Whether simply adding a dash of salt to bring out the flavor of food or a spritz of hot sauce to gain some tang, service members cannot resist customizing meals to suit their own taste; and both belong to the extensive family of condiments widely available in military dining facilities for personalizing daily menu choices.
Condiments can be spices, sauces, spreads, syrups, dips and dressings, but most important is that serving areas feature the name brands that are familiar to service members.
“Branded condiment items are important to our airmen,” said George Miller, chief of operations, Air Force Food and Beverage Division, Air Force Services Agency. “Customers eat with their eyes. Our airmen identify with packaging and labeling, and want to see the products they see being advertised to the general public.”
The “condiment line,” as the Air Force calls its assortment, is provided daily to allow airmen to adjust the flavor of foods.
At first glance, pizza might appear to struggle to maintain a place on the military menu as contemporary dietary guidelines increasingly stress achieving maximum fitness and top performance; but it wins that battle easily.
Pizza is an attractive food option (to both Joint Culinary Center of Excellence (JCCoE) and service members) because it is a handheld and quickly consumed item. In addition to this convenience, pizza can supply up to four food groups in one slice: grains, dairy, meat/proteins and vegetables.
“We have looked at various types of pizza products from industry that taste great and have the nutritional attributes that we are looking for: whole-grain crust, whole-wheat crust, fiber, lower saturated fat, no trans-fat, vegetable toppings and leaner-meat toppings,” said Renita Frazier, registered dietitian, JCCoE.
The frequency at which pizza appears can vary from installation to installation based on diner demand, foodservice operation, budget and training environment. Pizza is usually offered as an additional offering to the main line entrées or as an item on the short-order line.