Maple Leaf Canadian and Family Owned


Raw Bacon vs. Pre-Cooked Bacon

Maple Leaf Cooked Bacon with buns, lettuce, tomatoes

Raw Bacon vs. Pre-Cooked Bacon: Which is right for you?


As any chef or restaurant owner knows, having a versatile and reliable ingredient like bacon on hand can be a real lifesaver. Whether you're looking to add a little something extra to a dish or you need a quick and easy option for a busy breakfast rush, pre-cooked bacon is always a great choice. But what are the benefits of pre-cooked bacon over raw bacon? Let's take a look:


  1. Pre-cooked bacon is labour-saving. There's no need to tray raw bacon or cook it from raw – with pre-cooked bacon, employees can be spending their time on higher ticket items.
  2. Pre-cooked bacon is easy to handle. Maple Leaf Food’s new enhanced technology on their cooling process makes the product easier to handle and no ripping of product is necessary. Laid out flat for handling and counting, you will get the same count in every case - great for inventory control!
  3. Your customers will enjoy the maple wood chip flavor & centre cut bacon!
  4. Endless Applications: salad topper, pizza topping, flat breads, burgers topper, sandwich builds, center of the plate and more.
  5. Increase profits by adding bacon as an upsell, open and use the product immediately.
  6. Easy to reheat with any of these methods: pan fry, flat-top, microwave, deep-fry, Panini press, hot tables or chafing dish.
  7. Increased food safety with no handling of raw product.
  8. You have the same amount of slices per case.
  9. Saves on labour with less time spent in the kitchen cooking bacon off.


Added bonus: Produced in Canada - Winnipeg, Manitoba


Maple Leaf pre-cooked bacon on toast


So, if you're looking for a delicious and convenient option for your next dish, pre-cooked bacon is the way to go! Not only will it save you time and effort in the kitchen, but you'll also be able to create some truly unique and mouth-watering dishes that your customers will love.


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Flanagan Foodservice at 2:34 PM
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Globetrotting Gourmet: Margherita Pizza

Margherita pizza on a dark background

Globetrotting Gourmet: Margherita Pizza

Pronounced: mahr-geh-ree-tah. 


So what makes the best Margherita Pizza? The answer is simple and yet at the same time complex: the proper balance between quality ingredients, technique, and tradition. The crust, sauce, and cheese are all integral parts that work together to form something more than the sum of their parts.


Margherita pizza is one of the most famous pizza types, it hails from Naples and is one of the best examples of how simple ingredients can blossom into magnificent flavour. Legend has it that the Margherita is named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, who in 1889 visited Naples. The pizza was developed by Raffaele Esposito at Pizzeria Brandi to represent the colours of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil) and white (mozzarella).


What makes a Margherita a Margherita?


The secret to the Margherita is the ingredients: high quality, fresh products differentiate the Margherita from a regular pizza.


It all starts with the crust. Margherita pizza has a simple crust made from flour, yeast, and salt. Unlike other pizzas that use thicker dough, Margherita pizza has a thin and crispy crust.


The real star of the Margherita pizza is the tomato sauce. Using top-quality tomatoes is critical. We recommend the famous “San Marzano Tomatoes”. Grown at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius volcano in Italy, carrying the prestigious Protected Designation of Origin designation. This is a truly authentic product characterized by its excellence in quality.


Top with fresh mozzarella, basil and a drizzle of olive oil and salt.


The Results

The ingredients come together harmoniously to create a delicious mouthful of Italian goodness.


Margherita ingredients with Flanagan codes:


Product No.   Description                                                         Pack/Size

306524           Milano Flour "00" Pizza Napoletana              1/10KG

481588           Emma Tomato Peeled San Marzano Dop     6/2.84LT

207796           Quality Cheese Mozz Fior Di Latte 250G       1/3KG  OR

207789           Quality Cheese Bocconcini Medium 80Gm  1/3KG

281175           No1 Basil - Fresh                                               12/1EA

448166           Saporito Oil Olive Extra Virgin Pet                  4/3LT



New Product - Lactose Free Pizza Mozzarella

Flanagan Foodservice has listed a Lactose Free Pizza Mozzarella. For your lactose free customers adjust the above recipe and use;


207821            Galbani Cheese Mozz Shrd 19% Lact Free    4/2.27OZ



So there you have it - the key ingredients and techniques that go into making a great Margherita Pizza. If you follow these simple tips, you'll be well on your way to creating a delicious pizza that everyone will love. Buon appetito!




Did you know?

Bococcini and Fior Di Latte are the same thing, but when the balls of fresh mozzarella are 250gm they call them Fior Di Latte.




Flanagan Foodservice at 10:00 AM
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Fire up your grill for BBQ season

Cooked hamburger with fries


Here comes summer and, once pandemic numbers are under control and dining opens up widely, it will be time to get your grill on. Customers are raring to get back to outdoor dining, and nothing entices more than the smells wafting from a BBQ grill.


This year’s BBQ hot trends include flat plate grilling, high-end buns, layering, non-meat (plant-based innovations) grilling, and sauces and spices that take old favourites and present them in new and exciting ways. 


Light up your BBQ options

There’s nothing like cooking over live fire to really ignite the taste buds. If you have that option at your operation, you’ll be able to bring out the flavour in any number of grill dishes — from vegetarian to meat and fish.


Always go big on burgers

Burgers are here to stay, even with more Canadians choosing plant-based options. 

Nearly four in 10 Canadians eat at least one burger a week, and men eat even more burgers than women, according to data from Weston Bakeries, which studies burger-lovers’ habits. 


Here’s what really turns on burger lovers looking for a premium burger experience:


The patty (63%)
The bun (21%)
Toppings (6%)
Seasonings/spices (5%)
Condiments and cheese (3% each)


For many Canadians, a burger is naked without cheese. Not surprisingly, cheddar is the cheese champion at 47%, followed by mozzarella at 35%, Swiss at 33%, and Monterey Jack at 25%. Sliced is chosen by 63% and shredded by 17%.


Pile on the extras

Meat-topped burgers are trending… and going beyond bacon. Beef burgers are getting piled high with pulled pork, ham and beef brisket for a really meaty experience. They’re marketed as an indulgent, and ultra-savoury meat-on-meat combination.


Don’t forget the bun

Most Canadians like it simple and classic when it comes to buns, however new and exciting formulations are adding abundant new bun-opportunities. Here’s what Canadians traditionally look for:


Sesame seed buns (31%)
Cheese buns (22%)
Garlic bread buns (19%)
Onion buns (18%)
Whole wheat and multigrain buns (16% each)


Innovation is certainly coming to buns. According to Technomic, which collects data from the Top 500 restaurant chains, the fastest growing buns are potato buns, sesame seed buns, and brioche. Even ciabatta buns are beginning to have their moment on the grill.


Beef still reigns as burger king followed by chicken, fish and turkey. Eight out of 10 prefer a grilled beef patty. But new grill contenders are ready to take their place. Think seafood skewers and grilled fish.


Kick up your spices a notch

Salt and pepper remain the most popular burger seasonings, however garlic salt, Worcestershire, peppercorn, and Cajun flavours are all gaining in popularity. 


Diners love barbecue, and that’s helping to propel burnt, charred and toasted flavours, Technomic reports. Smoky flavours are no longer limited to just meats and cheese but are also being paired with contrasting flavours such as sweet and spicy to add complexity. The espelette pepper, originating from the Basque region of France, helps deliver that smoky, sweet and mildly hot flavour that makes plancha-grilled food an exciting new trend.


The fastest growing condiments are chipotle aioli, garlic mayonnaise, honey, marmalade and jam, especially savoury flavours like bacon jam and pepper marmalade. 




Flanagan Foodservice at 1:45 PM
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Not all Oils are Created Equal

French fries cooking in oil

No matter how you spread or spray it, not all oils are created equal


When it comes to choosing oils for your kitchen, the key to increasing revenue and taste is quality and convenience, says Jeff Poulo, national sales director for Saporito Foods.

The company is a leading supplier of high quality canola, corn, sunflower and vegetable oils, imported olive and blended oils, shortenings, margarines and zero trans-fat high-performance frying oils to retail, foodservice and export markets.


“Quality and convenience are the most important factors to consider when choosing an oil to use and cook with. Whether you are cooking at home for your family, or you’re a chef in a busy restaurant cooking hundreds of meals, you want an easy to use, great tasting, high-quality oil,” says Poulo.


Oil performance and options

When it comes to High-Performance (HP) oils, Poulo says his company’s oils come at a slightly higher price point but provide better performance, which translates into better value. Specifically, HP oils last longer in the fryer, reducing cost per use and have less oil retention in food and less flavour transfer from one item to another.


Operators should be aware that olive oil has been affected by crop disease and production losses over the past two seasons, significantly reducing supply and causing a substantial increase in price. This has “led to an influx of poor quality, expensive, misrepresented products,” says Poulo. He advises operators to ask their suppliers how this has impacted their products.


Saporito Foods has a stringent quality control protocol in place with its European vendors to ensure the highest quality olive oil is delivered each and every time.

Here are some tips to help you get the best value and flavour from your oil:

Don’t be fooled by the lowest-cost options:

There are a variety of choices in the marketplace, ranging from regular salad cooking oils and specially-handled oils to high-performance frying oils. This can make it difficult and confusing when trying to choose an oil, so price becomes the deciding factor. But the lowest priced oil may not be the best choice for your application or the most cost-effective solution.


Crunch the numbers:

With deep frying you may have a choice between one 16L container of oil at $20 and another type of oil priced at $18 — a 10 per cent savings. But, depending on the brand, quality and application, this may only be a perceived savings before the kitchen actually consumes the oil.


As a simple example, if the pricier oil is a higher quality product, and lasts four days in the fryer instead of three (as the lower-priced oil may), then there’s an immediate and identifiable savings of 25 per cent on a $20 outlay, dramatically reducing cost per use.

Also, if the higher-priced oil has even as little as two per cent better oil retention level (the amount of oil that remains in the food) that’s a savings of $0.40 per 16L.


One extra day in the fryer, or 25 per cent better performance on a $20 item = a $5 savings per 16L.


Two per cent less consumption due to better oil retention on a $20.00 item = $0.40 savings per 16L.


The lower-priced oil can actually end up costing much more than initially anticipated.


The lower-priced oil can cost your kitchen $24 per 16L ($18+$5+$0.40) rather than $20.


These are potentially sobering numbers for any restaurant operator and shows why outcome versus output of initial cash should be considered when making any purchasing decision for your kitchen, particularly when it comes to oils.


Dos and don’ts of fryer maintenance:

  • Never refill a wet fryer since water causes oil to break down more quickly.
  • Don’t fill baskets over your fryer to prevent food particles from contaminating the oil.
  • Never season products over fryer as spices can break down your oil.
  • Do not put seasoned, fried product back into fryer.
  • Do not overfill fryer baskets or shake baskets during frying.
  • Skim off food particles regularly.
  • Filter your oil regularly to realize the full value of better quality oils.


Written by Suzanne Boles.  





Flanagan Foodservice at 12:11 PM
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Add smoke flavour to your menu

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire: how to add smoke taste to your menu

Smoke on a black background


Our love affair with the scent and flavour of smoke is primal, evoking memories from deep within us. Canadian diners continue to be enchanted with all things smoke.  


Gone are the days where customers only want smoky flavours associated with BBQ. Smoke continues to waft across menus. Although proteins (both animal and plant-based) continue to dominate the smoky spotlight, this delectable flavour profile now permeates salads, desserts and even drinks.


Go all in with in-house smoking or utilize the flavour packed offerings from Canadian suppliers who know their smoke. Fan those delicious smoky flames and ignite your menu.


Not fizzling out


Smoking and smoke flavours have been around for millennia, but restaurant customers still can’t get enough as smoke continues to waft through menus across the country.

Technomic’s foodservice industry intelligence platform tracks flavours and preparations on menus. And they see smoke!


Among the foodservice establishments Technomic tracks, 45% of operators have menu items featuring smoke flavour or smoke preparation methods. And depending on the segments, the rate is even higher. Food Trucks – 75%, Upscale CDR – 68%, Fine Dining – 66%.


It all makes sense when you consider that poutine appetizers, specialty burgers, sushi and even breakfast platters boasting this flavour profile continue to show growth. When you look at meal parts, desserts that feature smoke are showing an astonishing 33% growth.


Yes, smoke for dessert. And well beyond s’mores, banana boats and mountain pies. How about Smoky Banana Bourbon Bites, Apple Pie with Smoked Cheddar Crust or Smoky Spiced Chocolate Cake?



Blaze a trail  

Hanging out at the cottage, delighting in bonfires and watching grandpa at the BBQ are fond memories evoked by the smell and taste of smoke for Victoria Horton, sales and quality assurance for Horton Spice Mills.


“People love smoky flavours because of the memories. It reminds us of summertime, nice weather and social gatherings.” And who isn’t craving that right now? “The scent gives us a moment to reminisce, but the flavour is delicious and keeps us coming back for more,” she adds. 


“Operators should add smoky flavours for the experience,” Horton suggests. “And for the nostalgia.”


“Smoking meats and other ingredients takes time. It’s a low and slow process,” she reminds us. “If operators want to achieve dishes with smoky flavours without all the work and time needed, spices and seasonings can do the trick. Add them before, add them after, or both, to whatever you are cooking.”


Horton Spice Mills has a few items that can bring smoke to a dish without all the time and effort. How about a Smoky Salted Caramel Pear Tart using their smoked salt. Or a quick Portobello Mushroom Paprikash with smoked paprika.


“Our chipotle seasoning adds a hint of smoke and we have created a Smoked Montreal Steak Spice,” says Horton. 


All fired up

“Smoky flavours offer a sensory experience like no other,” says Steve Hutchinson, VP of marketing for foodservice for Parmalat/Lactalis.


“It’s a flavour adventure not easily replicated with in-home dining and can therefore make dining out an incredible experience. Operators who can create these unique smoky flavour experiences and link it to their signature dishes can keep customers coming back.”


Cheese and cheddar are top ingredients paired with smoke. Lactalis takes it a step further with Balderson’s Double Smoked Cheddar. Using it on the menu can impart intense wood smoke flavour, and the fact it pairs well with dark and amber beers, ales and lagers is a bonus.


Kick it up a notch higher and pair smoky appetizers with smoke-infused cocktails. A Manhattan, Bloody Mary or Martini will take centre stage when you add smoky elements – infused spirits, smoked ice cubes, smoking the glass or adding a smoked garnish. 


Smoke signals

“Differentiation and craveability are key to gaining new customers,” says Unilever Corporate Chef Kyla Tuori, who has been working with operators to help their businesses excel for the past 14 years.


“The flavours we associate with “smokiness” add complexity to so many recipes, craveable enough that they are now being incorporated into vegetables dishes,” she says.


“Smokiness in your dishes allows for simple, yet impactful, enhancements for a variety of cuisines. Adding smoke flavour, or the process of smoking can be introduced as a subtle background note or leading flavour.”


Not all operators have access to smoking equipment or the inclination to add another process to their busy kitchens. But there’s always another way.


Says Chef Kyla, “Unilever created the Knorr Intense Flavours Deep Smoke. This concentrated liquid seasoning allows you to easily add the rich smoky taste.” 


She also reminds us that yes, smoky is amazing but adding other flavours can further enhance your dishes. Knorr Citrus Fresh Flavour is a great example of a complement to smoky dishes but can also be used multiple places on your menu.


Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Grab your ingredients, add the fuel of your imagination and creativity, stay true to your brand and add some major heat to your menu.


Written by Cherie Thompson and shared with permission from Chef Connexion. For more great articles and recipes visist



Flanagan Foodservice at 12:56 PM
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