18 Flavors and Ingredients to Add to Your Menu in 2023

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Apogee Lounge
Star Ingredients

Humans naturally crave new experiences, especially when it comes to the food and beverages we consume. And chefs and drink mixologists continue to innovate and draw inspiration from the diverse cultures of the world, from the rising popularity of Filipino cuisine to Japanese cherry blossom-flavored beverages making its way into the U.S.

Datassential's 2023 Food Trends report offers insight on the trending foods, flavors, ingredients, and concepts that should be on every restauranteur's radar in the next year and beyond. Let's take a look at the rising stars. 

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Soju alcohol pouring from a bottle into a glass at a party in Korea.

Soju is a clear and colorless distilled alcoholic beverage hailing from Korea, and the third-fastest growing spirit on menus, according to Datassential.

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London fog tea drink with foamed milk with a wooden background.
London fog

A hot, tea-based beverage consisting of Earl Grey tea, steamed milk, and vanilla syrup; driven by floral flavors and alternative milks in coffee and tea.

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California Pizza Kitchen
Ranch water

No, it's not made with your mother's Hidden Valley Ranch bottle. This tequila- and lime-based cocktail was the fastest-growing item on menus in 2022.

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Brown coffee beans in a spoon on white coffee bean background.
White coffee

A special light roast featuring a nutty taste and an overall bolder, stronger flavor.

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Mangonada Mexican mango smoothie with chamoy sauce and lime seasoning.

Mangonada is a frozen dessert drink made from mangos, chamoy, and chile-lime seasoning, balancing sweet and spicy. The vibrantly-colored treat rose 100 percent on menus last year.

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Inside of a purple, ube flavor merengue dessert.

Otherwise known as purple yam, this violet-colored tuber originates from the Philippines. It has a sweeter, more mellow taste compared to the purple sweet potato, with a slightly nutty, vanilla taste. Ube began gaining popularity in Filipino cuisine and was used in desserts, often boiled and mashed with condensed milk. 

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Filipino sisig in a pan with egg, lime, and chili pepper.

A Filipino dish dating back before the 17th century, sisig is made from parts of a pig's face and belly, plus chicken liver. Modern versions add a twist to the traditional dish and add ingredients like egg, lime, and chili peppers.

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Spicy maple glazed chicken wings.
Spicy maple

The next iteration of hot honey. Adding something like spicy, maple-glazed chicken wings to your menu is a sure-fire way to spark your customers' attention. 

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Mixed forest mushrooms on a wooden black table.

Mushrooms have been gaining popularity for years now, from Lion's Mane to chanterelle varieties. The activity of foraging mushrooms solo or with friends also boomed during the pandemic, and the interest in the fascinating fungi hasn't waned. The rich, low-calorie source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants make it a great ingredient to add to dishes, and gives plant-based eaters more options.

"Whether it's focusing on foods that benefit the mind—both emotionally and cognitively—or avoiding those that are detrimental to mental health, eating and drinking for mental health is a trend that I predict will continue to take center stage" in 2023, said Jessica Werley, research and insights manager at Datassential, 

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A panacotta dessert with pickled strawberries.
Pickled strawberries

Pickled strawberries are trickling their way down from fine dining, and work well in desserts such as panna cotta.

"Can this maybe really be the year of the modern relish tray? Pickled, fermented, preserved, and marinated foods of all kinds are trending," said Claire Conaghan, Datassential's associate director. "Any and all types of boards are having a moment. It is time for the Midwest holiday and potluck staple, the relish tray, to have a resurgence." 

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Black tahini sauce and black sesame seeds in bowls on a white background.
Black tahini

Made from black sesame seeds that have been roasted and ground, black tahini is often used for its dramatic color in dishes.

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Pouring sake with blooming, vibrant pink cherry blossoms in the background.
Cherry blossom

The floral flavor is making its way from Japan (where it's called sakura) to the U.S.—like the cherry blossom-flavored La Croix.

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A bowl of oatmeal.
Savory granola

Big on breakfast menus and in savory bowls.

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Grapes and grape oil juice on a gray table.

Verjus is making a comeback. The highly acidic ancient grape juice is made by pressing unripe grapes, crab apples, or other sour fruit, sometimes with herbs or spices. In the Middle Ages in Western Europe, verjus was used as an ingredient in sauces or as a condiment. 

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Chestnut flour on a wooden background with fresh and roasted chestnuts.
Chestnut flour

Made from dry roasted chestnuts, this versatile flour is growing in popularity for winter-baked goods and can be used in a range of recipes—from Paleo coffee cake to homemade pasta.

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Traditional birria de res, a Jalisco-style beef soup.

A Mexican dish from the state of Jalisco, birria is a meat stew or soup traditionally made from goat meat that is marinated in vinegar, dried chiles, garlic, and herbs and spices.

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Mexican salsa macha sauce with garlic cloves and dried chile peppers.
Salsa macha

A rich chile oil from Veracruz, Mexico, salsa macha is made from dried chiles, garlic, nuts, and seeds fried in oil and finely chopped. The ingredient has risen 339 percent on menus in the last four years.

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Yuzu fruit, juice, and tea in glasses on a tan background.

A fragrant, acidic, citric fruit originating from China, expect to see yuzu on more chain menus in 2023, according to Datassential.