Sriracha, potatoes expected on menus
Bush tucka. Tucker is Australian slang for food, and “tucka” is how Australians pronounce the word. Bush is their term for the countryside, making bush tucka a collection of aboriginal herbs, seeds and fruits. Herbs include lemon myrtle and pepperleaf; fruits range from muntries, kakadu plums and finger limes; and seeds include wattleseed, which is like a poppy seed with personality.
Some of these ingredients are starting to catch on. I had finger limes at a recent meal at The Catbird Seat in Nashville, Tenn., where chefs Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson get them from California.
“They’re almost [an] obnoxiously lime flavor,” Habiger told me, adding that he likes the kaffir lime-like aroma, and the crisp pulp that “kind of pops in your mouth like topiko.”
Be on the lookout for more of these exotics from down under in 2013.
Sriracha. This hot sauce, named after a town on the Gulf of Thailand, broke away from the pack of Southeast Asian flavors to become the darling of 2012. It made its way onto the menus of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Pei Wei Asian Diner. We’ll see more of it in 2013. I suspect kimchi — already hot at independent restaurants and unstoppable in food trucks — won’t be too far behind.
Potatoes. Much has been made of the drought that devastated the U.S. corn crop in 2012, but the weather was fine in potato country. Growers of this favorite indigenous starch reported a bumper crop for 2012, meaning potatoes should be inexpensive and plentiful in 2013. Plus, potato marketers are learning the magic of highlighting the starch’s provenance and variety.
Tropical fruits. Flavor experts say consumer passion is stirred for these exotic, but not unfamiliar, items. Expect to see coconut in iced coffees and cocktails, passion fruit in cocktails and iced teas, and mango and guava in lemonade. Tangerine and pineapple won’t be strangers either — and ginger, though not a fruit, will be seen in a growing array of cocktails, teas and housemade sodas.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: December 27, 2012 A previous version of this story misstated the ownership of Eleven Madison Park.
Contact Bret Thorn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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