Put to the test

A while back, PMQ asked if there were any operators out there who would be willing to test new products and services and offer feedback. The results would be readers getting honest opinions from actual operators and suppliers learning if their products would be suited to pizza. If you own a pizzeria and would also like to be added to our panel of test shops, or if you have a product or service you would like to Put to The Test, email Tom Boyles at tom@pmq.com. Our guinea pigs have already been hard at work testing products and this is the first installment of "Put to The Test."

PMQ had the opportunity to meet with Mary Humann, who represents the National Onion Association, last fall at a food editors' conference. Mary told us about some new onion products and coordinated with supplier Jon-Lin Foods to take us up on the offer to test their Chef-Sensations® Grilled Julienne Onion Strips in actual pizzerias. Eureka Pizza, Tomasso's Pizza, Rotolo's Pizzeria, Fox's Pizza Den and Flyer's Pizza all received pre-packaged samples of the onion strips and either incorporated them into existing recipes or experimented to come up with something new. The onion strips are sliced and then slow-cooked in natural juices for caramelization and flavor. They are then flash-frozen and packaged for ready-to-use ease right out of the bag.

We have great hoagies and sandwiches, especially our Philly cheesesteak," commented Ernie with Rotolo's Pizza. "The caramelized onions went great on the sandwiches and when we had a pizza order that wanted onions, we used them there too and customers loved it."

Scott Anthony of Fox's Pizza Den said, "It was great on our steak and veggie hoagies and the steak pizza. I did not use it to create anything new, but tried to integrate it into my own menu to enhance the flavors of existing products. We tried it on our Pierogie pizza, but the caramelized color of the onions did not lend much to eye appeal even though the taste was good. Because it was a frozen product, it wasn't good for salads either."

Mike Tomasso of Tomasso's Pizza in Boca Raton, Florida said he used them at a street festival for his sausage and pepper subs and cheesesteaks. "It was excellent for the subs and a great timesaver."

For more information about Jon-Lin Chef-Sensations® Grilled Julienne Onion Strips, visit www.jon-linfoods.com or call (877) jon-lin1. For more information on onions, visit www.onions-usa.org.