Cauliflower Wings Have Officially Emerged as a Flavor Trend
With 2021 trends leading towards fried chicken, spicy sauces, and vegetables, it should be no surprise to see cauliflower wings emerging as a hot ticket item.
While we’ve seen a few iterations appear in 2020, it looks like 2021-2022 might be a breakout window for the veggie focused snack. This trend was certainly boosted by the increase of interest brought upon by the super bowl.
Health conscious and veg-forward eaters clambered to find lighter alternatives to the normal super bowl fare and veggie wings offered a perfect balance.
So, let’s see how this trend falls into the menu adoption cycle and how it’s currently appearing in restaurants.
Cauliflower Wings for the Win
The Menu Adoption Cycle
According to Datassential’s Menu Adoption Cycle, cauliflower wings are currently in the Adoption phase. This means that they can be found in specialty retailers and progressive fast-casual restaurants.
In fact, you can find them frozen from brands like RollinGreens at Whole Foods and Walmart. Birds Eye also offers a whole lineup of frozen crispy cauliflower flavors available at most major grocery stores.
By the retail standard, cauliflower wings may be pushing past Adoption and toward Proliferation. But let’s not count our chickens (or in this case, cruciferous vegetables), before they hatch.
Cauliflower Wings in Restaurants
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
One of the earliest adopters for cauliflower wings was the movie theatre/restaurant chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Their menu features vegan buffalo cauliflower wings served with vegan ranch dressing.
They’re just the right amount of spicy and crispy and won’t leave you missing their chicken-based analog.
Buffalo Wild Wings
This one should come as no surprise. Buffalo Wild Wings features crispy breaded cauliflower on their menu, but here you can select any sauce or dry rub you choose.
That means you have the option of over 26 different flavors to dazzle your tastebuds. We recommend the Nashville Hot if you’re feeling adventurous.
Never shy about innovation, Donatos Pizza now offers cauliflower wings. Where they differ is that their wings are oven-baked, rather than fried. While only currently available in Dayton-area restaurants, the likelihood they spread to other areas is very high.
Plus, Donatos allows you to flavor your cauliflower with any dry rub or delicious sauce of your choice. Here’s to options!
It’s a Cauliflower Revolution
While cauliflower continues to make its way into everything, I for one am glad to find it in wing format. The neutral flavor profile and al dente texture of cauliflower allows flavorful sauces to shine bright. Whether it’s buffalo, BBQ, Nashville Hot, or spicy sambal, there’s no wrong choice for crispy cauliflower. Just make sure there’s an extra side of sauce for dunking.