Thursday, March 25, 2010

Panera Bread: Bold & Spicy Flavors

Media Contact:
Gillian Maffeo
Mullen for Panera Bread
617-226-9937

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Panera Bread® Turns Up the Heat with Bold & Spicy Flavors for Spring
New Cuban Chicken Panini,
Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagel Breakfast Sandwich Introduced

Richmond Heights, MO, March 24, 2010 – Panera Bread is tempting the wilder side of taste buds this spring with its new bold and spicy Cuban Chicken Panini and new Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagel Breakfast Sandwich.

The new Cuban Chicken Panini is the latest example of Panera’s unique version of an iconic recipe. Made with all-natural antibiotic-free chicken, lean smoked ham, Swiss cheese, chipotle mayo, sun-dried tomato ale mustard and served on freshly baked focaccia, this panini showcases the flavor profile of a traditional Cuban sandwich in a novel way. Panera’s Cuban sandwich also incorporates sweet and spicy pickle chips. These pickle chips -- marinated in a jalapeño-infused brine -- add an extra kick of heat and crunch and are undoubtedly the star of this new sandwich.

“After more than a year of development, we decided to test our Cuban Chicken Panini in the heart of the Cuban community -- Miami,” explained Panera’s Head Chef Dan Kish, a former associate dean at The Culinary Institute of America. “While it was a risk to introduce our spin on a Cuban sandwich to a particularly demanding customer base, we figured that if it could succeed there, it could succeed anywhere. Judging by our customers’ response in Miami, we’re confident our take on the Cuban sandwich is going to be a welcome addition to the menu.”

For those looking to spice up their You Pick Two® combination, the low-fat, vegetarian Black Bean Soup is a tasty complement to this new panini.

Another flavorful addition to the menu is the Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagel Breakfast Sandwich. The base for this sandwich is the newly created Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagel, which brings a new level of spice and flavor to breakfast. The traditional flour has been replaced with corn flour for an intense, authentic roasted flavor with mild yellow cheddar added to the dough for a touch of smooth creaminess. The sandwich also features an all-natural, freshly-cracked egg, Vermont white cheddar and a slice of lean smoked ham. Commented Kish, “As the bagel sandwich heats up in our panini press, it intensifies the flavors of the bagel, melding together the roasted notes of the corn, the smokiness of the ham, the sharpness of the cheese and subtle heat of the jalapeños.”

Panera’s bakers have also been crafting some delectable new baked goods including a Strawberries & Cream Scone and Apple Crunch Muffin. The cream-based Strawberries and Cream scone is made with dried infused strawberries, white chocolate chips and strawberry bits. These five basic ingredients -- flour, sugar, heavy cream, baking soda and salt -- all help create an airy and delicate texture.

“The beauty of this scone is in its simplicity,” explained Panera’s Head Baker Tom Gumpel, former associate dean at The Culinary Institute of America and certified master baker. “With only carefully selected ingredients, this powerfully simple Strawberries and Cream scone is a great choice for breakfast or a snack.”

The reduced fat, sweet Apple Crunch Muffin features freshly chopped apple chunks, topped with the crumbly cinnamon and sugar topping from Panera’s signature Cinnamon Crunch Bagel.

About Panera Bread
Panera Bread Company owns and franchises 1,380 bakery-cafes as of December 29, 2009 under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.®, and Paradise Bakery & Café® names. With our identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, we are committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. Nearly all of our bakery-cafes have a menu highlighted by antibiotic free chicken, whole grain bread, select organic and all-natural ingredients, with zero grams of artificial trans fat per serving, which provide flavorful, wholesome offerings. Our menu includes a wide variety of year-round favorites, complemented by new items introduced seasonally with the goal of creating new standards in everyday food choices. In neighborhoods across this country and in Ontario, Canada, our customers enjoy our warm and welcoming environment featuring comfortable gathering areas, relaxing decor, and free internet access. Our bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available on the Company’s website, http://www.panerabread.com/.

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As you should know, Panera Bread is one of my all-time favs for breakfast (spinach-bacon egg souffle, pumpkin muffies and a low-fat strawberry smoothie to finish it off), lunch (chipotle chicken sandwhich, broccoli cheddar soup, kettle-cooked chips and ice-cold lemonade to wash it all down.) or TV snack (an apple artisian pastry...or two). Its got everything you could ever want in a bakery-cafe.
 
Check out a few of my previous posts and helpful information:
*Smooches&Hugs*

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