Spring is a time of renewal, when temperatures warm, green buds appear, animals give birth, and life abounds. It’s also the season when the heavy comfort foods of fall and winter start to lose their appeal and we set our sights on brighter, zestier fare and exciting new flavor profiles.
Whether you’re raring to shed a few holiday pounds before swimsuit season or you want to awaken sleepy taste buds with exotic essences, there are several flavors already trending for 2022.
Here are a few of the top flavors for spring that you’re probably already starting to see, and that you can definitely add to your personal menu.
Asian citrus has really taken off in the U.S. marketplace over the last couple of years, as homebound people look for ways to expand their palates and revitalize tired recipes. Although some of these fruits are difficult to find outside of Asian markets, one in particular is starting to become more prevalent.
Yuzu, which has only recently enjoyed cultivation in the States, is an incredibly sour and seed-studded citrus that looks like a cross between a lemon and an orange. It’s really no good for straight-up consumption, but it’s appearing in dressings, marinades, marmalades, sweets, and even cocktails, adding its tartness to a wide range of recipes.
Remember when the mention of hibiscus flowers would generate visions of tropical vacations? These days, you don’t have to hop a plane to Hawaii to enjoy these lovely flowers–you can find them at restaurants and even your local grocery store.
They most often appear in sodas and juices, but if you saw the now-famous hibiscus spiraled ginger cookies recipe in the New York Times, you might be keen to order some dried, edible hibiscus flowers online and try your hand at these buttery, sweet, floral temptations.
Hibiscus also makes for a surprisingly fresh floral layer in many a cocktail, whether you’re updating a classic gin and tonic or taking margaritas to a whole new level.
Spicier fare is trending for 2022 in a big way, but it’s important to find peppers that provide your preferred flavor profile.
Jalapeños are old hat at this point, and although habaneros have gained a lot of attention recently, the next big pepper trend lies in the smoky flavor of ancho chiles.
With mild to medium heat and a sweet smokiness, ancho chiles produce fantastic chile paste in addition to adding appealing notes to sauces and marinades, particularly adobo.
If you’re on board with expanding your culinary tastes to include a range of ethnic cuisines, you really have to try amba, a condiment originating around India and the Middle East that’s similar to mango chutney.
Amba typically includes pickled green mangoes, vinegar, salt, turmeric, chili powder or cayenne, and fenugreek, although there are all kinds of combos.
In Israel, it’s frequently used in sabich (an eggplant and hard-boiled egg sandwich), while it’s added to savory shawarma, kebabs, and falafel in India. As more chefs experiment with this unique sauce, it’s finding its way into everything from tacos to barbecue sauce to cakes and sorbets.
Yes, 2022 is going to be a year of change. If you’re looking to add some relatively safe adventure to your life, bringing new flavor trends into your kitchen is a great way to start.