Ever since chefs in high end San Francisco restaurants first began adding micro greens to salads in the 1980s, the tiny vegetables have become an essential part of haute cuisine. It’s not difficult to account for their popularity – they look and taste wonderful. As food accents and decoration, they make for a unique presentation. There are a number of micro green varieties available which allow chefs to vary design and presentation to maintain the appeal of tiny, fresh green leaves on a dinner plate.
What are micro greens?
Micro greens are a type of speciality produce, and have been around for about 20 or 30 years. They are grown from plant seeds and harvested when the shoots are 1-2 inches long. The tiny vegetables pack a flavorful punch, and their appearance is visually appealing.
Micro greens are typically harvested when the plants are 1-2 weeks old. There are a number of micro green varieties, including broccoli, arugula, kale, turnip, radishes, cabbage and beets. These are not to be confused with sprouts. Micro greens have a stem and leaves, and are in fact tiny vegetables.
Why are micro greens so popular?
As the fine dining segment of the restaurant industry continues to grow, the use of micro greens shows a parallel increase. Upscale restaurants account for 10% of all restaurant spending by Americans. Further, spending at upscale restaurants recorded a 3% increase last year. In total numbers, that means thousands or even millions of new customers at fine dining restaurants, where each customer spends an average of $28.55.
Do people really care about the appearance of their food?
In a word, yes. One of the most popular – which is to say, one of the largest and most active -groups on Flickr, the photo-sharing website, is called ?I Ate This.” It has more than 19,000 members who have contributed more than 300,000 pictures of memorably presented meals.
Organic micro greens are also available. The petite greens can be used as decoration and food accents for salads, entrees, pizza, sandwiches and more.
Given the range of microgreen varieties and their visual appeal, their popularity is likely to increase.