Most of us have been on the tail of the avocado trend for some time and some of us have even got the t-shirt. The soft, buttery fruit (I only just found out it was a fruit too) first took the world by storm years ago but since then, we’ve seen it on toast, in salads and it’s even been an ice-cream flavour. You name it, the world has tried it. The avocado may still be just as hyped as ever, but are the food trend tides about to change? Renowned culinary queen, Nigella Lawson, thinks so.
Nigella has put all her eggs in one basket claiming that the tropical pandan leaf is the next thing to replace the popular avocado. It might even go one step further by diluting Japan’s Matcha tea takeover! But, what is this tropical plant and why is it the next best thing? Nigella’s discovery isn’t entirely new; she is serving it to Britain on a silver plate all the way from South and South East Asia. Here, the pandan flavour is extracted from the leaves and is used in cakes and sweet puddings, similar to how we would use vanilla essence. It doesn’t stop there either, it’s been used to flavour rice, drinks and even jelly! The essence is very aromatic and adds a natural pale green colouring to your treats, making them that little bit more mouth-watering.
Trends come and go, but just how popular is pandan essence expected to be? In a recent interview, Nigella said: “I may be wrong, but we seem to be interested in that. It’s not in Waitrose. I don’t know where it is in this country yet. But I notice more and more people in America baking with pandan essence. Which comes from that leaf,” The Times reported. The hashtag ‘#pandancake’ has already been used over 27,000 times worldwide on Instagram, so I think it’s about time we jump on this pandan bandwagon and start making our own treats.
A few recipes to try...
Pandan ice cream
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