampled a dessert-style pizza with a Pinsa-Romana base.