Tamarind could dominate restaurant menus in the new year.
That’s according to seasonings seller McCormick & Company, which named tamarind as its 2024 Flavor of the Year.
What is tamarind?
Tamarind comes from tree pods, according to CNN. The tree that tamarind comes from grows throughout Africa, Mexico, Asia and India.
It’s an “acidic and tangy sweet” flavor, CNN reported.
“The flavor itself is sweet yet tart and a bit acidic, like molasses, caramel, or brown sugar mixed with lemon or lime,” Yahoo Finance reported.
According to McCormick, three food trends hint at the culinary impact of tamarind in 2024: new twists on old dishes, modernized regional dishes and the popularity of sour and tangy foods.
“Tamarind has been a popular ingredient for thousands of years and is used in dishes such as Pad Thai and soups,” Entrepreneur reported.
Potato chips, ice cream and coffee also go well with tamarind, according to CNN.
How was tamarind picked?
According to McCormick, 50 chefs and food technologists across the globe sought to find the largest trending flavor. McCormick’s team took nine months to select the Flavor of the Year, traveling to countries like South Africa, China and Poland, CNN reported.
Although part of many modern Western food trends, tamarind has been popular in Asia and Mexico “for awhile,” according to CNN.