So, I have a strange issue with my shop in that we want to offfer sliced potatoes as a topping (even have a steak and potato pizza featuring them). Another reality is that there is no grocery store in our town . . . 40 minute round trip minimum to go buy potatoes. Potato is a low volume item for us, but is has a limited following. So, huge pain to maintain stock of these parishable tubers.
We recently came across a dehydrated sliced potato product that we got a sample of. I figured I’d rehydrate and see what it did on a pizza. Results were that the partially (75% to 80%) rehydrated slices had very intense potato flavor, cooked to a tender but firm texture on the pies, and even made decent chips when fried (go figure). Shelf life of dried is nigh on forever . . . refreshed overnight in cold water or 15 minutes with near boiling water.
My question to the masses is: how cheesy would I be using rehydrated slices until volume goes up or someone locally starts selling them? I really hate the idea of the manufactured product when the fresh one works just fine, if we get to them before they sprout. Cost will be higher, but convenience is hard to beat.
I don’t think it’s cheesy at all. It makes more sense to me than the 40 minute drive. Just don’t advertise Fresh Fries cut daily
Fresh always sounds great but doesn’t necessarily make the best end product for each application. What I think is important is the end product.
Does the end product meet your standards?
Is there really an “appreciable” difference?
I would base my decision based on the answer to these two questions. Unless your mission statement and tag line states that “everything” is made from scratch and fresh ingredients – meaning that is what you are “all” about, I think its impractical.
Another angle I look at these things from is from a goal standpoint. Does your happiness drive you to open more locations or make the most of one? If one wants to operate one location I am inclined to lean towards scratch and freshness because it can easily be controlled. If one wants to open multiple locations scratch and fresh tends not to lead to a better product because you have less control over the operation.
I enjoy watching a lot of the shows on the Food Network. DDD, one of my favorites, takes you to all these great places where just everything is made from scratch on the menu with the freshest of ingredients. There are these accomplished chefs turning out 5 star meals in these tiny little diners. It works because the owner is there everyday as the chef and does not have other locations to manage.
Btw Nick, did you get your idea about the potato slices from “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” the other day?
No, I got the idea from my pantry and a customer ordering a pizza we didn’t have potatoes for
I had a bag from three years ago that I never experimented with. Had to turn down the customer due to no servable 'taters. I got a slow moment a while later and decided I needed for find a solution for the up and down of my potato stock. I tried all sorts of things, and really liked the rehydrated slices . . . flavor and texture were both actually superior to fresh sliced spuds.
The first pizza shop that I worked at just brought in several potatoes at a time, and then we made sure to have a couple baked, pre-sliced potatoes waiting for us in the fridge for the occasional potato pizza. Worked well. Fresh, mature potatoes keep for a couple months if you store them correctly.
Never having used potato slices on pizza, I have a question. Do potatos release moisture like most other produce items when cooked on a pizza. If so, using the dehydrated could be an advantage since you said you only partially rehydrate them. With out the excess moisture, your pie will stay dryer. Don’t think of it as a convienence, think of it as an upgrade.
My wife and I had a Spicy Perogy pizza the other night…Sour cream, pizza mozzarella, smoky bacon and spicy cactus cut potatoes. Finished with cheddar, green onion and a dollop of sour cream.
We quite enjoyed it…
Just tried a potato slice pizza tonight with freshly sliced potato, sauce and mozzarella. Another place I know of has it on their menu. No moisture problems at all. Its not a bad pizza and maybe there might be a texture to get from the potato but I was not impressed otherwise. Maybe a thicker cut would make a texture difference.