People are saying that 2012 is all about newness, so with that in mind, why not expand our culinary sensibilities and reinvigorate our taste buds by introducing both to new kinds of foods? From snacks and flavor profile ideas to seafood and produce, here are ten surprising foods you must try this year:
Some people refer to the durian as the king of all fruits, which when opened leaves an odor that so pungent and intense that it is often prohibited in many places throughout Thailand. Though it is a fruit, its consistency is custard-like, and its flavor a bizarre combination of eggs, onions and cheese. Baffling as it is, a dollop of durian can easily taste like brunch.
• Melted Cheese in Hot Chocolate
Seen: an older Colombian woman dropping a few cubes of mild white cheese into a mug of hot chocolate, which might seem peculiar. The result, however, is a hot chocolate whose sweetness comes along with the savory drips of melting cheese. Think of it as the sweet variation to a French onion soup.
• Sea Urchin
It certainly isn’t for everyone, but it very well should be. When it’s fresh, one bite of raw sea urchin is like tasting the best parts of entire sea, a custard-like hit of sweet-savory ocean silk whose flavor unfolds inside the mouth in phases, or waves, as it were.
• Bacon Ice Cream
Next to cupcakes, bacon has becomes the new “it” ingredient, showing up unexpectedly and especially in our desserts. Bacon ice cream combines two of life’s most fundamental pleasures, juxtaposing their essence against one another, and ultimately allowing us to be the perverts that we are.
This massive tropical fruit looks hulking and serious, but open her up and she’s all fun and games. With a flavor akin to Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum and a consistency like calamari, the dynamic jackfruit is always a sweet and lovely surprise.
• Tahini for Breakfast
In the Middle East, the use of tahini extends into breakfast, one alternative being to smear raw tahini on toast, and top it with sliced bananas and a drizzle honey. Tahini, which is made of sesame seeds, packs a perfect protein punch to start off the day.
• Avocado Soup
You’ve had it in salads, on toast, in sushi rolls and mashed up on tortilla chips. But you probably haven’t had avocado as soup. This variation features the essential flavor of the fruit, which typically competes with its extraordinary consistency, creating a density of warmth with the avocado that indeed surprises the mouth.
• Miracle Fruit
Eating a miracle fruit is less like eating a fruit and more like being part of a science experiment. This is because when you eat a bite of this sour berry (Synsepalum Dulcificum), and then take a bit of lemon, the lemon will taste like sugar, uncannily sweet.
Brits and Aussies are no strangers to Marmite, the dark and ever salty, fermented spread that adds yeasty punch to the morning’s buttered toast. The flavor is intense, so a little goes a long way, its bold tang almost reminiscent of Japanese miso.
• Olive Oil on Ice Cream
Playing with the boundaries between savory and sweet has been quite the thing to do as of late, so drizzling olive oil and a dash of sea salt on a few scoops of vanilla ice cream should come as no surprise to anyone. In fact, chefs have been experimenting with the concept for years, further opening the floodgates of possibilities when it comes to desserts, and adding dimension to the notion of dynamic sweetness.