A simple and fun way to add a global touch to meals is by serving them on skewers. They are familiar to consumers, so using them in more unusual dishes puts people at ease about trying something new and different.

Dating back to prehistoric times, wooden sticks found with burn marks on the ends were no doubt used as cooking utensils. In medieval Europe and Asia, they sometimes evolved into swords. Today, skewers are typically stainless steel rods with a grip on one end for ease of removing food, though the classic wooden stick is still quite popular in many ethnic applications.

Skewers are sturdy enough for meat entrees, yet versatile enough to hold a variety of other foods as well. From familiar to unique. Consider these facts from DS Global Report, 2017:

  • Some 52% of Millennials indicated they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers new and/or innovative flavors.
  • Consumers are more likely to order meat entrees with global flavors than any other type of dish.
  • Authenticity is a key purchase driver: 69% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase food and beverage described as “authentic.”

Many authentic Global BBQ styles have skewer preparations. For example, char siu (China), which includes seasoned boneless pork skewered over a fire. Satay (Thailand, The Philippines), which includes marinated meat, skewered and grilled over a wood-burning or charcoal fire. And, yakitori (Japan), which is skewered chicken (or beef or pork) grilled over binchotan (white charcoal), which burns at a high temp. In fact, satay and Korean BBQ have increased 11% across all foodservice menus (Technomic, BBQ is on Fire, 2017). For operators looking to expand their global BBQ applications, serving skewer-style dishes can be the perfect format for those mentioned above, as well as for South American varieties like Argentine asado and Brazilian churrasco.

And while skewer applications are obviously found in many ethnic applications, they can also be integrated into other familiar dishes, including BBQ, to create global fusion. When it comes to BBQ, Smithfield has the portfolio of products to make globally inspired items that create menu excitement and attract customers. Smithfield’s fresh pork and other meats can be the perfectly delicious featured ingredients in your skewer-style menu items.

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