Trends: Pucker Up!

Sour flavors, from kimchi, to exotic citrus, to vinegar braises, were once far from popular. Traditionally, North Americans preferred sweeter foods and felt an aversion to bitter notes. But modern tastes have evolved and matured to be much more adventurous—putting these flavors in the spotlight.
  • Many Korean and Filipino dishes have a bitter or sour flavor profile that balances well with the umami in their main ingredients (like beef, mushrooms, and soy beans). Try gochujang on cabbage kimchi or briny pork adobo with okra.
  • Kombucha started as a niche beverage, but its unique flavor has exploded into the mainstream, popular with yoga moms, sports enthusiasts, and college kids. The addition of flavors such as ginger, lemongrass, berries, and celery have
    further expanded this gut-healthy drink.
  • The pickle craze started with classic cucumbers, but quickly moved on to all types of vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, jalapenos, beets...) to be served as appetizer crudites, to garnish cocktails, to top tacos, and to balance sandwiches like banh mi.
  • Tamarind is a common Indian staple that wakes up mellower ingredients like potatoes, cauliflower, and paneer.
  • Chefs are reaching beyond lemons and limes to include yuzu, crab apples, and sour cherries, as well as the concentrated, powdered zests of grapefruits and tangerines.