Nigella Lawson announces ‘brand new food’ that’s been used in SE Asia for centuries

Move over avocado and matcha, it seems our Insta feeds are about to be infiltrated by a new food craze.

Pandan, also know as screw pine, is a leaf that is sweet, pungent and has been likened to vanilla. Grown in Southeast Asia, the herbaceous plant is predominately used to flavour drinks and desserts, but can also be used in savoury dishes.

The ingredient is still mainly used by Asian cultures, but Nigella Lawson believes that it looks set to make waves in Britain. The Times reports that it is already gaining traction in the US.

“I think it’s going to be the new matcha,” Lawson said. Matcha, of course, is a powder made from green tea leaves that has been consumed in Japan for hundreds of years, but has recently taken the foodie world by storm. The powder has been an ingredient in everything Instagrammable from lattes to cakes and ice cream.

“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,” Lawson adds.

Lawson may be right, as restaurants in Britain have already begun using the unfamiliar ingredient. The Grill Ox Club in Leeds, for example, is selling pandan ice cream while others sell pandan pancakes.

As for Australia, it seems that for the time being, online Asian grocers may be the place to look if you want to purchase this up-and-coming ingredient.

After an episode of Lawson’s TV show featuring her smashing an avocado on toast aired, sales of avocado rose by 30 per cent. It will be interesting to see what her comments about pandan will do for its popularity.

Certainly we can expect foodies to jump on board, after all monkey see, monkey do.

pandan pancakes
pandan leaves

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