Prepared Foods talks with Tom Preniczky, a research and development specialist at Sweet Street Desserts, a Reading, Pa., desserts manufacturer and foodservice supplier. A Plymouth, Mich., native, Preniczky has 25 years of pastry chef experience and joined Sweet Street in 2005.


Prepared Foods: What are foodservice operators saying about taste trends and the popularity of desserts featuring chocolate and vanilla?


Tom Preniczky: Today, [restaurant patron] customers are explorers, looking for new combinations while treasuring the traditional.


PF: How are you using chocolate or vanilla differently than you might have a few years ago?


Preniczky: We are focusing more on single-origin and sustainably grown chocolates, from places such as Peru, Ecuador and Venezula, to create deeply intense chocolate flavors.  Additionally, we are blending chocolate more than we have in the past to create one-of-a-kind experiences to be enjoyed by chocoholics and purists alike.


PF: Can you share an example of a new product featuring chocolate in a unique way?


Preniczky: In our new Peruvian Swirl Cacao Bande, we have incorporated moist, dark chocolate cake and crisp milk chocolate feuilletine crunch. These complement our deeply flavored chocolate mousse, which is made from single-origin, sustainably grown Peruvian chocolate. It’s all finished with a white chocolate swirl.


PF: How about an example of a new product featuring vanilla?


Preniczky: By layering unexpected bold and contemporary flavors to further enhance traditional flavors, our Strawberry Vanilla Bean Basil Bande is complete with Madagascar vanilla bean crème brulée mousse touched with fresh strawberry compote. Crowned with the savory touch of our contemporary basil glaze, every forkful delivers unfolding dimensions of complementary flavors.


PF: What is something you have learned about working with chocolate or vanilla? What advice would you share with other product developers and corporate chefs?


Preniczky: As a product developer I have learned to blend different chocolates creating unique, one of a kind flavors. When developing a new dessert, I am more conscious about the ingredients I source, as our customers are becoming increasingly interested in information regarding the story behind our ingredients.

Every recipe I develop now starts with pure, sustainable chocolates, which have been researched and profiled to provide our customers with as much information as possible.