The charts below show the latest fine-dining ingredient trends. Of the 30 most-used ingredients, peas and asparagus saw the greatest increases in usage from March to April due to the changing of the season. Lamb, fennel and garlic also saw large increases, while truffles, duck and almonds saw large declines in usage.
While not in the top thirty ingredients, foraged foods such as ramps, morels, nettles and fiddleheads saw very large usage increases in April as they came into season. We have discussed these menu trends here.
In the meat category, lamb extended its steady climb in usage, while chicken overtook beef as the most used meat ingredient. The use of squab and salami has also increased throughout the year, while the use of pork, duck, foie gras and venison has declined.
In the seafood category, the use of arctic char, anchovies, halibut and branzino increased substantially during the month, while chef’s relied less on sea urchin, squid and cod. Scallop usage has also been steadily declining throughout the year.
Seasonal changes caused several drastic shifts in vegetable usage over the past month, with peas and asparagus the largest beneficiaries. Shallots, cucumber and radish also saw substantial increases in usage. Apple, truffle, kale and cauliflower saw the largest declines in the produce category over the past month.
In the herb category, corander, mint and fennel saw large increases in usage, however it was nettles, the foraged plant, that increased the most during the month. Sage and scallion were the herbs which saw the largest decrease in usage.
As the season has changed, New York’s favorite winter nut, the chestnut, saw a drastic drop in usage. Walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts also saw large declines.
Bulghur usage, while still relatively low, now appears in three dishes, whereas it appeared in none last month.
In the pasta category, the usage of risotto and bucatini has steady declined throughout the year, while the opposite is true of fettuccini.
In the cheese category, riccotta and parmesan usage has been increasing over the past several months, while gruyere and gorgonzola usage has been steady declining.