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Menuspotting is the search for the next great festival food item … many festivals must be attended, and many yummy things must be tasted … it’s all part of the job.

Higher-end festivals protect unique food offerings, so the goal is to discover or create the next Turkey Leg or Funnel Cake. Well, my goal is to connect with more like-minded gourmands and get them to come see me at festivals where I produce & sell delicious and healthy items … but it’s a good sound-bite to say we’re out to discover the next Turkey Leg. Inspirations are captured in non-festival situations as well. Somebody has to be the first person to try and sell it on the street.

As Audre Lorde said, “There are no new ideas, just new ways of making them felt.” We take inspiration from foods and flavors, and find ways to make them work in our industry. Picasso said “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” meaning real art is in taking an idea and making it your own. This is what we are trying to do as we bend food inspirations to fit our specific niche.

Our niche is well-defined.

A) Items must be easily eaten with one utensil or less.

B) Items should have a high perceived value, as time windows for sales are short, and it takes the same amount of time to make a $7 sale as it does to make a $2 sale.

C) Items that share easily are appreciated.

D) Items must have 5 or less ingredients or steps, (OR key parts of the process can be prepped during the week).

E) Items must be pretty, have a catchy name, and

F) Items Must. Be. Yummy.

What is catching your eye on current menus? What do you hope to someday see at festivals everywhere? What is the item that you think might be the next Turkey Leg or Funnel Cake at your State Fair? Inquiring minds want to know.