A Study in Savory Parfaits

Every year I like to predict food trends. With cupcakes being the reigning trend the last several years, trying to find something new that will catch fire that spreads across the globe is always something I like to ponder.

I’ve been rooting for empanadas to make it big time but realistically foresee pie or donuts becoming the next big “it” food — pastries I prefer to indulge in rather than cupcakes if given a choice. But a quick look around San Diego and I’m can’t help but to notice parfaits. Not the traditional version with sweet fillings such as jello, ice cream or pudding— but savory items. BBQ parfaits and sushi parfaits to be exact.

BBQ Parfait

BBQ parfaits were first seen at various county fairs a few years ago and usually includes layers of mashed potatoes, BBQ sauce and chipped meat. But in San diego, these can be found each Saturday at the  Little Italy Farmers Market from Ranchwood Catering & BBQ.

Ranchwood’s version includes all of the above ingredients layered with either beef or pork for $7. You can add baked beans upon request for no additional cost and it’s enough to serve two people. While their BBQ sauce is a tad too sweet for my taste, it’s an interesting and filling take on the traditional concept.

Savory Parfait

Another version are sushi parfaits which I recently spotted at Misuwa. These  are found right alongside their traditional nigiri and sushi rolls.

The layers of this parfait include lettuce and avocado at the bottom, two layers of sushi rice, some crunchy bits and the top is a colorful assemblage of chopped green onions, tuna and roe. A dollop each of ginger and wasabi completes the parfait and it sells for $3.99.

Savory Parfait closeup

Using chopsticks to dip into the tall, narrow glass takes a special skill set — one I need to work on. And forget about dipping a chopstick full of sushi filling into a wasabi-soy sauce mixture — it’s so much easier to pour it into the parfait cup.

10 thoughts on “A Study in Savory Parfaits

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  1. the sushi parfait looks really cool but i’d rather eat in in a shallow bowl so i wouldn’t have to dig around.

    the savory parfait reminds me of the friends episode where rachel makes a trifle but uses ground beef and peas instead (and joey likes it).

  2. How interesting. Not my favorite food styling technique, but I like the ingredients. As long as I could end my Mitsuwa meal with a scoop of red bean ice cream, I’d be happy.

    1. This is DEFINITELY not the styling for those few that don’t like the different components of their meal touching each other.

      If the sushi parfait had been available by anyone other than a Japanese market, I would have immediately pshawed the idea and dismissed it as a horrible trend. Instead I ate it.

  3. Ok so, I had the sushi parfait earlier today and I can say it wasn’t my favorite. I love the concept of food touching and getting all the flavors mixed in, but in this case the rice didn’t work for me.

    I did try it with chopsticks for awhile, when I got frustrated getting stuck with the rice I used a plastic spoon, no luck there and felt it was even harder with the spoon so continued with the chopsticks. Anyway, since I forgot to get some soy sauce I ate the rice as is and it was too flavorless. And not sure if you remember, but there was a thin layer on one of the sides with something pink that tasted like cotton candy….that got thrown out of the cup.

    And eventually at least half of the rice got shoved off the cup so I could get to the avocado in the bottom. Interesting dish, not my favorite and good thing I did buy more sushi so I did have a good meal.

    1. On the parfait I bought, the rice was fine and I still can’t figure out what the pink stuff was. Candied ginger?? It’s pretty to look at but a very unusual concept.

      BTW: Glad you got other sushi. I shared this with Paul and we were still so hungry afterwards.

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